They stopped laying, what is going on??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yankee, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. yankee

    yankee Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2007
    Since my six hens began laying in June egg production has been stedadly increasing to a peak of five a day on average just two weeks ago. Over the past week i've been getting fewer and fewer and over the past two days they have layed none.

    Two weeks ago I bought more food, but I accedently got layer mash insted of the pellets (Same brand). I found out that it is not feeding properly in my feeder so they went a few days with less than average amount of food, but there was still plenty of grass clippings, bugs and leftovers for them to eat so I'm not sure that they went hungry.

    I am wondering what could have caused them to stop laying. They are nine months old, could they beginning to molt? Did I starve them? What is the deal? Please Help.
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    Most pullets will lay all through the first year without additional light. Chickens require 14 hours of daylight to keep production going, however other problems like egg suckers ( chickens eating their own eggs) can also result from not enough feed and also not enough protein in the diet.

    Treats like dry cat food and black oil sunflower seeds have 30% protein and help with the needed nutrition that layers require.

    Collect eggs as often as possible, to keep things under control.... Darken the nests with a covering on the front, cutting a slit for entrance, providing more privacy for the hens, and keeping others from bothering the eggs in the nest. Good Luck!

    bigzio
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    I am sure you didnt starve them. I recently had to switch to crumbles.....our local feed mill closed..and thats the only place to get pellets. Well....since changing thier diet...they have slowed WAY donw on laying. UGH!! I NEED THE EGGS!! Im sure they will get back to normal, once they get used to the new feed. Was you able to get the normal feed for them?? You can mix them, untill the mash is gone.
     
  4. earthnut

    earthnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    It's normal for hens to stop laying at this time of year in the northern US because the day simply isn't long enough. Put a lamp in the coop on a timer so that they get 14 hours of light and they'll keep laying. Otherwise, leave them alone and they'll start again in the spring.

    Also, they can stop laying while they're molting.
     
  5. yankee

    yankee Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2007
    when do the molt? I don't think they are molting they still got all of their feathers.
     
  6. yankee

    yankee Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2007
    Thanks for all the advice, I just got the coop wired and the light will kick on in the AM. So hopefully I start getting some eggs again soon. Anybody got an idea how long I need to wait for them to begin again?
     
  7. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Depends on your hens, however within 10 days to 14 days should show improvement.
    Keep in mind that the days will get shorter and some adjustment with the timer is necessary to keep the 14 hrs of light going.

    bigzio
     
  8. SunnySideUp

    SunnySideUp Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2007
    hey all, thanks for this info. My situation is similar...my Black Sex Link (same age as all the other pullets) hasn't laid in a couple of weeks. She just suddenly stopped, all the others are still laying and acting normal (except our banty who went broody for a while). She does not act sick or broody, and still does the mating dance here and there when we approach her.

    She also does not appear to be losing feathers yet. Yesterday we set up the light in the coop, so maybe that will help (we're in Montana and get about 11 hrs of daylight right now). Anybody else experienced this with just one hen?
     
  9. yankee

    yankee Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2007
    It took just two days of light in the coop and I began getting eggs agin. Just two rather than the four to five I'm used to, but I'm sure they are on the way back.
     
  10. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    I have kept a pretty detailed calendar on my 18 month old girls since the moment I brought them home from the feed store at a couple of days old. The one gal who has molted stops laying 1 - 2 weeks before she begins losing feathers. The other two have lost a few feathers and slowed down in their laying, but nothing significant either way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007

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