Three chickens, no eggs for two months

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jessietc, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. jessietc

    jessietc New Egg

    Jun 14, 2016
    I have three hens that are about 1.5 yrs old. A barred rock, cream legbar, and a silver laced wyandotte. The barred rock has been the best and most consistent layer, the wyandotte is broody every six-8 weeks like clockwork, and the legbar lays a few times a week as long as everything is cool in the coop. They haven't laid one egg in two, maybe three months. The wyandotte was broody, then moulting, then broody again, and now moulting again. Ugh. Soon after she started moulting, the barred rock started moulting. Then the legbar stopped laying also for seemingly no reason. Weeks later, she's now moulting but not as much as the others. Please tell me I must be almost done with this! My neighbors' chickens are moulting but they're still getting some eggs. And they feed their chickens all kinds of food scraps including meat. I read about supplementing more protein but don't want to give them something bad for them. I dug some grubs out of the garden for them but don't really have time to do that every day. Any advice on getting these little ingrates back to laying?
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2016
    Surrounded by the Amish
    Well it is getting around the time of year when when the days are getting shorter and hens need a certain amount of light to lay eggs. Some breeds need more than others like White Leghorns will lay pretty well throughout the winter but I'm not sure about any of your breeds since I've never had one of them. There's also the possibility that something is stressing them out. When hens get stressed they tend to slow down or stop laying eggs. Somethings that might make them nervous or stressed out are predators lurking around their coop at night or day, adding new chickens to the flock and possibly a change in diet.

    Here's a little tip on how to help with your broody Wyandotte. When ever she gets broody freeze a water bottle in the freezer and once it's frozen solid put the water bottle underneath her in the nest. Once she gets cool enough it should brake her broodiness. I've never tried this so I don't know how well it works. I just read about it in an article.
  3. You may not try that in your nest boxes....? Deters them from the nests..Old saying ''Once bitten, twice shy".......
    Anyways.....Do not be discouraged...Keep feeding as you are...You can feed Grower crumbles for the protein....Adding other stuff in the end will possibly cause you more problems....

  4. jessietc

    jessietc New Egg

    Jun 14, 2016
    Thanks to you both! Probably worth mentioning that I live in Southern CA so pretty mild weather. I don't think there's predators hanging around but we did just deal with a bunch of rats that were digging into the coop to get the feed. I've been feeding them daily now. Those rats chewed through PVC pipe!
  5. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2015
    Deer park, Washington
    When did you first find out your neighbor been collecting your eggs..

    Just kidding hope they get thru there molt start laying again..
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Feeding a higher protein feed when birds are molting can really attention to the fine print on feed bag tags for protein percentages.
    I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.

    How are you breaking your broody?
    This worked great for me:
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.

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