Under 3 yo hen, hasn't laid in a year...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by catscabinladies, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. catscabinladies

    catscabinladies Just Hatched

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    I have a RIR, Peggy, who is 2 years, 11 months. Peggy started laying at a regular age, and was a strong, consistent layer with quick molts. A year ago, we integrated some younger pullets into our flock, and Peggy was very aggressive, so we put her in an adjacent cage alone for about two weeks while we integrated them. The flock integrated well after that, and Peggy returned back to the top of the pecking order as soon as we re-introduced her into the coop. But she didn't start laying again. Two months later, we moved the chickens when we moved homes. And while all our other hens returned to their normal laying patterns about two months after we moved, Peggy hasn't laid for about a year, since we first put her in the adjacent cage while integrating the flocks.

    Two years old seems really young to stop laying, and I wonder if it's possible the trauma of putting her in the adjacent cage, and then a move, could have caused her to stop laying permanently? We haven't changed anything else-- food is organic modesto mills, occasional black sunflower seeds and oyster shells, and the pecking order has been settled for a long time, no one is picking on Peggy since she's at the top. Any ideas to try to get her to start laying again?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Are you sure she's not a red sexlink? They can stop laying at 2-3yo. Post a pic of her?
    Are you positive that she's not laying...is her egg so distinct that you can ID it from all the others?
    Have you examined her pelvic bones and vent?

    The stressors may have stopped her from laying.
    Top hens of 'all hen' flocks can assume the 'rooster' role and stop laying.

    What is your housing like...size of coop and run(feet by feet) for how many birds?
     
  3. catscabinladies

    catscabinladies Just Hatched

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    thanks aart!

    I'm pretty confident Peggy's an RIR, we got her from a reputable breeder. See photo attached. The laying hens we have are an Australorp in her first year of laying, so her eggs are very small, and two EEs, so I'm pretty confident Peggy's the one not laying.[​IMG]


    And the coop is 8ftx8ft, for four birds. There's some possibility that she's found another place to lay outside the coop, because we let them free-range about 6 hours a day, but there are sometimes 3-4 day spans when they won't get out of their coop at all, and we haven't seen any eggs from her during those times. We've also done a pretty thorough search of the space we let them free-range in.

    We haven't examined her pelvic area or vent, not really sure what to look for?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Moist, more open vent on active layers.....drier and tighter on non layers.

    2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     
  5. catscabinladies

    catscabinladies Just Hatched

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    Ok, so we checked her vent on this evening, it's moist and her pelvic bones are further than 2 fingers apart. I did notice her abdomen is distended, though she's been eating fine, very alert. I've been reading about chickens being egg-bound, so am wondering if that's the cause.... I've read some of the threads about egg-bound treatments, so we'll be giving her a warm bath, some Tums, and then leave her on a heating pad tomorrow to see if that's somehow what's going on. Worried though if she could have been egg-bound for a long time... she doesn't have any other symptoms though, eating, walking, roosting normally. We'll see if the treatment changes anything.
     
  6. catscabinladies

    catscabinladies Just Hatched

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    Peggy's still hasn't produced an egg, and while she seemed to enjoy her bath, we didn't see any changes. She's eating normally and doesn't seem lethargic, the only symptoms are she's got a distended belly and isn't laying any eggs. Wondering if we should take her to the vet nearby...
     
  7. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    How distended is her abdomen? Does it feel hard or squishy?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sorry, I missed this 3 weeks ago.

    I think if egg bound you can actually feel the egg thru the abdomen just inside the vent.
    She may be laying internally or have some other issue that's causing the abdominal swelling.
    If vet knows poultry, and you can afford it, it would certainly be an option.
    Good Question.
     

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