Unusual case of hen not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tamara119, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone. I've really tried to avoid starting another 'hen not laying' thread, but this case is pretty strange. I got 6 hens in June (southern hemisphere, so June was the beginning of winter) and none were laying. By the end of August they had started to lay, and I've since added 3 more hens who are all laying. However, one of the original ones from June still hasn't laid any eggs at all. At first I thought she was moutling, but then I figured the missing feathers on her neck were due to the rooster. She walks normally, eats and drinks well, is very active and looks upright and healthy. And yet, to my knowledge, she's never laid an egg. I don't think she's an internal layer and she's not malnourished. They all came with leg mites, but that's been treated. I've just bought a levamisole worm treatment, but there's no sign of worms in the poop or anything. I'll give them the levamisole, just in case. What else can stop an otherwise healthy hen from laying? (It's been 6 months now, but the first month was mid-winter so really 5 months of not laying.)
    Thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Do you have any idea how old she is? Perhaps age might be the reason. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  3. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed are they and how old (approx)? Sorry what season are you in now?
     
  4. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's early summer now, all the hens are laying except for two that have chicks. I don't know how old she is exactly, but I think she was one of the three younger ones I got. This is just a guess, because all of the 6 hens and rooster I received had bad scaly leg mites, and the older they were the worse their scales were lifted. Hers were only just starting to lift, as were the two pullets' scales. She might have been a pullet when I got her, but she was definitely fuller in body and feathers than the two I know were pullets. At any rate, the family I got them from told me they were young (it's the family of my gardener, so no reason to think they weren't telling the truth). They are probably all barnyard mixes, but perhaps sussex is pretty dominant in them. She is red, and looks like a RIR, but I doubt she is pure. I can post a picture or video with her if that would help. Sometimes she has a bit of white on her vent, but it's not messy or caked on.
     
  5. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so the gardener confirms that the hen is not more than 2 years old. Here are some pics. She's missing some feathers at her neck, which has at times been better and sometimes worse. I think it's the rooster. If not, could the missing feathers indicate a partial or stalled molt? She walks and behaves totally normally. I could post a video, but all it would show is what looks like a normal chicken doing normal things!

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  6. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have an answer for you. But I will say that some hens just have their own internal clock on what they are going to do. I have a BO who starts to molt in early June and stops laying. She does the slow molt, dropping one dainty feather at a time. So it takes her well into November to finish. At which point, it's winter and the days are shorter. So she won't come back into lay until March. She'll lay again till June and then stop so she can molt.

    We jokingly call her Sunday Dinner because if she were living just about anywhere else, she long since would have been. But I get enough eggs from my other gals that I can turn a blind eye to it.

    So give her time. But it's possible she may never lay or may only lay a few months of the year.
     
  7. Tamara119

    Tamara119 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, that's encouraging. I'm glad to hear there isn't some mystery disease I've completely overlooked. I'll keep her around, and perhaps her inner clock will bring her into lay soon. Love your 'Sunday Dinner' story!
     

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