when do hens stop laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DebS, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. DebS

    DebS New Egg

    May 20, 2008
    I have 10 hens (assorted kinds) who will be 2 in the spring. They have been excellent layers but now are really slowing down. I had been getting 8-9 per day and am down to 2-3 on a good day in the past week or so. The weather has been gloomy, the days shorter, and I have been blaming that but now am beginning to wonder if they are just getting older and won't be laying as much.

    Last winter I put a light in the coop to extend the daylight hours and laying never slowed down a bit. Maybe it's time to put the light back up? Maybe they are just getting older and slowing down? When do they stop laying altogether?
  2. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    What kind of chickens?

    They could also be molting or on the verge of. Our "almost 2 year olds" have slowed down a bit and two of them are showing signs of molting.
  3. DebS

    DebS New Egg

    May 20, 2008
    Quote:A few each of Rhode Island Reds, Speckled Sussex, Black Australorps, New Hampshire Reds, Barred Rock, Buff Orpingtons
  4. catfish/okie

    catfish/okie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think most layeres do their best laying during their first 2 years. You probably got another good year allmost all hens will stop and rest from time to time. might let a couple or three hens raise chicks this next spring for replacement pullets for the third year.
  5. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Two years seems too early for those breeds to permanently stop laying, though they will slow down as they age, for sure. I'd assume, like briteday says, they could be on the verge of molting... 'tis the time of year for that, right now. Once hens reach maturity they need a yearly chance to molt, in order to replenish their worn feathers and refresh their internal organs for improving their egg size and egg quality. If you suspect they are getting ready to molt, then give them the space for that -- don't add artificial light until they are done molting and are back to laying eggs for you.

    ETA: Oh, I see they aren't even 2 years old yet. They'll be two years old this coming spring. In that case, this may be their first molt.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009

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