Why Aren't My Chickens Laying? Here Are Your Answers!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by speckledhen, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    In fall/winter, especially, this question is sometimes asked several times a day. The article has your answers!

    http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20763/pnw565.pdf

    Generally, your answers are:

    Decreasing day length
    Molt
    Broodiness
    Flock health
    Age
    Poor nutrition
    Stress

    See article for the full explanation of each cause.


    Adding articles to supplement the first one since some don't feel it was entirely correct--the main problem is that you can't generalize about all hens, but you have to consider the general information as your starting point. The basic causes listed are correct.

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps029
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/723/troubleshooting-egg-production-problems
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    I looked at the title and wondered why Speckledhen was asking this question. [​IMG]
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:I had the same thought. [​IMG]

    Wonderful link; thanks.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    5,988
    781
    326
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Great link. Thanks.

    Yeah, I've seen many threads/querries about low or no production. Glad to say on my part that this back yard experiment is going great.

    The article mentioned we'll see drop after first 10 weeks and I'll be looking for that. Keep a daily log on the calender. Of the 4 laying it's been 6 eggs per week or better and that's with a barred rock [​IMG]
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Just remember, hens are not vending machines. They are living creatures that are affected by all sorts of external and internal stressors/cues. We are not at 100% capacity every single day and neither are they. [​IMG]
     
  6. chicknerd

    chicknerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    560
    0
    129
    Apr 28, 2010
    NH
    Thank you for the link. Very good article. For us newbies it is nice to know what to expect. [​IMG]
     
  7. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Quote:I had the same thought. [​IMG]

    Wonderful link; thanks.

    But... Cynthia knows everything... Oh. [​IMG]
     
  8. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Hi, I posted my response on the original thread but am going to add it here, as well.

    That article is, in my daintily humble opinion, not useful at all.

    According to that article, chickens are pretty useless within two years, and they all start laying at 18 to 20 weeks. That goes against virtually every single thing I have ever read about chickens on here and in books. CERTAIN breeds lay early, most start around 25-26 weeks in reality. I have also read NUMEROUS threads from experienced chickenkeeprs on here that have had their hens laying eggs regularly for years and years, not a lousy 18 months as is stated in the article!

    Also according to that article, if that info were accurate, when the days shorten, EVERYBODY'S birds should slow down. Buuuuut they do not. Not everyone's birds slow down or stop.

    My chickens have met all the criteria required in the article and still no eggs. I think there is something amiss in Mother Nature because there are SO many chickens that were hatched this spring.... an inordinate number of them... that are not producing eggs here as we near the end of the year! And it's not just my part of the country. All you have to do is read the BYC threads to know that there are lots of us doing all the 'RIGHT' things & still not getting any eggs. It's like there's a worldwide chicken egg-laying strike. LOL.

    I think that there may have also been something amiss, maybe, in a hatchery & a buncha barren birds might have been produced? I don't know for sure, just saying that something's gotta be amiss somewhere. I have 8-month-old RIR and BR pullets that don't look or act any closer to laying than they did in July. I was concerned maybe they aren't laying because I switched them to layer food at 20 weeks & maybe they need more protein, so I upped their protein and changed their food to grower/flock finisher with free choice oyster shell. They eat the oyster shell and the food, seem to be really healthy and happy birds... just not gonna lay any eggs is all.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    That is a general article with most of the main causes for lack of eggs. Just as I mentioned, chickens are living creatures, not machines, therefore, there may be other reasons and every bird isn't a textbook example. I've had birds lay their first egg at 18 weeks and I've had them lay at 40 weeks. When folks post the same question often about this same subject, I want to say, "They're not laying because they aren't laying." Sometimes you just can't find the cause and sometimes, usually in older birds, it's internal laying, a reproductive malfunction. No amount of worrying will make them lay, LOL. They generally do slow down after two or three years old. I do have a couple of five year old hens who are still laying two to three eggs per week. I lost one recently who hadn't laid an egg in 14 months and she was almost five as well. They are just individuals.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    What a great idea for a sticky! I know this comes up all the time.

    There are also two reasons that people think their chickens aren't laying, when they really are. This comes up when people have low production. They're also things that commercial flocks in confinement don't usually deal with, so they don't get mentioned in articles.

    The chickens are free ranging and laying out in the yard.

    The chickens are laying, but an egg predator is stealing the eggs.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by