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

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,042
13,403
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Some stress is just a given in their lives, unfortunately. Molting is a stress, moving to a new coop is a stress, new birds in the flock shaking up the pecking order is a stress, too many roosters competing for mating rights, predators, etc., and it goes on and on.


All I can tell you is that if mine had a scare such as yours had, I'd keep them penned for awhile, even if they were used to free ranging. Keep them close to home. Clean out their coop and put down fresh shavings-mine seem to really like it after we clean it out. You don't say how big this coop is--is it too crowded? How many birds are in what size coop?

Chickens really flock (pun not intended) to clean, fresh water-don't let it get murky and gross. Mine love it when the waterers have just been filled with cold, fresh water. I'd feed them extra protein in the form of canned salmon/ mackerel or scrambled eggs and vitamins for awhile (Avia Charge 2000 is a wonderful concentrate powder for birds you can order online-seems very expensive, but goes far). Just keep everything as low-key as possible. If the young roosters are all over the girls, competing with each other, could be you'll need to remove two or three of those.

There is no definite formula that I can give you, but that's what I would do in your position. Clean environment, good nutrition and an uncrowded, well-ventilated space go far in keeping overall stress down in a flock.
 

flocksalot

Songster
8 Years
Mar 25, 2011
1,803
13
151
Poynette WI
Quote:
X2!

Dropping boards are also very helpful in keeping the floors cleaner. I do not use the deep litter method. I can't stand the smell and just can not seem to just take off the top layer. So instead I just put in a smaller amount and shovel it out every so often. When it stinks it goes. Depending on the weather it can be one week or one month. If it looks bad it goes. I use it right into my garden as mulch all year long. Strawberries love it. If I waited for my husband to do it then it would never get done. Lucky you that your husband helps you. But it is very true that they love fresh bedding. Mine will ever crawl into an open bag and spread it all over. I just cut the bags and dump out the clumps. They spread it all over for me. (right here we need a smiley of a chicken scratching) The other thing I do is either use a waterer that is way bigger than they need or use more than one. It depends on the house and the available extra room. That way they never run out of water. I also use a pig waterer as an extra in the horse yard. I have it turned backwards against the fence and the chickens freely drink from it all day long. Water when they want it is extremely important. I just moved my old girls and roo into one of the younger groups as their numbers had dwindled down to 8 and I felt they would be happier in one of the other coops. So far they haven't withheld any eggs, but it's only been 2 days, so time will tell. Bottom line if your chickens seem content they probably are. Some stop laying at a young age and some go on and on. One of my old girls can't lay a decent egg to save her life. They have paper thin shells that generally break on impact with anything in the next box. She never slows down and nothing seems to bother her. An egg a day from that girl, or I really should say a mess a day. Another girl is upset over a new rooster crowing in the morning. Seriously! Then she will go for long periods with nary and egg. Once she starts again she lays wonderfully, but don't upset her! We are building a house right now, so she is upset and very vocal about it. Once she gets used to the new things, right now the driveway is being put in, she will settle down again and lay up a storm. Each chicken is different and yet the same. If they are eating and appear to be happy and content they probably are. Also if the young roos are getting a bit too rowdy you can always put them in the smaller coop for a little while. Seems to help them mature and settle down a bit on my farm. Then I can let them back out and decide who is the keepers and who is dinner. Bottom line you know your chickens better than anyone else. We can give suggestions that may or may not help, but you are going to know if something is right for your girls. Just don't keep changing things for long periods of time or you will continue to have stress. Let them settle down and relax. Hopefully they will thank you for it.
 

emerald eyes

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 22, 2011
55
0
29
Thanks for the information. I cleaned out the coop yesterday and they seemed interested. They went into the nesting boxes yesterday, which I think is a good sign. I also picked up my BO; Emerald, (she has green eyes) and found she had alot of new feathers coming in all over. She is more prickly than soft at this point, so maybe she's just going through a molt. My delaware went through a molt a few weeks ago, so maybe the few eggs that were in the coop were the BO's. The roos don't seem to be bothering them, and they peck at the younger ones to leave them alone when they don't want to cuddle in the grass. They enjoy coming out of the pen, so I allow all of them to roam for about 7 hours a day. I will see if I can add some more watering bowls around the pen. My coop (house) is about 8x6 with a 5 ft roof height, with three perches& 8 nesting boxes, the attached pen is 10x16 with an additional attached pen of 6x20 and a smaller coup 4x4 with three nesting boxes. I have 32 chickens all together, 5 roos, 24 pullets & 3 layer hens. I am trying to reduce the flock, but no one around me seems to want chickens right now. If anyone know of anyone that wants or needs a few pullets or a roo, please let me know. I live in CT, between New london & Hartford. I don't want the additional chickens to be inhealthy, as I think that I might just have too many hens in the house.
 

emerald eyes

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 22, 2011
55
0
29
Quote:
Emerald, my buff Orph laid an egg, got it while it was still warm!
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Yah!!! Go girls! Maybe it was the messy coup that made them unhappy!
 

flocksalot

Songster
8 Years
Mar 25, 2011
1,803
13
151
Poynette WI
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Isn't that the most awesome thing to find! Congratulations! Your girls sure know how to say thanks. I know when I moved my ducks and geese to their new coop I got no eggs the first day. Then the next day I got 6 duck and 4 geese. I have 4 hens and 3 geese. They have decided they love their new home and out produce their numbers every single day. It's amazing how we can tell they are relaxed and happy isn't it.
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new2thischick

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
39
0
22
Mendocino coast
I have an RIR and a Black Sex Link that I got the first of May.. My RIR started laying over a month ago, but I have yet to see my BSL lay or even show interest in laying.. We have 7 older girls who are molting and only 1 of them is laying.. So out of 9 chickens I am getting 2 eggs a day. I would assume that it is because of the fall weather.. Is that right? She is 7 months old and still no eggs.. Help!
 

PaulaG

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 23, 2011
50
0
97
Suffolk, UK
Hi

I have a question about laying.

i have 3 chickens, a silver sussex, a bluebell and a light sussex. It took a few weeks for them to settle in and to start laying. The SS and the BB are laying regularly now but the LS layed 1 egg after about 3 weeks (not in the nest box, which didnt worry me) and then in the nest box 2 days later she layed an egg with no shell. Since then she has not layed at all. The other 2 are laying happily and i wondered if there could be a specific reason for this, or if the no shelled egg may be the cause??

Paula
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,042
13,403
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Quote:
Hard to say. A soft shelled egg can happen every once in awhile even in a healthy hen. She may have internal issues and that is a symptom or she could be fine and just not laying. Only a handful of hens in my main flock of 19 hens are laying. Mainly, it's molt related. Seems, the older they get, the longer the break during the molt, at least in my experience. This year, they are taking super long breaks.
 

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