Why did my hens stop laying all of a sudden?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fivestring, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. fivestring

    fivestring Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    Nashville Georgia
    I had two separate flocks, one flock had 8 hens and a roo, the other 9 hens and a roo. I purchased 4 more hens and kept them separate for 2 weeks. At that time I was getting a total of 12-13 eggs a day from a total of 21 hens using an early morning light to keep egg production up in the winter.

    One nice sunny day, I let all the chickens out to free roam together. The two roos went to battle and there was a clear winner. This fight didn't seem to bother the hens at all. Since that day they have all been cooped in one large area and let free roam when I have days at home to watch for predators, etc. At the same time I was given a sack of cracked corn which I added to their usual layer pellets. Then the weather turned from mid 50's high to mid 20-30's. In a one week period I went from getting 12-13 eggs a day to only 2-3 a day and that has continued for 3 weeks now. The weather has stayed in the 20-30's.
    I have stopped feeding them the cracked corn for now. The light comes on at 4:30 am and goes off at 8:00 am (as usual). The alpha roo keeps the other roo in check with a chase and a few pecks every day which the second roo is submissive to alpha. All the hens seem happy, fresh water, lots of layer pellets. They have a hen house to roost in when it gets cold but most of them continue to sleep out in the run on a roost.

    Most people say the cold weather shouldn't affect their laying. The majority of the eggs I'm getting are from the last 4 hens I bought. I know the first 8 hens are varying ages. I hatched and raised some of them and some I bought. The next 9 were a flock of delawares I bought several months ago that were proficient layers up to this point. It was their roo that got second place in the alpha battle.

    What happened? What do I do to get my production back up?
  2. Flippacase

    Flippacase Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2009
    'Cause its winter. Short, cold, days are responsible.
  3. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    I have found that sudden large drops in temperature can indeed slow or stop laying in some birds - usually not all...but maybe if the temp change was drastic enough.

    Feed some extra protein rich foods for a bit until they are back in the swing.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010

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