Why have my hens stopped laying?

referencewench

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2020
14
31
36
Central California Coast
I read through the forums and some of the material shared in the sticky topic post and I still am at a loss. We have 8 hens, 5 buff orpingtons, 2 barred rocks, and 1 australorp, most are just over a year old. Until a few months ago we were getting between 4-7 eggs a day. We now rarely get more than 2, sometimes none at all. We haven't changed their food, their housing, or anything else. The chickens are also unusually quiet, but haven't seen any signs of predators around during the day. Are they stressed, could they all be ill? They aren't eating nearly as much as they used to either.

We lost 2 who appeared to be egg bound. Another was similar, but we were able to get her cleaned up and nursed back to normal. But still, no eggs. Is there something obvious I'm missing?
 

Leraje

In the Brooder
Jun 4, 2020
42
44
36
Where are you located? Here (netherlands) it's molting time and they lay less then, plus the days are getting shorter and in winter most don't lay at all.

If they're not laying, they might not need as much food.
 

Callender Girl

Crowing
Sep 18, 2018
1,326
7,042
466
North Central Iowa
Could it be the time of year? With daylight hours getting shorter and most of my girls in molt, I've gone from more than a dozen eggs a day (plus duck eggs) to only two or three a day. Mine are also eating a lot less. Hope it's just seasonal and not anything serious.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
85,818
101,387
1,727
SW Michigan
My Coop
If they aren't getting grit while free ranging they will need it for their crop to help break food up.
Good to differentiate between Oyster Shell (for calcium needs) and Granite Grit(for digestion, in the gizzard, not the crop).

Could it be the time of year? With daylight hours getting shorter and most of my girls in molt, I've gone from more than a dozen eggs a day (plus duck eggs) to only two or three a day. Mine are also eating a lot less. Hope it's just seasonal and not anything serious.
Same here.

Where are you located? Here (netherlands) it's molting time and they lay less then, plus the days are getting shorter and in winter most don't lay at all.
If they're not laying, they might not need as much food.
Yes!
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1600869357715.png
 

referencewench

In the Brooder
Mar 31, 2020
14
31
36
Central California Coast
Sorry about not having the location. I'm on the coast of California. Our yard is mostly sand (like beach sand), so we have assumed that's enough grit, but maybe not.
We still have at least one more month of pretty warm weather. Last year they all started molting in late October, so it's a bit early for that I think.

We did have a lot of smoke from the wildfires here, which was pretty bad, but this started before that.
 

wyoDreamer

Free Ranging
Nov 10, 2010
5,210
8,171
501
NE Wisconsin
A sandy soil like that may not have the size particle that they want for Grit. I have watched a chicken at the grit scratching through the pile for minutes to find that special piece of grit that is the size and shape that she wants.
 

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