why have they stopped laying?


9 Years
May 2, 2010

I had a flock of four that were all laying for the first season. One passed away.
So, then there were three. There were some major temp changes. It went from 100's to 60's during the day in one week. Then, I got two new pullets and started letting the established three girls out to free range all day (locked them out of the coop with separate food and water) so that the pullets could hang in the coop as they are too little, I think, to free range yet.

Anyway, I know you will say..well, maybe they are laying in the bushes. But I don't think so. Cause they always made a lot of noise when they were about to lay and there is no noise anymore. Have they just stopped for the winter season, or what?
How old are they? Around 18 months or so most of them go thru their first major molt and they slow way down/stop laying until they finish it.
They are about 6 or 7 months.

Could be molting but, they don't seem like they are losing feathers---wouldn't that happen if they were molting? Do all chickens molt regardless of where they live? (we are in southern cal.)
And, do all chickens stop laying for Winter?
Thanks all you knowledgeable chicken people!!!!
All chickens need 14 hrs of light a day in order to keep laying. As we head into winter, daylight is shorter. You could add a light in your coop and put it on a timer to come on for a few hours before the sun comes up in the morning to add on the extra hours they need.
if all chickens need that much light to keep laying then I guess I have some weird chickens. Mine laid all through the winter last winter with no supplemental light.

We gave them fresh slightly wilted lettuce and other kitchen scraps though every day so maybe that made the difference
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A lot of chickens will keep laying during the winter, but most will slow down--three or four eggs a week instead of five or six without the exta light.
i came looking for exactly this answer- 14 hours. thanks to OP & great replies!
we have 11.2 hours between sunrise & set. if i were to use a simple 13w florescent- not sure what that converts to in light output vs. a conventional bulb- would that be sufficient?
i thought i would let it run for 1/2 before sunset for 3 hours total.

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