why no eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trudyg, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jewel, at (I'm guessing) 18 months old has been laying steady for over a year now (didn't record when she started). Then we lost her buddies and she was alone for a month or so and then we got 3 chicks. Chicks are now 24 weeks, 1 pullet and 2 roos, and have been in together since 16 weeks, so that's not new. She slowed down laying from daily to 2 out of 3, then every other, now nothing for the past week. I have moved my chicken tractor so the pole light won't shine in & make the boys crow so early (didn't help, but that's beside the point). I move it every 2 weeks, so this is nothing new. She's lost a few tail feathers, but I haven't seen the boys bothering her, it's more like her attacking them first. I have noticed that the chicks roost on one pole together and she's on another alone. She will chase them off where she wants to be and they go to the other, seems like maybe she doesn't want to be next to them. Both roosts are 4' long, so there's plenty of room for all. I see nothing physically wrong with her except a scratch on one part of her wattle, but it's just a scratch and none of them seem to notice it. The pullet is getting redder daily, so I"m guessing by the end of November she'll start laying. The nest box has not been disturbed at all for this week. Normal pellet food, I let them out by 6:30 am and they go in at dusk, so free range all day. I'm in Alabama, so it's not cold and there are plenty of bugs and things to eat, they get an additional cracker daily as a treat. Any ideas why she's not laying? I can't see any stressors, so I guess I just wait? Or should I be looking for something else? Thanks
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Since you mentioned the missing tail feathers, she may be going into molt, where she loses her old feathers and replaces them with new. Hens don't lay during this time since they need to focus all their resources on regrowing the feathers. The shortening days are what trigger the molt. She may also just be not laying because she's not getting enough light with the shortened day lengths. Chickens need about 14 hours of light a day to stimulate the hormones that dictate egg laying. When the days get shorter, they stop laying until they are getting more light again.
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    She is right on schedule for a molt and a break in egg laying - this coupled with shortening day length has probably caused the 'shut down'. It's temporary she will lay again. 2 roosters and 2 hens may eventually be a problem.
     
  4. trudyg

    trudyg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, 2 roos will be an issue. I'm watching to see which one is better behaved. Right now, they both are. Red is so alert and protective, Daffy is still a snuggler. While they both will mount either of the females, neither seems to be rough or overdoing it. One will be leaving, just waiting until I must do it.
     

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