Will My Chickens Lay Eggs Again?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by LeighW, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. LeighW

    LeighW Hatching

    Jan 3, 2013
    We have had nine chickens in our backyard for the last two years. First we purchased five point of lay pullets from a commercial chicken farm, and they began to lay almost immediately and have been very reliable up until a couple of months ago.

    Six months after getting our first lot of chooks, we purchased five more hens that were approximately 18 months old and were about to be sent for slaughter. These five were not as reliable as the younger girls, but at least three eggs a day was the norm for them. Unfortunately one of the chooks passed away after becoming ill.

    Since summer arrived two months ago, (approx 20 degrees celcius here in New Zealand), our youngest chooks have gone off the lay completely. They have not really lost any feathers, and look very healthy and happy. I feed them mash and add Kelp and Diatmaceous Earth. They have water with a clove of garlic in to prevent worms, and my mum cooks up her left over vege scraps for them, which they get every couple of days. They free range in the garden all day and sleep in their coop at night.

    I'm not sure if it is a molt they are going through, and if they are likely to resume laying. How long does the rest period last, and could anything else be preventing them from laying? They have been so reliable up until now, that I have resisted hubby's request to turn them into roast chicken and get some new chooks. I've checked aroung the garden thoroughly, and have not found any egg stashes.

    I welcome your advice.

  2. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Crowing

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    I know my girls slowed a little in the summer when it was super hot but they are younger than yours so they didn't quit completly. I have always heard people usually "trade" for new layers at 3 years but we haven't been doing it long enough yet to have to do that. Hope someone who has more experience chimes in and [​IMG].
  3. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    Hi and Welcome to BYC :)

    If they are molting then they wont lay till they finish which could be 2-4 months. Also since its winter the days are shorter and chickens require a certain amount of light to lay eggs.

    Sorry you lost one of your girls. :hugs
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] they are young enough that they should resume laying at a somewhat reduced rate.
  5. chickenpooplady

    chickenpooplady Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from Highland County Ohio!!!
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D

    It is actually summer right now in New Zealand ;)

    If they are molting slowly, they will not look very ragged, and it will take quite a while for them to resume laying. You could temporarily switch them to a higher-protein ration, such as a grower/finisher type feed. Make sure to keep calcium available in case they start laying again.

    You might also have a poop sample checked for parasites.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, and [​IMG]! Great to have you in our community! Good luck to you!

  8. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.
  9. [​IMG] [​IMG] from washington state glad you joined us!
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I've put together a list of reasons why hens don't lay. The link is in my signature at the bottom of my post if you want to have a look. Hope your girls give you some more eggs soon!

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