Would a brand new laying pullet take a break after 4 eggs? UPDATED

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HEChicken, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I got my first pullet egg two days after Christmas. Yeah! She laid every day until New Year's Eve, so it felt like we were on a roll. Since then, nothing. Now, the weather was cold over Christmas/NY but has become even colder since, with daytime temps in the single digits. The thing is, I'm not sure if
    1) the cold is the reason she's not laying
    2) she's laying elsewhere and I'm just not finding them (she free-ranges but I've looked everywhere I can think of in the backyard)
    3) she's laying and she or others in the flock are eating them (but wouldn't I find traces of egg/eggshell at least?), or
    4) she's laying but the dogs are getting to them first. I doubt this is it because the dogs are essentially indoor dogs, go out only when they need to take care of business, and in any case, I usually go out with them and check for eggs while I'm out there, so the only way they could be eating them is if they know where her stash is, and its around the side of house and they go there while I'm checking for eggs in the place where she laid them that first week.

    So - what do you all think?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  2. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    Any of the above but mostly she is a pullet and it is cold. And you are dealing with a chicken
  3. jeslewmazer

    jeslewmazer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2009
    I have had pullets that started laying and just stop for no reason (late spring/early summer) and start back when they wanted to.
  4. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2009
    Felida WA
    Same issue here! My Australorp bantam pullet started laying 3-5 eggs / wk and did so for over a month. Then she went PSCYHO BROODY and - for the first time - laid 2 eggs in the same day. Since then? Not one egg. Been over a week. She's no longer broody but she's also not producing eggs.

    We have lights on in the coop 12 hrs a day. They're allowed out to free-range when we get up and we coop them again 30 min before sunset, so they stay lit. So it's not the light.

    It's been in the high 40s since she stopped laying. When she was laying all the time and broody, it was getting below freezing. (Go figure.)

    I had her in crate isolation for 3 days after she got so nasty with my other girls and that's when she stopped laying. 3 days no eggs and still not-a-one. (Since she was in a crate, clearly she wasn't laying elsewhere...)

    They 'free-range' a yard with a few high shrubs, nowhere to hide an egg elsewhere, so I don't think she's laying in another place. I've looked everywhere.

    No new stresses or changes at all, here. In fact, the pullets all seem as happy as they've ever been! (Except that Australorp's a relatively nasty Alpha.)

    I think (as a newb, of course) that your chicken (and mine) just had a hormonal something that made them temporarily stop laying. I think knocking mine out of her broodiness by isolating her may've caused a drop in hormones that did it. Guessing, but it seems probable. I wouldn't blame the weather since your weather probably hasn't varied a lot in the past 6 weeks....? It's probably BEEN cold and short-day since Dec, right?

    She'll prob start back up when it suits her! [​IMG]

    Good luck! Keep us updated on what happens, please...!

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Thanks for the responses. A funny thing just happened. I was outside hanging up a load of laundry. All the chooks ran over to peck at my shoelaces while I worked (normal). Eventually they lost interest in the laces and started to wander off. I noticed the pullet who had been laying stop to poop, except when she did the poop squat, instead of poop, out came an egg. She continued walking as though all she had done was poop. I almost think she didn't realize she hadn't! The next oldest pullet, who is not yet laying, ran over to examine the object, but no one else really showed any interest.

    This is the first egg I've had in 11 days, so it was kind of exciting that I was there to see it laid, but also a little worrying. I can't help wondering if she hasn't been laying every day and something else is getting to them before I do, since it has been too cold to spend much time outdoors lately. Time will tell, I suppose.....
  6. rstampa

    rstampa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    Tampa, Florida
    That's Chickens for you!
  7. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    Quote:One of my LBrahmas laid 3 or 4 large eggs - she matured faster than the other LBrahma hen did - her wattles/comb turned bright red and then she began to lay. After 3 or 4 eggs she just stopped laying and her bright red coloring faded to a soft pink (I think it was 3 or 4 eggs she laid- hard to remember, but could have been a few more). Anyway she didn't lay another egg for about a month or so, and when the other LBrahma hen started to lay, she started back a few days later. Weird, huh? I put some vitamins and electrolytes in their water every couple of days for a while and scattered some calcium around...no problems since.
  8. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    This has happened to me a few times too. We will find eggs in random spots in the pasture. My funniest was the one I found in a large puddle. We have a natural spring in the back yard and in winter it makes little streams and mini-ponds that the chickens drink out of. Apparently when one of the girls was drinking she also laid an egg. Too funny! [​IMG]
  9. zoomia

    zoomia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2009
    I had four pullets come into lay in the fall, lay maybe 5 or 6 eggs each, then quit entirely for the winter.

    And then I had one who laid a total of 10 eggs and then decided to go broody!

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