Would you be worried about the lack of eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PirateGirl, Mar 16, 2019 at 9:35 AM.

  1. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Today is March 16.

    I was out of town February 23 - March 2. When I returned home there were 4 eggs from one chicken (same size/color). 4 eggs in a week seems pretty good/average, especially since laying is just starting up again. I had maybe 2-3 from her before I went out of town as well. The chicken(s) in question are 2 years old. These were the first eggs I have found from this chicken this spring after a winter break.

    I have not seen a single egg from this chicken since March 2. Should I be concerned? The chickens are in a coop/run and there are not eggs hiding. There is a small chance she laid somewhere random and it's buried in snow (most of which has now melted in the run), but this is highly unlikely as every other egg found was in the same nest box and the girls rarely (if ever) lay outside of the favorite nest box.

    Due to egg color it is one of two birds. One is a 2 year wyandotte that never seems to have molted over winter even though everyone else did. The other is a 2 year old delaware that is prone to going broody, though doesn't seem to be acting broody at the moment.
     
  2. RumneyRoost

    RumneyRoost Chirping

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    Can you feel any swelling in the abdomen?

    Were there any big weather changes? Mine will sometimes slow down for a bit if there was a big temperature drop or snow storm.

    Any changes in lighting? With the time change my girls are getting an extra hour of light, the run light still comes on at 6am so I can feed them and check them before work, but with DST it doesn't get dark now until later. Egg production went up a bit within a few days of that change and has stayed fairly consistent.
     
  3. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    I'll have to give their abdomens and crops a feel tonight when they go to roost.
    Weather has been all over the place :barnie It has been anywhere from -10*F to 45*F in the last two weeks, including a few feet of snow and ground blizzards that shut down the state, so yes, it can possibly be stress. In general on days when the weather is terrible I have noticed in the past that I get very few eggs overall from the flock. I guess I kinda thought once they started laying again for spring they'd just keep on laying, so now I'm beginning to wonder if something might be wrong with one of them.

    They do not get supplemental lighting, so they have just have a gradual increase daily due to the time of year and shifting sunrise/set times.
     
  4. Keeperofmunchkins

    Keeperofmunchkins Songster

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    I don't supplement lighting and my hens only stopped laying for 'winter' during December and one week of January, resumed laying early Jan, then quit again for most of February, before starting up for good in March. So they can stop and start like that without any problem.
     
  5. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Thank you. I wasn't sure if sometimes they quit again, especially if it seems like winter all over again in regards to weather. I don't expect 6 eggs a week like in summer, but I didn't expect them to quit either once they started up again.

    I will still do a bit of an exam on the two suspect birds if there's not an egg in the box by evening. Hopefully I'm worried over nothing.
     
  6. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    I'm waiting for my birds to stop laying. They laid pretty consistently during the winter. 4 birds 2; 2 year olds 2 pullets. Most days 4 eggs, Some days only 3 and probably 4-5 days no eggs at all. Pullets didn't start laying until late Dec or early Jan. So I'm thinking my 2; 2 year olds will stop sometime soon. They are projected to lay around 200 eggs a year. I've had them since July so they have laid close to 200 eggs and that's not counting before I got them. As I was told they laid everyday for the previous owner. I think they were early 2018 chicks. Because they laid all winter long I believe this is just their second winter laying. IDK. I have my 2 eggs for tomorrow morning set aside and I have a full dozen in a carton right now. Might have to make a run to my neighbors.
     
  7. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Did the older 2 molt at all in fall/winter? If they did molt and laid through it, I wouldn't expect them to stop laying. If they have not molted, whenever they finally decide to molt, I'd expect them to stop then.
     
  8. WindingRoad

    WindingRoad Songster

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    They have not molted. I did buy 20% protein feed in anticipation and fed it all winter, along with scratch and mealworms. I was going on the average number of eggs each breed lays in a year. I don't know many breeds that lay 365 eggs a year. Mine are close to 200 or maybe over that since July and they were laying before I got them.

    And they might molt in the summer and probably stop laying during and after but I believe they will stop laying for 2 other reasons. #1 they are coming up on 3 years old. I know I said they were 2018 chicks but I believe they are 2017 chicks because the previous owner did say ( now that I remember) that they laid last winter. #2 they are close to their annual laying numbers. #3 molting.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Could be your girl are getting more sporadic in their laying.
    Are they ~24 months old...or older?
     
  10. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    The chicken(s) in question are both almost exactly 24 months, I believe they were February or March hatches. So I guess they are no longer in their laying prime exactly, but they aren't very old either.

    I saw the one that is prone to going broody nestle in under the coop ramp this morning as I was leaving the house, soooooo... she may be thinking about going broody again.

    Everyone seems to be acting normal.
     
    aart likes this.

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