Wyandotte’s not laying

Paul Martinello

Chirping
Oct 17, 2017
60
24
58
Adelaide, Australia
Hi there, I have three 18 month old Wyandotte hens that have stopped laying completely. I have not had an egg from either one for over two months. We are coming into winter here in Australia. Is this normal or should I be worried about other health related matters. Cheers, Paul M
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,695
2,072
306
Kalispell MT
New pullets will normally lay through their first winter. At about 18 months old they go through a major molt. While molting the chickens will not lay. Once they start molting there is another issue, the number of hours of daylight. Chickens lay best with 14 hours of daylight. That does not happen during the winter. Some people add light in the coop to keep the chickens laying during the winter. I let mine take a break.

In other words, it is completely normal for your hens to stop laying for a time. I would guess that they may start laying again in July or August for sure.
 

Paul Martinello

Chirping
Oct 17, 2017
60
24
58
Adelaide, Australia
New pullets will normally lay through their first winter. At about 18 months old they go through a major molt. While molting the chickens will not lay. Once they start molting there is another issue, the number of hours of daylight. Chickens lay best with 14 hours of daylight. That does not happen during the winter. Some people add light in the coop to keep the chickens laying during the winter. I let mine take a break.

In other words, it is completely normal for your hens to stop laying for a time. I would guess that they may start laying again in July or August for sure.
Thank you so much for responding, that is a huge relief.
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,695
2,072
306
Kalispell MT
Now 4 months without a single egg, getting concerned 😐
Give it more time. It is just the beginning of August. They should probably be laying by the end of the month. To kick start my girls into laying you are in the time of year I would usually buy them feed that is higher in protein. I have found that a bag of 22% protein feed seems to help them get started laying again.
 

Paul Martinello

Chirping
Oct 17, 2017
60
24
58
Adelaide, Australia
Do they look like they are in lay, bright red combs?
Do you free range?
They look very healthy, and yes, they free range four half days per week
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,391
129,740
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
they free range four half days per week
Might be time for an exam:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/

Then maybe:
Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

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