Young hen started laying then stopped?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Spunky1, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Spunky1

    Spunky1 Chirping

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    Nov 4, 2015
    Durban, South Africa
    I have three young hens of almost six months old. About three weeks ago I found three eggs one afternoon! So either all three laid their first egg or maybe one hen laid two ( early morning, and late afternoon?) But since then only one of them has continued to lay. I haven't experienced this before.
    We are also going into winter now so I'm wondering if that might be affecting them? Is it possible that a hen hatched late in summer might only start laying the following spring/summer? But why lay one then stop? Very confused! And trying not to worry!:idunno
     
  2. Tiggerandfriends

    Tiggerandfriends In the Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2017
    I have sixteen chickens. I’ve found that the colder it is, the less eggs I get. My hens prefer the warmer weather for laying. When it’s warm, I usually get 14-16 eggs a day. When it’s cold, I usually get maybe 10 a day. The colder weather could be the reason, but keeping an eye on them for any symptoms is a good idea. Making a visit to the vet is an idea if you think they might have a serious problem. I would keep an eye for any symptoms and if they seem lethargic or are acting different, then a vet appointment would be a good idea. I’m not an expert in any way, so please don’t take this advice as any expert advice. This is just my experience.
     
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  3. Spunky1

    Spunky1 Chirping

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    Durban, South Africa
    They seem perfectly fine in every other way. Eating normally, drinking, hunting, doing chicken stuff! Just not laying.... Interestingly my rooster is only mating the one who is laying. He's showing no interest at all in the two not laying?
     
  4. Tiggerandfriends

    Tiggerandfriends In the Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2017
    I have no experience with roosters, but I do have experience with male ducks. Your rooster may be playing favorites, so make sure you keep an eye on the chicken that is laying, overbreeding may cause injuries to the hen. I wouldn’t worry too much, it may just be their age and the weather. If you see their behavior change or they develop symptoms, more research based on those behaviors and symptoms and a vet appointment is a good idea. I hope it’s only age and weather.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    That's a good 'rooster'.....how old is he?
    A good cock/erel will only mate laying hens/pullets...usually only older cocks 'know' this, but a 'good' cockerel will also observe the girls laying status before attempting to mate.

    The decreasing daylight(not so much temperature) can definitely affect egg production,
    even in young birds just starting to lay. Some pullets will lay all winter, some will slow down, and some will not lay at all.

    Do you free range? They may be laying in range area.
    Here's a good way to tell:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
     
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  6. Spunky1

    Spunky1 Chirping

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    Nov 4, 2015
    Durban, South Africa
    This is exactly what I was wondering about the rooster. Makes sense. He's only six months old!
    They are free range in a smallish backyard and I've had a good look around and also spent a lot of time watching them in the mornings to see where they may disappear to! The laying one always lays in the same place. I also leave her egg there for most of the day to maybe encourage the other girls.
    Thanks for the link, I'll "inspect" them today!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Is he the only male you have?

    You could always do some nest 'training':
    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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