young hen stopped laying


7 Years
Mar 29, 2012
I have a one and a half year old Aracauna that hasn't laid an egg in over a month. She's not hiding them, she's not broody, she's looks and acts just like the rest. She's very active and alert. She was a great layer, but stopped over the winter. She then started up again in Feb/March, but just stopped cold over the past few weeks. My other 2 hens are laying regularly. This is my only easter egger, so she's the only one with blue/green eggs. I've been keeping them penned up to make sure she's not hiding them. Any ideas?
Is it possible that she got sick, but not bad enough for you to see obvious symptoms? I just had bronchitis go through my flock over a month ago, and only one had visible symptoms. Well, some others obviously got it, because my welsummer stopped laying for a month and just started... and the eggs have leathery shells. How is their diet? Do they have enough protein, and enough water available to them?
It's possible she's sick and is not showing symptoms. I think that is what worries me most, because I don't want the rest of the flock to get sick, but my other 2 hens are doing just fine and laying almost every day. They've been together since chick-hood. I'm feeding them a well recommended organic layer meal, and they always have plenty of water.

Now, one thing I noticed right before she stopped laying was that for 2 days she layed outside the nest box, in the middle of the yard. And these eggs seemed 'old'. They seemed a little more brittle and almost looked bleached. Then there were no more eggs.
I think you can have a necropsy done on one that's died. A few things I learned from our experience:
-Symptoms are described as "my chicken has a cold." But chickens don't get colds. They have wheezing, gasping, runny noses, and sometimes bubbles in the eyes. But often you can't even tell unless you're standing right beside them at night, when nothing else is moving, and you hear just a bit of whispering in their breath.
-If one got sick, they probably all got sick. Mine obviously did.
-It's the most contagious of all chicken diseases. Incubation is about 36 hours, and they get over it within a week, with a high survival rate.
-If they've survived, they're now immune to getting it again.
-Egg production will return, but it might not be the quality or quantity she had before. That's what I'm worried about for mine that got sick at 2 weeks old... I don't know if some of them will even lay, but I'm going to let them live until I find out. So you might just have to wait and see.

If it's been a month, and it was bronchitis, then it's come and gone. They can be carriers for the disease, though, and can infect future birds that have not had it yet. But if the rest of the flock has been with her, they've been exposed, so you don't need to do anything different. You can give her power-foods to help her recover, like cooking up some eggs and giving them to her. Or plain yogurt mixed with laying feed. They love that. I used yogurt as the recovery treatment for all of my birds, and they ate it UP!
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What seems so weird is it's just the one hen that's not laying. She seems completely healthy and normal, but I will have to spy on them tonight when things are quiet. I can also give her some cooked eggs and yogurt. I bet she'll like that!

Thanks so much for your help!
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