Young Hen Stops Laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fallenwhisper, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Fallenwhisper

    Fallenwhisper New Egg

    Oct 23, 2013
    One of my hens, who seems healthy and active, has stopped laying eggs. The weather has been fine, never getting below 30Fat night. She stopped around the time of a cold front a week ago. It was 10-20F for about three days. My other hen has laid the same as before the front, and they all have water and food. She shows no signs of sickness or stress. When should I begin to get worried? She is a year old in March and is a good eight lb. chicken.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  2. PolkaDot77

    PolkaDot77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Welcome to BYC! If your chicken is otherwise healthy, I'm thinking that it might be about to go through a molt and will not lay many, if any, eggs during that time. Check the coop to see if you notice any feathers on the ground. If it is a molt, she should start laying well after that. Good luck!
  3. Fallenwhisper

    Fallenwhisper New Egg

    Oct 23, 2013
    Thanks, I have noticed some extra feathers but not too many. I will see if there are any extra over the next few weeks.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Look for pin feathers on her. Chances are she's starting to molt. Some hens will blow most of their feathers at once, while others are slower to drop them. If you pick her up and her belly feels like a pin cushion, she's molting. They cannot lay eggs while molting because they need all their energy to regrow feathers. Once they have feathered back in, then she will need to get her body weight back up to a safe level before she can resume laying. Giving her extra protein during this time will help her through her molt a bit faster.
  5. Fallenwhisper

    Fallenwhisper New Egg

    Oct 23, 2013
    Sadly I do not believe she is molting. She has not layed for over three weeks and is just as fluffed with feathers as before. I will try to check her belly but it may be something else :/
  6. maggiemo

    maggiemo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2012
    Front Range Colorado

    I have wondered endlessly about this. I have several young birds that will be a year old in March/April and are molting now. I thought they weren't supposed to molt their first year. Or if they do it is mild. Some of mine are laying all winter, but a few are in full molt.
    Will the ones molting be bad layers and maybe culled?
  7. Mon27

    Mon27 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 27, 2013
    I have a similar concern! My favorite hen had a moult at 8 months old???? She has a dulled comb and hasnt really layed well, if at all in 2 months. I hope we get some more help!

    KIWI CHICK Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2013
    Hmmm, fallenwhisper, you say she is 'fluffed up'....not clucky is she?
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    The chickens keeper can trigger or force a molt by making certain mistakes in how they care for their birds. You don't need to remove all your chickens food and water for days at a time to force a molt on them, a simple reduction in the quality of the feed alone will have the same effect as starving them for 14 days. Think, did you change their ration?
  10. Crysta

    Crysta Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 30, 2013
    So if you remove the feed it can trigger molt even in late January?

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