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Young leghorns stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jamcan7, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. jamcan7

    jamcan7 New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2015
    I have 7 leghorns that are about 6 months old. They had been laying on a daily basis for about a month and then all of a sudden about two weeks ago they all stopped. I literally got 7 eggs from the leghorns one day, which was the usual, and then haven't gotten a single one since. The aren't sick as far as I can tell and I don't suspect any mites, as I haven't found any and the rest of the flock (different breeds and ages) are all still laying without interruption. I live in the south so the temperature went from about 100 degrees/day to about 80 degrees/day and from about 15 hours of sunlight to about 12 hours at the time they stopped laying. They are on layer food with oyster shell and they get occasional treats, like yogurt, but only once or twice a week. They are not free range so I know they aren't hiding the eggs. Anyone have any thoughts as to why this is happening. This is my first year with chickens so I don't know what's normal and what isn't, but I find it strange that all the others are still laying and all the leghorns stopped.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Egg laying can be sporadic, some you can set your watch by, others start and stop, yours are still young and the season is changing so you should expect a bit of inconsistencies, I wouldn't worry unless you see any signs of illness, otherwise it is normal.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    That is strange....looks like you've covered all the things I would suggest looking at.

    That they stopped cold in one day and all the other birds are still laying, is really odd.
    They are too young to be molting and should lay all winter without extra light too...
    ......and cessation of lay would be slower, as the natural sunlight decreases slowly, not abrupt.

    How many other birds, what breed and how big is your coop(feet by feet)..and run?
     
  4. jamcan7

    jamcan7 New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2015
    The run is 20ftx20ft and 10ft tall with a clear roof. So 400sq ft. We have 10 hens totally. 7 leghorns, one australorpe, and two unknowns (the lady I got them from thinks they are australorpe mixes). All but the known australorpe are about 6 months old and she is about 3 years old. The coop is 5x5x6 with bump outs on both sides for nesting boxes and storage.
    I found it very strange too that it was so sudden. I've gotten one egg total in two weeks from them. The others still lay.
    Aside from the slight change in weather, we haven't made any changes to the run, coop, or diet. I started adding ACV with the mother in their water yesterday.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    No possible way there could be a hidden nest in the large run?

    The coop is very small for 10 birds, do they all sleep in there?

    Could you have had a predator scare?
     
  6. jamcan7

    jamcan7 New Egg

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    How large should the coop be? They are only in there when they sleep and they all have have room around them when they're on the roosts and have room to move around on the floor. I haven't found any predators, but we do have two dogs that they aren't fond of. They like to run towards the run and of course the hens scatter. The dogs can only get to one side the run so the girls usually just move to another side. I have considered maybe that's stressing them out, but they've been around the dogs since they were two days old and it didn't bother them when they were laying before. Oh and the run floor is dirt so there are no possible hiding spots for eggs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Is your run covered with a solid roof for shade and rain shelter?
    Any snakes around your parts?
    Putting your location in your profile can help sometimes folks give better answers/suggestions.

    Exact numbers for space are hard to define, the oft cited 4 sqft per bird in coop is a bare minimum IMO, and you have about half of that.
    But a lot depends on other factors...climate, individuals and flock dynamic.....
    Leghorns can be flighty, high strung birds, more prone to stress maybe.

    Observing my flock, the less space they have(my population varies) the higher the stress levels......the stress behaviors can very subtle and hard to spot.
    When it's pouring rain and often during the winter, they mostly stay in the coop and need a little extra 'breathing room'.

    There's a good article on Space in my signature.
     
  8. jamcan7

    jamcan7 New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2015
    There is a clear corrugated roof over the whole run which allows plenty of sunlight and keeps the critters out. There are areas of shade in the run as well. I have thought about putting another coop in so maybe I need to.
     

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