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rainbowgardener
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chicken not laying

One of our hens has suddenly stopped laying. It's been at least five days, maybe a little more since she laid an egg. We know which one, because we only have one that lays blue eggs. We now have a full dozen eggs with no blue one.

The others seem to have slowed down a bit. Does summer heat affect them? We were keeping a tarp over their run, because it has been raining so often. But that means they were getting sun only when they were out free ranging our back yard (anywhere between four and six hours a day). Would that make a difference?

But although they have slowed down a little compared to spring, they are all still producing except the blue egg layer.

What would make this happen and is there anything we can do to get her back on track? They all have laying hen feed on demand all the time, with Omega 3 supplement mixed in. They get oyster shells and grits. They get a snack treat that is sunflower seeds, raisins, etc. They get marigold petals and occasional fruit scraps (strawberry tops, etc). And they free range. Anything missing?
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imafan26
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Re: chicken not laying

Stress can stop hens from laying
1. Nutritional problems
2. Not enough water especially in the heat
3. Decreasing daylight. Farms trick hens by using artificial lights to trick them into laying more eggs.
4. Egg binding - hen would waddle like a penguin and shake tail up and down trying to get the bound egg out
5. Age
6 molting
7. Adding more hens and changing the pecking order
8. competition for nest boxes
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rainbowgardener
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Re: chicken not laying

imafan26 wrote:Stress can stop hens from laying
1. Nutritional problems
2. Not enough water especially in the heat
3. Decreasing daylight. Farms trick hens by using artificial lights to trick them into laying more eggs.
4. Egg binding - hen would waddle like a penguin and shake tail up and down trying to get the bound egg out
5. Age
6 molting
7. Adding more hens and changing the pecking order
8. competition for nest boxes
Thanks for the response... I can't imagine that most of these apply. I described their nutrition regimen which should be more than adequate. They have plenty of water available all the time. Their main water dispenser, when the weather is warm, I put a block of ice in it, so it stays cool for awhile, and I put a little Gatorade in for electrolytes. No waddling. The hens are now a bit less than 1.5 years old. We haven't added any more hens. We have three nest boxes for six hens, but have never seen all three in use at the same time...

That leaves light. I did wonder if having the tarp over them a lot of the day was changing things. We will see if that helps. We still have not had a blue egg, but all of them have definitely slowed down production. We have had 12 eggs in the last five days. In the spring, we would have had 20 or more in that time period.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: chicken not laying

I know that even here when we only vary by a couple of hours of light a day, when the weather starts to cool down, the hens don't lay as well. It should not be happening now because it is still hot. Are you sure the hens are not getting ready to molt? Chickens start to molt around 16-18 months of age and they usually slow down or stop laying while they are molting.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: chicken not laying

That's about the age they are. I suppose I'm not sure about the molting, but I haven't seen any sign of it -- no excess feathers lying around and the chickens aren't looking patchy. They did go through some molting late fall last year, but I think not complete.

And yes it is definitely still hot here and the days are still pretty long, though of course beginning to decline.
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Gary350
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Re: chicken not laying

My grandmother use to gather eggs, early morning, after lunch, after dinner. She use to say, if you let chickens set on an egg too long they stop laying. She told me chickens each have their own nest they like best they like to lay eggs in the same nest every day and if their nest no longer suits them they might stop laying. Grandmother could look at the nest and see what it needs sometimes she fluffed it up a bit so it fits tighter on the chicken and sometimes she sprinkled a few pieces of new straw in the nest. Grandmother also said, Chickens need enough oyster shell chips to make egg shells or they will stop laying. She use to throw 2 or 3 hands full of shells on the ground for 30 chickens to eat. She always threw egg shells out the kitchen door into the back yard. There were nest in the chicken house and nest in the barn, chickens liked barn best Grandmother said it is because barn is darker and less drafty. That is the only thing I remember that might be helpful. I use to gather eggs in summer when school was out. You made me remember very good memories 60 years ago that I didn't know I still remember.

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