So, uh… Have your chickens stopped laying eggs? Ours too, and the good news is that you can usually solve this problem and let your chicks lay eggs every day.
There are many reasons why chickens stop laying eggs: from illness to stress and age. One part is under your control as guardian, the other part is not.
Let’s dig a little deeper to understand why your chickens don’t lay eggs at all.
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9 Reasons why hens stop laying eggs
1. Inappropriate diet
When your chickens are no longer lying down, you have to watch your feed first. Chickens should have access to fresh, clean water all day long. A lack of water, even for an hour on a hot day, can disrupt the paving process. In winter, make sure that the chickens’ water does not freeze. It is also important to ensure that you feed the herd with high quality laying hens feed and that each hen receives sufficient food every day. Even the best delicacies, including chicken scratches, should be eaten in moderation, because they can really be packed in kilos without offering a lot of food as a favourite snack!
2. Extreme weather conditions
Extremely hot or extremely cold weather can lead to reduced egg production for your chickens. To prevent this, try to make them as comfortable as possible by insulating the chicken coop in winter. Keep them cool in the summer and make sure there is plenty of water.
You can also give your chickens delicious treats to improve their health and well-being in rough weather. Hot fruit oatmeal in winter or other winter delicacies for chickens are very popular, and in summer chickens just love frozen fruit!
Another reason why your chickens may stop laying eggs may be due to shedding. When pushed, chickens drop their old feathers and develop new, shiny, bright feathers. This process puts a strain on the chickens’ bodies and many hens take a break from laying so that their bodies can invest their energy in the reproduction of new feathers.
Most chickens moult in autumn, but we have seen our ladies moult in different seasons, some even in winter! Poor girls!
Some chickens moult so easily that it’s hard to see what’s going on. Watch out for polished feathers or bald spots on the head or around the ventilation opening of these traffic lights.
If your chickens are in the house, make sure you give them some more protein. We like to give our tasty maggots during moulting so they lift their bodies and these feathers grow back faster so they can lay delicious eggs again!
Learn about the signs of molt and what you can do to help your daughters survive.
4. Change of season
When summer turns into autumn, a decrease in daylight indicates that the chick lays fewer eggs. In winter, hens naturally take a break from laying and can slow down to as much as one egg a week or stop laying all their eggs together.
Here at the Backyard Chicken Project we are convinced that our favourite chickens need a winter break, but every chicken farmer has his own opinion on the subject. If you don’t want the chickens to give up their favourites, you can artificially light the henhouse in winter.
There’s a lot of silk in our small herd of chickens, so we have to take most of the year into account. An attentive walk is when a chicken decides to sit on an egg nest and hatch chicks. Some breeds (such as mulberry) breed more often and most chickens only breed once a year, in spring. Sometimes it’s good to make chickens think. After all, there are advantages to having him drive you to the next trainload.
When chickens start thinking, they stop laying eggs and only start again when their minds are broken or their chicks reach an independent age. Black chickens are easy to recognize, they sit day and night on the nest in the egg-laying area. Angry chickens often tear their feathers and yell at other chickens or people approaching the nest. They can also attack intruders.
We have established that this is the worst reason why chickens stop laying eggs, because it cannot be repaired. Like any female species, the females hatch with a certain number of eggs. As soon as the eggs are converted into eggs and laid, they all disappear and there are no more eggs. This can happen at any time, but most chickens reach this stage of their life around the age of two or three years.
We have a few 6 year old chickens that still lay eggs, but for the most part they have stopped production. For the time being, they only enjoy their retirement!
Chickens don’t lay eggs when they get sick. If your chicken suddenly stops lying, pay close attention to signs of illness. If you notice any of these symptoms, separate it from the rest of the herd and give it some TLC. We like to keep a foldable rabbit cage ready in case we have to share the chickens for whatever reason. While the chickens are in the infirmary, they are given easy-to-eat foods, such as yoghurt and an omelette, and electrolytes and vitamins are put in the water. We had many chickens recovering from illness and injury.
Common disease symptoms in chickens:
- Lower energy levels
- Refusal to leave the henhouse
- A capricious tail
- Glass eyes, watery or cloudy.
- Coughing, sneezing, squeaking, suffocating…
This handy printed card offers even more signs that your chicken is sick.
Chickens can get stressed very easily. As with any animal, stress influences the physiology of the chicks and can lead to a decrease in the breeding level. Try to protect your chickens from stress by avoiding rapid changes in their environment, protecting them from predators and ensuring their welfare all year round.
Total chicken stressors:
- Recent predator/predator attacks in the region
- Moving to a new chicken coop
- Extreme weather conditions
- Add or lose chickens
9. Harmful organisms
Parasites are one of the most troublesome problems that can occur in chicken farming. The most common parasites found in the chicken coop are lice and mites. When chickens are infected with lice or ticks, they slow down or stop laying eggs.
It’s a good idea to carry out a routine herd check every month to make sure the herd is free of parasites. Study your chickens carefully for these parasites, they are usually grouped under the wings and around a vent pipe. Check the chickens at any time of the day, because some parasites are only active at night. If your chickens are infected with parasites, you should identify the problem as soon as possible!
So, as you can see, there are many reasons why chickens stop laying eggs. Some are under your control and some are not. Reducing stress, checking for the presence of parasites and paying attention to the health and happiness of the birds are the first steps when the nesting boxes are suddenly empty!
We hope this list will help you find out why your chickens stopped laying and how to get them back on track! If you would like to contact the chickens, please leave a comment below, we look forward to hearing from you!
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