It’s always worrisome when our hens suddenly stop laying. The first sign of a problem for your daughters is when they stop laying eggs. When chickens are missing something, they require egg production to be the first thing their bodies shut down to make up for what they’re missing. Most of the time it’s an easy fix, is the chicken coop clean? Are you feeding the right food? Sometimes it can be more complicated, are my babies sick or are they shedding? Let’s take a look at common problems and see what it takes to get girls happy again.
Chicks have a lifespan of 7 years and are at their best for the first year or two of them laying eggs, after that production declines rapidly until the 4th or 5th year, when they usually stop laying for complete. Usually, it is best to replace the laying hen with a new one after the third year of egg laying.
Chickens are creatures of habit, sometimes the slightest change can throw them off. Moving your chickens from one place to another, adding new features or space can stress your girls out. They will not go back to bed until they feel relaxed and comfortable again. Even a dirty pen or coop could get rid of them, unsanitary conditions are the best way for birds to contract unwanted diseases, especially if the space is too small.
Food / Water:
A dehydrated chicken cannot produce eggs, make sure water is always available for your hens. The use of nipple drinkers helps conserve water and keep the house clean. To produce an egg, your girls need a special diet of calcium and protein. This type of food is called “layer feed” and it comes in many different varieties from different feed or pet stores. Chickens will overeat so control feeding based on number of chickens.
Did the chicken get melancholic? A hatched hen will not lay until she has finished incubating her eggs. Girls won’t put when they molt either. Molting is when chickens lose their feathers due to changes in the weather. It is the same as when a dog sheds its fur, except that the chicken sheds its feathers. Mites put a lot of pressure on a hen’s body, she is miserable and won’t lay for you. A good sign that your chicken is sick or not feeling well is his posture. If you’re hunched over instead of standing upright and happy, you’re not feeling well and have issues that you probably need help with.
If a hen is stressed, she doesn’t get, she needs to feel comfortable. Too many roosters can easily cause your girls stress. Is there a predator around, are you afraid? Keep your girls happy, safe, and fed, and she’ll provide you with plenty of eggs to come. Some birds are better layers than others, such as the Orpington chicken that was panned for maximum laying capacity.