Why Your Hens Aren’t Laying Eggs

Hens Not Filling the Egg Basket? Here are a few answers to why.

First of all, don’t panic, egg production changes for many reasons, and they aren’t all bad, so lets narrow it down and take a look at all the different scenarios. We’ll start with the most common reasons.

Every year your chickens will molt, in other words, lose their feathers and grow new ones. Unfortunately, it also means most hens won’t lay eggs until their molt cycle is done. However, there are variations to that rule. The molting process is fully explained HERE.

The Broody Hen
When a hen is broody, it means she wants to hatch eggs and raise chicks. Some breeds are more broody than others, for instance, Silkies. When a hen decides to go broody, there is little you can do to change her mind! She’ll stay in her nest and sit on her eggs, other bird’s eggs, or nothing at all! Remember, just because you don’t have a rooster, doesn’t mean your hen won’t go broody.  A hen will become broody and sit on eggs whether they’re fertilized or not.
The pic below is a broody Silkie, notice how she has a flattened appearance, or looks spreads out. That’s a classic look for a broody hen. Unfortunately, she will not lay eggs during this time. More Information.

Broody Hen

As the days become shorter it is a signal that winter is on it’s way. It’s natural for hens to lay only a couple eggs per week in the winter months, sometimes none at all. Hot weather can also affect egg production, here in Phoenix, production can slow or even stop when the heat becomes extreme. Summer Heat Tips.

If you move your birds, add new birds, or anything that has changed their routine, is a good enough reason to take time off from laying eggs.  Sometimes a predator scare can upset a flock and they’ll stop laying for a week or more.  Another important factor is your bird’s feed. Make sure they’re consuming quality feed, and I don’t mean chicken scratch. Protein and calcium are essential.
Chickens need adequate space, overcrowding makes for unhappy birds, and this is especially important, why? Because happy hens fill the egg basket! One more thing, pests can also cause a stressful environment, so make sure your birds are not bothered by mites. More on Pests.

A sick hen will not lay, ever. All I can tell you about that is to look for the most common signs of illness. Watery eyes, droopy tail, Hen doesn’t leave the nest, coughing, diarrhea, etc.   A sick bird is pretty obvious, and should be isolated from the flock immediately.

Let’s not leave out the inevitable….age.
Unfortunately, all hens reach the age when they no longer lay eggs. Of course there are some that continue to surprise us with an egg well after their productive years. It may surprise you to learn that hens usually only lay eggs until they’re around 3 years old. Their first 2 years are the most productive, then, fewer and fewer as time passes. Except for those special ladies that don’t agree with that statement, and I’ve had a few!

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Resource Library for Chicken Keepers

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๐Ÿ™‚ Indicates Article Written by TBN Ranch

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Development of a Chick
Checklist for Chicken Coop

๐Ÿ™‚ Raising Baby Chicks | TBN Ranch

Preparing for, and managing baby chicks.
Everything you need to know, step by step.

Raising Baby Chicks
๐Ÿ™‚ How to Buy Chicks from a Feed Store|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Brooder to Coop, When? | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ How to Care for your Mail Order Chicks|TBNRanch
Raising Chicks|Micro Farm Life Micro Farm Life
Solutions for Spraddle Leg Fresh Eggs Daily | Poultry Help.com
Chapter 4: Caring for baby chicks My Pet Chicken
๐Ÿ™‚ About the Brinsea EcoGlow Brooder|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Controlling Temperature in the Brooder|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Choosing a Radiant Heat Chick Brooder| TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Introducing Hatch-a-longs to the flock | TBN Ranch

๐Ÿ™‚ Fecal Impaction / AKA Pasting-Up | TBN Ranch

Young chicks commonly suffer from fecal impaction, and if left untreated they will die. The warning signs are listlessness, stumbling, and sometimes a swollen abdomen. Most likely your ailing chick has a dirty bum with caked on fecal matter hindering the ability to poop. What to Do

Managing the Flock
๐Ÿ™‚ Coop Building Plans
๐Ÿ™‚ Backyard Chickens, Know What you’re Getting into | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Can Chickens Fly? | TBN Ranch
Chicken Keeping in Winter City Girl Farming
๐Ÿ™‚ Keeping Chickens in Winter| TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Chicken TERMINOLOGY|TBN Ranch
City Chickens, Getting Started wikiHow
Chicken Care The Chicken Chickยฎ
๐Ÿ™‚ Intervention and Management of Problematic Pecking | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ How Long Does a Chicken Live?|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ How Much Space Chickens Need | TBN Ranch
Understanding the Molting Process Murray McMurray
๐Ÿ™‚ All About Molting|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Introducing New Chickens|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Keeping Chickens Cool|TBN Ranch ๐Ÿ™‚ MORE
๐Ÿ™‚ Pecking Order | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ The Chicken’s Senses|TBN Ranch

๐Ÿ™‚ Articles for Chicken Keepers, by Chicken Keepers

Hundreds of collected articles from across the web.
Content contributors sharing their experience and expertise.

Broodies & Incubation
๐Ÿ™‚ Keeping Hens with Eggs or Chicks safe Among the Flock| TBN Ranch
Broody Hens vs Incubators Pros & Cons Backyard Chickens
How to Incubate & Hatch Eggs Backyard Chickens
My Pet Chicken Guide to Incubation & Hatching My Pet Chicken
Caring for Broody Hens The Chicken Chick
How to Choose the Perfect Incubator The Happy Chicken Coop
Beginner’s Guide to Incubation Backyard Chickens
๐Ÿ™‚ Why a Hen Leaves the Nest After Laying an Egg | TBN Ranch
When is it Safe to Open the Incubator? Cluckin mad about chickens
Solving Incubation Issues When Hatching Eggs Hobby Farms

๐Ÿ™‚ Over 500 Coops to Ponder Over

Which coop is right for you and your flock? Traditional, unique, DYI, or maybe you’re looking for an elaborate set-up? View Now

Feeding Chickens
๐Ÿ™‚ Choosing a Feeder, View the Many Choices | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Feeding Chickens Rolled Oats | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Feeding Hemp Seed | TBN Ranch
Fresh Food List for Chickens Backyard Chickens
๐Ÿ™‚ Toxic Food List for Chickens | TBN Ranch
Feeding & Watering Chickens Willow Creek Farm
Feeding Chickens at Different Ages The Chicken Chickยฎ
How Do Chickens Digest Food? Backyard Poultry
Natural Supplements for Chickens Home & Garden Guides
Gardening with Chickens, Plants to Avoid the good life ain’t easy
๐Ÿ™‚Understanding Chick Starter & Grower Feed | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ About Grit and Chicks & Chickens | TBN Ranch

๐Ÿ™‚ All About Heritage Chickens

๐Ÿ™‚ Breed Profiles & Characteristics

Building a flock? There are many beautiful chicken breeds to choose from, each having something special to offer. The breeds we chose in this article are primarily birds we are familiar with.
Details are specifically about temperament, egg size, egg color, egg production, primary use, and weight.

Chickens, History and Ancestry Phillip Clauer
A History of Chickens: Then (1900) Vs Now (2016) The Happy Chicken Coop

๐Ÿ™‚ Managing the Brooder Temperature | TBN Ranch

The brooder is where your chicks will live until they are fully feathered. This article will help you keep them comfortable by understanding their behavior while using a traditional heat lamp or today’s radiant heat alternative. Read Article

Managing Eggs
๐Ÿ™‚ Brittle Eggs | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Cleaning Farm Eggs | TBN Ranch
Incubate & Hatch Eggs Backyard Chickens
๐Ÿ™‚ Why Homegrown Eggs Are Better | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Why Your Hens Aren’t Laying Eggs, Solution | TBN Ranch

๐Ÿ™‚ Understanding the Pecking Order

It is often the stronger or larger birds that rank highest in the social order. This article will help you learn how to minimize the drama when the bullying becomes excessive.

๐Ÿ™‚ When to Expect the First Egg | TBN Ranch

If you buy your birds as chicks, you can expect to feed and care for them for 22 to 24 weeks before they reach their point of lay. However, this depends on the breed, time of year, and the level of care they have received. Learn in detail how to determine the point of lay HERE.

๐Ÿ™‚ Breaking the Broody Hen|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Identifying Chicken Predators AFTER They Attack|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Getting Chickens to Roost in the Right Place|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Clipping Chicken Nails | TBN Ranch
Winterizing the Chicken House ART & BRI
5 Different Types of Coop Heaters The Happy Chicken Coop
Top 10 Tips for Keeping Chickens in Winter The Spruce, Lauren Arcuri
How to Keep your Chickens Safe from Possums The Happy Chicken Coop
Pros & Cons of Keeping a Rooster Rural Living
Ultimate Chicken Coop Guide Mile Four

๐Ÿ™‚ Drinkers/Waterers

So many to choose from, but which one best fits your flock’s needs? Auto-fill, nipple, standard fill, or DIY, view them all in one convenient place HERE.

๐Ÿ™‚ Keeping Chickens in Extreme Heat | TBN Ranch

 Is your chicken yard and coop suitable to sustain the well-being of your flock in the summer? Itโ€™s essential to prepare for extreme heat, or your birds may suffer from heat exhaustion… Read More

How to Humanely Euthanize a Chicken The Chicken Chick
Guide to Chicken Keeping in Extreme Cold Scoop from the Coop
๐Ÿ™‚ The Best Way to Catch a Chicken|TBN Ranch
Chicken Coop Ramps, The Ultimate Guide The Featherbrain
๐Ÿ™‚ Chicken Roost Types & Ideas|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Raising Chickens, Pros & Cons|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Winter Chicken Keeping in Phoenix | TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Keeping Chickens Safe From Fox|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Salmonella Safety Practices for Chicken Keepers|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Less Waste, No Mess Chicken Feeders|TBN Ranch

๐Ÿ™‚ Hatcheries & Retailers

A list of our favorite hatcheries & retailers. We have purchased chicks from all these hatcheries and have always been satisfied. Online retailers are also included, especially useful for those hard to find items. Visit Now

Poultry Health & Medical
๐Ÿ™‚ About Worming Chickens|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Dosages of the Good Stuff… For Chicken with Parasites|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Backyard Biosecurity|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Loss of Baby Chicks|TBN Ranch
๐Ÿ™‚ Salmonella|TBN Ranch
How to Treat Bumblefoot Hobby Farms
Diseases: 5 Common Flock Problems & How to Treat Them The Happy Chicken Coop

๐Ÿ™‚ Nest Box & Bedding Gallery More than 100 to View!

Nesting boxes are essential and extremely useful for chickens and their keepers. A clean, private and peaceful space encourages hens to lay eggs all in one place. Without nest boxes, hens will lay their eggs in random places, which is inconvenient for keepers. Here are many ideas to help you find the right nest boxes for your flock. View Now

How-To Videos
Sexing Chicks

๐Ÿ™‚ Creative Roost Ideas

There are so many different types of roosts, which one is best for your coop?ย ย Your birds need something suitable to roost on at night, it can be an old ladder, or maybe something you design from scrap lumber. Orโ€ฆ you can be creative and come up with something totally unique.ย  Here are over 50 types to inspire you. View Now

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Broody Hens, Behavior and How to Handle It

  • Need a Better Understanding of the Broody Hen?
  • Here’s a Couple Articles That will Help you Address this Behavior
  • Definition of Broody: A hen with strong instincts to hatch eggs, whether or not they are fertile, or even present in the nest.

The Signsย of a Broody Hen

Your hen wonโ€™t leave the nest, appears to not be eating, her feathers are all fluffed up, sheโ€™s pale, and lethargic. These are classic signs of the broody hen. First of all she isnโ€™t starving, she is eating and drinking, but itโ€™s low on her list of priorities… Read Article

What is a Broody Hen and How to Deal With It McMurray Hatchery Blog

Chicken Breeds with Broodyย Tendencies

If you are only interested in egg production than you may not want to purchase chicks that have broody tendencies.  Broody hens can be troublesome, so if your not looking for a mother hen, here are the breeds you may want to avoid… Read Article

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About the Welsummer

The Welsummer rooster is rustic-red and orange in color and the hen is a light and dark brown partridge pattern with gold around the neck area.ย  This dual-purpose large fowl lays large terracotta dark brown eggs, often with speckles.ย Expect about 160 eggs per year.


Features & Color Variations

Single comb, medium wattles, broad chest and back, wide full tail, and 4 toes.ย  There are three variations of the standard Welsummer, Partridge, Silver Duckwing and the Gold Duckwing. Recognized Varieties: Red Partridge
Welsummers are friendly and intelligent, but not considered especially docile. They generally confine well but prefer to forage. Setter/broody: yes.
The Welsummerย Bantam lays light brown eggs, and their production is slightly higher than the standard at about 180 eggs per year. Bantams exist in both Partridge and Silver Duckwing colors but are rare

  • Origin: Netherlands
  • Class: Continental
  • Type: Large Fowl
  • Size: Medium (6-7 lbs)
  • Rarity: Common
  • Purpose: Dual
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