Why Your Hens Aren’t Laying Eggs

Hens Not Filling the Egg Basket? Solutions

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.

Molting
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

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 above 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.

Seasonal
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.

Stress
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.

Sickness
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!

Hope this article helped, happy chicken keeping. 🙂
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New Chicken Keeping Articles | January 10, 2016

Articles for Chicken Keepers, by Chicken Keepers is an updated weekly collection of chicken keeping articles from across the web archived in one convenient library on our menu bar.
Have an article to submit? Send it to amyichi@yahoo.com with ARTICLE SUBMISSION on the subject line.

January 10, 2016
6 Tools Every Chicken Keeper Needs – Hobby Farms
Why Some Chickens Molt Faster Than Others | Garden Betty
Chicken Breed Focus – Japanese Bantam
How Much Should I Feed My Chickens? | Backyard Poultry Magazine
Chicken Quarters: The Danger In Heating The Chicken Coop – Urban Farm
7 Signs You’re Ready To Raise City Chickens – Urban Farm
7 Ways to Keep Mice and Rats Out of the Coop – Hobby Farms
Why Transylvanian Chickens Have Naked Necks

Adding Chickens 2

New Chicken Keeping Articles | Ocotober 22, 2015

Articles for Chicken Keepers, by Chicken Keepers is an updated weekly collection of chicken keeping articles from across the web archived in one convenient library on our menu bar.
Have an article to submit? Send it to amyichi@yahoo.com with ARTICLE SUBMISSION on the subject line.

October 22, 2015 | Archives
Chicken Breed Focus – Ancona
The Chicken Chick®: Surviving Winter with Chickens
All You Need To Know About Chickens Molting
How To Raise Free Range Chickens | Backyard Poultry Magazine
Molting: It’s That Time Again
The Prescription Gardener: 9 Natural De-Worming Plants for Your Backyard Flock – Hobby Farms
Germany says ‘no more chick shredding’ | Animals Australia
To Heat or not to Heat your Coop this Winter | Fresh Eggs Daily®

Feature Article | About the Leghorn Chicken

by Pickin’ a Chicken

Another incredibly common chicken, that is found in many varieties, with the most common, and famous being the White. They are the primary white egg producer of the world, and will be the source of what you pick up in the supermarket. Especially the Pearl-White variety (pictured) are very regal looking, and would be a nice addition to your flock in more ways than one. CONTINUE READING

Predator Solution? Does the Nite Guard® Solar Work?

nite guard

Need protection for your chickens against nighttime predators? I have 7 Nite Guard Solar® boxes on my property to help keep my flock safe.  I know it seems like silly gadget, but I must say, I haven’t had any incidents with predators since using them. They’ve been in use for two years now, all still working great.  They’re just under $20 on Amazon.