7 Reasons Why Your Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

7 Reasons Why Your Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

It’s always a cause for concern when your chickens stop laying. In fact, noticing this can help you identify if your chickens are ill. That’s why we always keep track of the amount of eggs our chickens lay- this way we know straight away if somethings wrong.

There are lots of reasons why your chickens might have stopped laying, but you don’t need to rush out and buy super market eggs just yet!

Today we are going to look at the most common reasons why your chickens have stopped laying and what you can do to get them laying again.

1. Their Diet

The most common reason why your chickens have stopped laying is there is something wrong with their diet. Have you recently changed their diet or even changed the brand of pellets which you are feeding your chickens?

We once decided to stop feeding our chickens layers pellets and to feed them maize instead. Maize is just ground up corn.

When feeding the girls layers pellets we were getting a minimum of 9 eggs a day and after feeding them Maize for a matter of days we were only getting 4-5 eggs a day!

Yikes- this was because maize doesn’t container much protein and chickens need around 20 grams of protein each day to continue laying eggs.

Just remember whatever you are feeding your chickens they need a proper balanced diet to ensure their bodies are capable of producing eggs.

If you are feeding your girls layers pellets and they are still struggling to lay, consider giving them snacks which are high in protein such as: pumpkin seeds, oats or mealworms.

Another often neglected aspect of their diet is water. If chickens don’t have access to fresh water all day round you can say goodbye to your eggs.

2. Not Enough Daylight

So you’ve made sure your girls are getting plenty of protein and fresh water, but there are still no eggs in sight. Sometimes it can just be the wrong time of the year for your hens to lay.

To lay eggs your chickens need plenty of natural daylight- at least 14 hours a day and 16 hours is even better.

Sun Rise In California
Sun Rise In California © Raider

This means that during the winter, when in the US, the natural daylight can drop to less than 9 hours a day; your girls would need 5 more hours of daylight to lay eggs.

The solution to this is to place an artificial light in their coop and set this on an automated timer. This will certainly keep your egg production high but it’s something we would never do.

There’s a reason why hens don’t lay as much during the winter… their body needs to rest and recover for the next year. And if you don’t give them time for their bodies to recover you will do more harm than good in the long run.

It’s not all bad news though, your hens shouldn’t stop laying completely and you should get the occasional egg, but that’s about it.

3. Broody Hens

So your girls are well fed, getting plenty of sunlight, but they still aren’t laying. It’s time to give up on them and get a new flock… only joking!

You might have a broody hen and in this case she won’t lay eggs no matter how much protein or sunshine you give her.

When a hen gets broody she wants to hatch her own chicks, so she will sit on top of her eggs for 21 days until they hatch. During this 21 day period she won’t lay any eggs- not good…

Broody Hen Laying On Eggs
Broody Hen Laying On Eggs © Resak

There are obvious signs to look out for if your hen is broody:

  • She will sit in the nest box all day.
  • She will become very territorial and stop anything getting near her eggs.
  • She will remove her breast feathers to give the eggs heat from her body.

If you think your hen is broody, read how to stop my broody hen.

4. New Additions To The Flock

So you’ve definitely not got a broody hen, but still don’t see any eggs. Have you recently moved your chickens or introduced new chickens into the flock?

Chickens love routine and the slightest disruption to their routine usually results in them going off lay.

The most common routine disruption they experience is when they are moved. This can either be when they are transported to your home after you’ve bought them, or if you’ve decided to move their coop.

Chances are you bought your chickens as pullets so they weren’t laying when they arrived anyway. But if you’ve moved their coop they will not be happy with you!

Give them a few days to come around and they should start laying again.

If you’ve just introduced new chickens into the flock this can also disrupt their routine and egg laying. When new chickens are introduced there tends to be some shoving and jostling for the first few days as they establish the new pecking order. During this time they won’t lay eggs but again, after a few days they should start laying again.

5. Certain Breeds Don’t Lay As Many Eggs

Certain breeds just don’t lay as well as others and we sometimes forget this, especially when we read about how great other peoples eggs are.

Breeds such as Rhode Island Reds or Buff Orpingtons can lay more than 200 eggs per year. Whereas other breeds such as Ameraucanas or Silkies are known to lay less than 100 eggs a year.

If you’re unsure about how many eggs a year your breed of chicken should lay, this beginner’s guide to chicken breeds should help.

6. Old Age

So you’ve got a Rhode Island Red, which should be laying over 200 eggs a year, and they have just stopped laying.

Unfortunately as chickens get older the amount of eggs they lay slows down. Look at the image below and you can see you normally only get around 3 years of good egg laying from a chicken.

Chickens Egg Laying Reducing Over Time
Chickens Egg Laying Reducing Over Time

If your Rhode Island Red laid 200 eggs in their first year, they should lay around 168 eggs in their second year, 128 eggs in their third year. This number will continue to decrease down to around 40 eggs by their tenth year.

If your chickens are getting slightly older then a decrease in their egg laying is perfectly natural and expected.

There is nothing you can do about this and it is simply nature’s way as your chickens age.

7. Illness

If you have a settled, young chicken, that is well fed, has plenty of natural daylight and they have suddenly stopped laying chances are that they are ill.

  • Colds: Symptoms to look out for include slimy nostrils and them walking around with their beak open because they can’t breathe through their nose. Make sure to isolate any chicken which you think might have a cold to stop it spreading to the rest of the flock.
  • Parasites: This includes lice, mites and worms. You will notice your chickens comb will go pale and they won’t stop itching themselves. The easiest way to treat any parasite it to spray both the chicken coop and the chickens with a poultry cleaner. Something like Johnsons Poultry Housing spray should do the trick.
  • Moults: Many people confuse the symptoms above as an illness when actually its the chicken moulting. Chickens moult each year and it can take around 6 to 12 weeks for them to grow back new feathers- during this time period they will not lay eggs.

If you want to keep track of how many eggs your chicken lays this spreadsheet should help. You can either fill it in on your computer or print it off and stick it up somewhere.

Now that your chickens are hopefully laying again, it’s worth reading how we used a chicken tractor to increase the number of eggs our chickens lay.

Let us know in the comments below how many eggs your chickens normally lay…

Blog Cover Modified From John Loo

Comments

  1. Michele says

    Our chickens were out of water for a short time and 2 days after abruptly stopped laying eggs. How long does it usually take for them to start laying again?

  2. Sheila says

    We have 10 hens and none of them have laid in the last three months. I’m stumped! We give them layer pellet. They forage all over the large yard most of the day. Literally 0 pellets. Their poop all looks totally normal!

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Sheila,

      That’s very strange. How old are your hens?

      Are they eating a lot? Have you recently introduced any new breeds into your flock?

      • Jess says

        I have run into this same problem… I received a brood of 12 from a friend, all hens and all are less than 2 years old. Just before I got the hens, they were laying almost/right at a dozen a day for the owners. I got them home (at night, hoping this would lessen their stress of transport) and put them in a coop. They were all laying just about everyday for almost 2 weeks, maybe three. We got them about early/mid October, they laid the two-ish weeks then NO MORE EGGS. NOT ONE! It is now January and they are still not laying. They are eating Layer pellets mixed with cracked corn and very often left over human food/prep items (ie: carrots, cabbage lettuce, fruit, other veggies, etc) All appear healthy and have regular access to clean water, food, and housing. None appear sick and their poop is regular. Please help and/or advise. Thank you.

        • The Happy Chicken Coop says

          Hi Jess,

          Are you feeding them any crushed oyster shell at the moment?

          Also, how much sunlight do they get?

          Thanks

        • Jesica Hill says

          Thus us the EXACT situation I’m having right now!! New hens from a friends then after a couple weeks ZERO eggs!! Free range & plenty of food/water, no Sicily birds, plenty of sun, food, space, water….no eggs for 3 months now!!! HELP!! All are 10 months to 2years old! ?

    • auzenda says

      This happened once with mine after I moved there coops. Later I found one big nest with 2 dozen eggs.

    • steph says

      I have the same issue now. My hens are 2years old. The only thing I can think of with mine is they are either eating their eggs or stressed because most of my mature hens, 5 total hide and roost in the top rafter part of my nest box. They are trying their hardest to avoid my rooster and his son, a young cockeral who just end up with a beak full of feathers instead of the reward of mating. Maybe seperate the two boys for winter here??? Hmmmm, I always like to keep a roster or two because we sometimes sell fertle eggs for hatching.

  3. Elise says

    Hey my girl went broody about 2 or so months ago and hasn’t laid again since. Her comb is pale but she has no signs of illness. She only started laying in July. Any ideas?

    • sherri says

      Parasites: This includes lice, mites and worms. You will notice your chickens comb will go pale and they won’t stop itching themselves. The easiest way to treat any parasite it to spray both the chicken coop and the chickens with a poultry cleaner. Something like Johnsons Poultry Housing spray should do the trick.

  4. Cody Bahls says

    Our 26 chickens haven’t laid an egg in over 2 months. They have fresh water, layer feed, access to forage in the yard, and no new chickens have been introduced. They stopped molting a month ago and still nothing. They were always pretty reliable. They are only 2 years old and are mixed breeds. Was wondering what you think might be the problem and what we can do about it.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Cody,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      How much daylight do they get at the moment? Also how much protein is in their layer feed?

      • Cody Bahls says

        Thanks for getting back to me. They get around 8 hours of light or so this time of year. We have a light on in the part of the coop where they eat but not in their laying/roosting part. The food is a minimum of 14% protein. It is the same layer feed we have had them on since they started laying a couple of years ago.

        • The Happy Chicken Coop says

          8 hours of light is a bit on the low side, so I imagine that’s the problem!

          I would also move them to a higher % protein during these winter months- somewhere around 18% would be enough to give them a kick start again!

          Let me know how they get on…

          • Cody Bahls says

            Thanks for the tips! It has been slow but we are finally getting around 6 or so eggs a day. A low number but better than nothing. Thanks again!

          • The Happy Chicken Coop says

            That’s great Cody! Lets hope they keep improving as spring gets closer,

            Claire

  5. Bryan says

    Hie l have 15 hens in my back yard nut l pick only 2. eggs a day what might be the problem since they started laying about 2 months ago

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Bryan,

      Where about’s do you live?

      If you’re currently in the winter then this is to be expected as the amount of daylight is very limited at this time of the year. If you need the egg supply you could consider fitting an artificial light in their coop.

  6. Eric says

    Our hens started getting broody, and we wanted more so we let them sit on the eggs and hatch. We then removed the rooster so that we could get unfertilized eggs again and have opened them up to roam freely with the sheep (free range). They all look healthy and the chicks are staying with the mothers, however we have now stopped getting eggs? Is this because they have chicks?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Eric,

      How recently have the chicks hatched? She will need a few weeks after hatching the chicks and she will be back to normal!

  7. Robin Griffin says

    I have 12hens and one rooster I was getting 5-7 eggs a day now 1-2 I live in Blanchard ok we have a light on in the hen house and every thing else you have mentioned however their feathers on their backs are gone what causes this?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Robin,

      Sounds to me like they could be molting! How long have their feather on their back been missing for?

  8. Julia says

    Do chickens stop laying when the nest get full? We were on vacation for two weeks and returned to 3 full nests. We have not gotten any new eggs since we returned.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hmmmm this is a really interesting question Julia.

      I’ve never experienced this myself, however I would presume they find an alternative laying spot because they nesting boxes are full. Have you made sure they aren’t secretly laying eggs somewhere else!?

  9. clare says

    It’s not even 2 years yet, and ours stopped laying. They get light and a good feed, so what could be the problem? They all say its just bad layers but I don’t know what to say or do anymore.

  10. Jennie says

    Out of my flock of 7, 6 are young and they seemed to stop laying. We get one egg every other day from one of our Americana but that is it.
    They free range from 8am-dusk (they will go in the coop) the coop is clean, fresh water and food daily….and they receive kitchen scraps (watermelon, peppers, squash, they will not eat anything green)

    Please Help

  11. Chrissie says

    Hi there, We have a mixed flock (1 Rhode Island, 2 Wyandottes, 1 Araucana) and they’re all about 9-10 months old but we haven’t seen any eggs yet. Weather is still warm (Autumn) and they have layer pellets/seed daily and fresh water. Appear to be very healthy and not broody. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Duncan Williamson says

    We’ve just got two chickens that we keep in a basket … I live in Thailand and these baskets are very large and very common here … The basket is under a tree and is in shade throughout the day.

    We feed them layers mash every day and they always have water.

    We have a large garden and we let them wander every day so they feel free, can find their own food and so on.

    Only one of them has ever laid eggs for us in the two months since we got them … They are adults but I don’t know how old. One laid every day then stopped. It stopped laying while we were away for a week and the mother in law took over from us.

    The in laws keep their own completely free range hens next door to us including boys! Shortly after our girls arrived one of the in laws’ Cockerels started courting them. Sitting outside their basket for hours on end. Day after day.

    My wife let the girls out one day and left them all morning. Who knows what sweet nothings that Cockerel managed to share!

    I chase the cockerel away if the girls are out but not always when they are in their basket and he’s stalking!

    They are constantly surrounded by daylight and we are moving into summer here now.

  13. Erika says

    Hi I have 5 hens and only 1 laying , we got them from a friend and they were all laying , when I got them they started molting that was 3 months ago , I had to buy fake eggs to see if it would work and only getting 1 egg a day and or sometimes every other day !!! Theses hens are spoiled !!!!! Why won’t they lay?

  14. trina says

    Hi! I have read all of the comments and the post and I cannot find anything that fits my hens problem. We’ve had them for about 3 weeks we have 2 1year Olds and 3 13 week old pullets. The 2 1 year old were each laying an egg a day almost immediately when they came to there new house but now one hasn’t laid in 2 days and the other lays every other day… it’s been weird weather where I am from though. Could that have something to do with it? There all eating well and have water and cleaness and no signs of sickness… I would appreciate anything you can help me with! =)

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Trina,

      It sounds like there has been a lot of changes to the coop recently! I would give them another week or two to settle down before I get too concerned 🙂

      Claire

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Tami,

      This is very normal and nothing to worry about. Their bodies are in sync because they eat the same diet/water and have the exact same hours of sunlight etc…

      They just need a rest once every so often 🙂

      Claire

  15. Pono says

    Aloha from Kamuela, Hawaii. I have RR Chickens. They laid about 20 in a nest and one of the hens sat on the nest for about 2q days. However yesterday she was not there and there are no eggs now? What happened to all the eggs?….no new hatchling so what happened?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Pono,

      It sounds like a predator could have eaten the eggs- is there any signs of intrusion into the coop?

      Claire

  16. Carmen says

    In november 15 I bought ten baby chicks from a feed store, three naked necks, one lakenvelder, three riw, one rir, two ameraucanas, they gave me an extra one to replace one that died the previous week, well the replacement turn out to be a rooster, as soon as he started crowing i brought him inside the house I put him in a closet and started bringing him outside on the afternoon if he crowed I’ll put him back in the closet, well he crows inside the house but not when he’s outside. I was picking up a dozen of eggs a day my ameraucanas were laying two eggs or double yolk, my riw too, I I have been so happy with my flock so far, I live in the city so I had to sell the noisy hens, three of them, but my flock didn’t get smaller buy bigger, at the end of May my favorite naked neck named peaches got Brody and hatched 10 baby chicks all white but a variety of them 3 naked necks, 4 fluffy cheeks, 2 riw and 1 lakenvelder, all crossed with riw.
    Then I borrowed a silky that hatched 3 more.
    I had 30 sold seven, 23 left plus 3 more babies back to 26.
    I’m so happy. I’ve selling my eggs,

  17. Jaanvy says

    My one hen is walking with open beak. You mentioned that , it is because of cold. Rainy season here. Any medicine for that?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Jaanvy,

      No medicine that I’m aware no- I would just make sure they are warm, well feed and put apple cider vinegar in their water.

      Claire

  18. Amy says

    I have 7 layers – used to get 8-9 eggs a day. Now we are getting maybe 1 a day. They get water and fed pellets oyster shell and granite. And free range in the afternoon and all day on weekends. The coop is cleaned with DE sprinkled under the straw/shavings. If the 7, 2 are broody (I’ll still put them out to free range for a bit), 1 is molting,4 have naked butts, 2 appear to have no issues at all. The naked butts don’t look raw or irritated – just naked. I’m at a loss

    we live in The south so there’s ample daylight. We got them Easter of 2015.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Amy,

      It sounds like you might have a feather plucker in your flock- either that or mites.

      Give them a dusting and keep their water and food intake high and they should start laying again soon 🙂

      Claire

  19. Kirsty says

    Hi I’m looking for advice. One of my girls (I’ve 3) has stopped laying for the past 3 weeks. I think she has a cold, she’s been making a sort of snottery noise for weeks now and has passed it onto one of the others. I’ve been putting Apple Cider Vinegar in their water but it’s not cleared. The other bird is still laying but she’s not? Today she looks really down and is spending time on her own. Normally they hang around together and she normally runs over to me when I step out in the morning?? Any ideas? Thanks Kirsty

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Kirsty,

      Firstly, you need to make sure to isolate them from any of your hens that still haven’t caught the cold.

      Then make sure to keep them warm, and put electrolytes into their water. If she continues to get worse visit your vet and get some antibiotics,

      Claire

  20. chloe says

    hi my chicken lays an egg everyday but the past four days she hasn’t been laying anything ? what do you think could be wrong ?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Chloe,

      She could be going into a molt, or something has disturbed/upset her.

      Send us an email with some more information and we can talk about it 🙂

      Claire

  21. David says

    I have two laying hens, about 3 years old, that have stopped laying. It’s been over a month since one of them has played an egg. one mistake was feeding the hens non laying feed for a month. For the past 2 weeks they have been fed laying feed. Otherwise they are fine and spoiled.

    Any suggestions/ideas?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi David,

      If they both stopped laying at the same time then it sounds like it was due to the non-laying feed.

      I would put them on a high protein layer feed for a few weeks to make sure they have enough protein in their body and then I expect they will start laying again.

      Claire

  22. Kate says

    My flock was attached by a fox on May 9…one of the two remaining chickens stopped laying. Plenty of food, water ect..I have contributed her lack of production to shock. Do you think she will ever lay again?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Kate,

      So sorry to hear about your loss.

      I think you’re right- it will likely be due to shock.

      If there was no physical damage to her- providing you give her plenty of food, water, love and time then with some luck she will start to lay again.

      Claire

  23. Lila says

    I have 3 hybrid hens that are about 10 months old. They are in a large run most of the time, but free range for an hour a day (too many foxes to allow longer). They are fed layer pellets, greens, fruit and have access to clean water and grit. They all seem happy & healthy, but my Beechwood Blue has only laid one egg this week. A few weeks before that, she went through a phase of laying several soft eggs at once. The weather here has been very wet. Any thoughts on what her problem is? Many thanks.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Lila,

      Soft eggs shells is normally a sign of calcium deficiency. Make sure to give them some crushed oyster shell and this will firm the egg shells up 🙂

      Claire

      • Lila says

        Thank you for your reply. They have oyster shell in the mixed grit that I give them. She hasn’t laid again today (the other two lay an egg each day). She doesn’t seem to be egg bound and appears to be healthy, so I don’t know what else to do.

        • The Happy Chicken Coop says

          Hi Lila,

          How very strange- if you’re certain that she isn’t egg bound then the only thing I can think of it a calcium deficiency which is causing the egg shell to not form correctly…

          Claire

  24. TwinCity18 says

    Hi Happy Chicken coop,

    I have 22 hens in my chicken coop all different breeds (11 ameraucanas, 6 road island reds, 5 mixed breed(silver laced & road island reds)). I have one hen that is sitting in the nesting box. It is summer time where I live and I am only getting three eggs a day. My ameraucanas and road island reds are less than a year old about six months. The mixed breed are about two years old. I am wondering why I am only getting three eggs a day.
    Thank you,
    TwinCity18

  25. Mike says

    We have had our chickens for 6 weeks. One laid an egg every other day fora totalof 2 eggs after first arriving. Since then, nothing. We feed them the same stuff as the previous owners and plenty of it along with plenty of water. Both chickens have laid before

    They are less than 1 year old. My wife and I havedecided these chickens will not get any more feed after this bag runs out. They can forage or we will have to find new homes. This has been such a pain. Has anyone else had this problem for so long?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Mike,

      When the chickens were moved this will certainly upset their egg laying and they need time to get back into the ‘swing of things’.

      Also, you need to make sure that they feed they have is a high protein pellet for laying hens.

      Claire

  26. Donna says

    I am SO frustrated. I have 5 beautiful girls. 1 black austrolorph, 1 Dominique, 1 Buff Orphington and 2 black and gold Wynadottes. They are 2 years old and have been good layers and lovely girls. This spring they were laying 4-5 eggs per day for about a month and then went down to1-2 eggs per day. They get layer feed, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, whole corn, watermelon, peaches, apples, and snacks of crickets and occasional tuna. They appear healthy, red waddles and combs, poop is great. most of them do not have feathers on their breast but only one is a little broody. I treated them with Garden and poultry dust and throughly cleaned the coup, the roosts and every nook and crevice got dusted and all clean wood shavings. It’s been about a week and I have not had not 1 single egg. I don’t want to cull them but I cannot feed and care for them if they are not laying anything at all. Any idea’s?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Donna,

      Wow- it sounds like your hens are really well cared for and to be honest I’m stumped!

      I would be interested to know if anyone else from the The Happy Chicken Coop community has any suggestions?

      Over to you guys 🙂

      Claire

  27. rob jones says

    Hi I have two hens.
    Henrietta (Ranger) was laying but then dropped a few very soft eggs and then stopped all together. She has the right food (layers), let out to forage most days, clean water, grit and oyster shell, tried tonic and ACV.
    Mildred (Bluebell) lays every day same environment and food.
    Anything else I can do? Many thanks, Rob

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Rob,

      It sounds like she has everything she needs to be laying eggs.

      How old is Henrietta- it sounds like she could be getting old and will naturally start to lay less eggs.

      Claire

  28. Alastair says

    I have four hens that I keep on an allotment, which is fenced off and foxed proofed with a coop. got them 1st March 2014, they are hybrids and meant to be good layers ~300pa.

    And in their first year, we got 3/4 per day, even through the winter, summer 2015 was the same. Then December came and they stopped, maybe one a day – okay I thought, they’re older, it’s Winter, come the Spring it will pick up again.

    Nope, in fact we are down to one egg every other day. They have a constant supply of water, they are fed proper pellets of the same type/brand. They’ve been wormed, red mite powdered including the coop, lice spayed and tonic added to their water and also tried the live apple cider vinegar.

    They are let out early and the coop shut after they have wandered in of their own accord. I realise that they are not battery hens and I did realise that they would tail off, but they came almost to a complete stop when they were 1y9m old.

    They will be left to live out their life, and I am thinking of getting another four, but in less than two years, I do not want to be left with 8 non laying hens to look after, I do actually want some fresh eggs from them.

    I really can’t think what the problem is, they look healthy enough in themselves. I am at my wit’s end as to what could be the problem.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Alastair,

      Wow your hens certainly are well looked after!

      Sometimes hens, especially hybrids, lay a huge amount of eggs during their first two years and then rarely lay anymore. They have been breed this way for battery farming.

      If you want a hen to lay well and continue into later years consider a Rhode Island Red, Leghorn or Buff Orpington…

      Claire

      • Alastair says

        No, she looked fine yesterday morning, maybe a sign was she went for the water first rather than the food, but they sometimes do that during the summer.

        About six o’clock I went over to feed them again, and she was sitting down in one of those little holes that they dig. She didn’t come running over for food and even when the dog went over to her to give her a big sniff, she didn’t object in the slightest. I lifted her up to put her in the coop and again she didn’t complain, they usually squawk and flutter a bit when you pick them up.

        Went to close the coop about ten o’clock and she was exactly where I left her, but still alive.

        Went to let them out this morning and she was still there, but dead. Which is what I pretty much expected, I’ve had pets for many years, cats and dogs, and you get a sense of when someone is near the end or they are just a bit under the weather.

  29. Shelley says

    Hi. My hens have been consistently laying 5 eggs a day. Last week we changed their coop around a little – put new straw in and fenced off an area so that they can consistently have more free roaming space as I used to only let them out into my garden for about 2 hours a day due to my dog. Since then they haven’t laid at all. Is it because they don’t like change?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Shelley,

      Changes in their environment can stop them laying. I would give them a few weeks to settle into their new environment 🙂

      Claire

  30. Ashton says

    My chickens are 2-3 years old and haven’t laid for about 6 months and we are giving them so much protein and their house is clean. Is the problem that they only have about 9 and half hours in the paddock?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Ashton,

      I’d be interested to know what breed your hens are. As mentioned in a previous comment some hybrids are all ‘laid out’ after around 2-3 years of laying…

      Claire

  31. Brock says

    Hi! I bought 15 Rhode islands hatched April 29th. So by my calculations they will start laying roughly sept/October. Will they stop laying 2 months later in their first winter??
    Thanks

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Brock,

      They will definitely slow down with their laying but hopefully not stop completely! The only time they will stop completely is during their first molt.

      Claire

  32. leah says

    Hi
    I went on holiday last week for a week. My mother in law looked after my chickens and i showed her everything I usually do. My girls do like there routine and I can guarantee she’ll have done everything her own way round. I’m wondering if this has upset one of my girls. She’s very red like she’s going to lay anytime, she’s eating and foraging well. I’ve seen her poop but her bottom feather are slightly poopy, shes ususlly very proud and lools after herself but she’s not her usually self I’ve had 4 our of 5 eggs today and I’m pretty sure none are hers. They all have there days off but from what my mother in law says she hasn’t had 5 the whole time we were away which is unusual. She looks a bit uncomfortable to maybe she’s just starting back up After being upset? How long should I leave her before worrying.
    Thanks

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Leah,

      Any change in their routine can knock them off lay, I would be concerned if she isn’t back to normal with 2 weeks.

      Though it sounds like she might be egg bound- I would check her for this.

      Claire

  33. shar maki says

    hi i’m new. new here and to these wonderfully goofy birds. my husband and i are really enjoying these guys! or gals! we bought this place a month ago and inherited them. they were on there own for week or so but supposed to be super layers. no so by time we showed. 4 younger rhode reds 7 bards, which we really like. got 1-2 eggs a day from the bards and figured it was the change in humans and that but now the “rooster” is growing and creating a ruckus. trying to rehome him. have directiom and follow them. the reds are younger they get plenty of good care and seem comfy w/ us and in at nite. suggestions
    thanx
    shar

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Shar,

      It’s likely that when they were left on their own their diet and nutrition suffered as they had no feed.

      So just give them a few weeks on a high quality layers pellet and they should be laying again 🙂

      Good luck,

      Claire

  34. Kaley Hatch says

    I bought 12 chicks from my local feed store and they are around 5 months. A few just recently started laying small eggs so I bought some oyster shell crumble to help with the laying. We have been getting roughly around 2 eggs so far a day, but nothing for the past couple of days. Should I just wait? Am I rushing? I know they are young but I wasn’t sure if it was because I changed their feed. I also noticed ground squirrels so I put a couple of smoke bombs in the holes and covered them up really good.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Kaley,

      They are still only just 20 weeks so it’s perfectly normally for their egg laying to be irregular until they mature another 5 weeks or so…

      Just make sure they are on a laying pellet 🙂

      Claire

  35. Kelsi says

    My RIR layed her first egg yesterday and now is very weird and we didn’t get an egg today but it looks like she wants to lay and is very interested in the nesting boxes but doesn’t seem to get comfortable so i don’t know why she hasn’t layed and egg again can someone help me?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Kelsi,

      This is perfectly normal and will happen for the first few weeks until her egg laying machinery gets warmed up 🙂

      Claire

  36. Gayle Brosnan-Watters says

    So is is September in upstate NY. Sun is up at 6:30, down at 7:32, and it’s been in the 50s the last few nights. My three Sex linked goldens normally lay an egg a day, but the last two days have not been doing so, or if they have, they hid them (normally they free range all day). I know they have hidden eggs before, but when we put them in the coop and wouldn’t let them out, they started laying in the boxes again. Not sure what’s up. Is it too cold or too dark, do you suppose?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Gayle,

      Unfortunately I think it’s just the time of year when the hens slow down. The daylight is rapidly disappearing and my hens have also started to slow down their egg laying.

      Claire

  37. Ritza says

    We just bought 6 girls. They were laying when we got them and now they are not. How long should it take for them to start laying again. I am sure we changed the diet as well, I do not know what they feed them.

  38. Kara says

    Hi Claire,

    Any chance a hen will stop laying due to being cooped up? We’ve got 9 free ranging hens we just got this spring as hatchlings. A few have just begun to lay (two of which are MIA, but thats a whole different matter) and we have had no success getting the two layers who are not MIA to lay IN the coop. Golf balls, nope. Their own eggs, nope. Keep them cooped until later in the day, nope. So we decided it was time for 24/7 cooping. They have plenty of room, water, food. We move the coop regularly to keep fresh ground under them (its very wet here so the flies get crazy). One stopped laying all-together a couple days in but the other one has not been phased. We’ve had to free range them again because of the bugs, its just too wet, and we thought it might get our gal laying again. The other still lays consistently (she just goes back to her nest in the bushes every day to lay) and have even had a brand new layer today. They are all on the same diet and in the same living quarters so I’m stumped. Still no pretty blue eggs from our gal.

    -Kara

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Kara,

      Cooping them up will almost certainly stop them laying yes, because they don’t have access to any daylight.

      Claire

  39. Michelle says

    Claire, we have 10 pullets, 8 who had just started laying in August (Australorps and Cuckoo Marans) and 2 (different breeds) who were purchased at the local fair in August and who I do not think had started laying. A few of the Australorps were at the fair but returned home at its end. We have only gotten 1 -2 eggs from the entire flock each week since mid August, following the fair. All appear healthy and are fed a layer ration and crushed oyster shells, plus some veggies, lettuce, etc. They have plenty of light. We have a flock of older hens in a different coop on same feed who are laying fine. I was suspicious that they may have started eating eggs for some reason, but haven’t seen any evidence of that, nor have I seen any of them in a nesting box laying. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Michelle,

      The only thing I can think of is the hens might have caught some form of parasite whilst at the show- however you said they all appear healthy so I’m puzzled!

      Hopefully one of our readers will share their suggestions,

      Claire

  40. Amanda says

    We have 2 seperate coops of hens. Back in March we bought 18 new chicks and when they got big enough, split them half and half between the two coops. Each coop had a handful of older hens pretty much past their major laying days.
    Fast forward to now and one coop gives tons of eggs (today we got 11) and the other gives almost none (today 2). The bulk of these hens came from the same hatching and are all the same breed.
    Shouldn’t we be getting similar numbers of eggs?
    Why would half our hens not lay?
    All food/water/etc is identical and plentiful. No one shows any sign of illness or disease and we don’t keep roosters inside the coops and runs, they happily hang out around the perimeter.

  41. jennifer says

    We have decided to let our birds rest this winter and not provide any extra light (seemed natural and I see you are in favor). I wonder if this will prolong their egg laying life span or will it remain the same? I guess the only way to tell would be to do a YEARS long study, but since I am new at this I was wondering if the study has already been done.

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Jennifer,

      No sure about long term studies but yes, it does keep them laying longer certainly.

      Hens are born with a maximum amount of eggs they can lay throughout their life- so forcing them to laying during winter burns them out as they hit this limit sooner.

      Claire

  42. Paul Reynolds says

    For those having problems with their girls laying, we’ve experienced a very heavy molt (they shake and the feathers fall off) right before cold set in. Our birds are 2-4 yo. We’re only getting 1-2 eggs per day out of 24 birds. Blaming winter on the heels of a heavy molt. I have noticed a slight “pickup” in eggs the last few days. Put a solar light w/motion detector in the coop.

    On the feed vs range issue, when we allow our girls to range, they will quit eating pellets/crumbles, but continue to beg for scratch. They’ve also become spoiled for treats (scraps and such) and love ground raw meat scraps. One of the things I will do is collect leftover feed and “ferment” it. They love a good paste.

    Just some FYI.

  43. Tiffany says

    So glad I found this information! I was so worried about them. My 1 year old hens haven’t laid in about 4 weeks, but we’re low on sunlight right now and they’re molting. So double whammey!

  44. Barbara says

    I have two Easter eggers, one Barnevelder and one silkie. One egger started laying two weeks ago. They are all 24 weeks old. She layed five eggs. One every other day and then two each day. Next day I picked her up cause she was not herself and egg yellow squirted out of her. I got her inside the bathtub and since she was not a fan of bath time I applied a warm moist cloth. Within a couple of minutes she squatted and laid a rubber egg. next morning she sang her egg song but no egg. She hasn’t paid in three days. She was foraging all day a couple of days ago in the rain. She seemed really hungry!! Yesterday no egg, but she seems normal. Same today and we had snow last night so it’s been cold, about 40 degrees. We live in PNW. I give them oyster shells and started mixing layer pellets into grower pellets for about a week. Today I started only layer feed. I cut down on vegetables, I prob fed too many. I’m mostly concerned about the egg yellow squirting out shortly before she layed the rubber egg…

  45. Gabe Clark says

    I have 5 golden comments and two buff orpingtons. When I got the commets I put them in with the orpingtons. Like normall, no eggs for 2 days but then I got 5-6 eggs a day after that. Inside there run I had a smaller run with 5 week old chickens in it. This never affected them. It has been about 3 months since I got the commets and until last week he laid just fine. After I let the younger birds into the big run wth all the other chickens, they stopped laying for a couple days, but that’s normall. They started again but stopped shortly after. For about a week I got only 2 eggs a day. I moved there coop a week ago and they still are only laying 2 eggs a day. The chickens are no longer fighting, but they still won’t lay. I have feed my chickens mealworms from day 1. The love them! So they are getting everything they need, but they won’t lay. Why!? Please help fast!!!

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Gabe,

      It sounds like your hens have had a lot of disruption over the last few weeks- with the flock additions and coop replacement.

      In the past I’ve found it can take up to 3 weeks for things to settle down after similar disruptions.

      Claire

      • Gabe Clark says

        Ok, yesterday i got 4 eggs but today I got only 2 again. My main problem is the chickens aren’t fighting anymore and there normall again. It just scares me that they went from 5-7 a day to 2 in 1 days time! I will give them a while, after another week or so. If there still jot laying then then I will come back here and let you know

  46. Jenna Barlow says

    Our chickens haven’t laid any eggs for about a year now and all of a sudden we have eggs again. Is this usual?

  47. Jenn D says

    I have a friend who has at least 30 chickens over a year old. They have never laid an egg. I think they get straight poultry pellets, nothing else. They have a dog that runs around the outside of the coup trying to play with them and I think that stresses them out. For a while they had no nesting boxes but that has changed. They moved the entire coop because something was getting them through the fence in the original location.
    I am going to suggest changes to their diet, not sure if the dog issue can be resolved, and also that they treat them for parasites. I also think there are too many in the space but then again these big egg producers keep them in tiny cages. Grr.. Anyway, can you think of anything else?

    • The Happy Chicken Coop says

      Hi Jenn,

      One of the big things that will stop/prevent the hens from laying is stress. If you want the hens to start laying you need to resolve the stress issue first.

      Claire

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