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9 Reasons Why Your Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

empty nests

It’s always a cause for concern when your chickens stop laying eggs. In fact, noticing this can help you identify if your chickens are ill.

That’s why we always keep track of the number of eggs our chickens lay- this way; we know straight away if something is wrong.

There are lots of reasons why your chickens might have stopped laying, but you don’t need to rush out and buy supermarket 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 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 need to contain 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 properly balanced diet to ensure their bodies can produce eggs.

If you feed your girls’ layers pellets and they are still struggling to lay, consider giving them snacre high 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.

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  • Works Rain or Shine so you don’t have to let them out in inclement weather.
  • Go ahead and get those extra hours of sleep or go on vacation, our door has you covered.
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The Perfect Vitamin Boost Snack For Your Flock

Happy Grubs: More Calcium Than Mealworms

  • Increase Egg Production
  • Stronger Egg Shells
  • Healthy Feathers

The Perfect Feed for Your Flock

Best Feed For Egg Laying Chickens

Purina Layena | Nutritionally Complete Layer Hen Feed Crumbles - Chicken Feed | 25 Pound (25 lb) Bag
  • Rich yellow yolks - A high level of xanthophyll, a coloring agent derived from marigolds, produces deep yellow egg yolks
  • Calcium Manganese and Trace Minerals - For strong shells
  • Essential Amino Acids - Enhanced with lysine and methionine to give birds the nutrients they need to produce plenty of wholesome and delicious eggs; Also promotes beautiful feathering
  • Key Levels of Vitamin A, D, E - Strong reproduction and overall health, with a high level of Vitamin A to help birds grow into healthy adult birds
  • Prebiotics, Probiotics and Yeast - Supports immune and digestive health

So you’ve made sure your girls are getting plenty of protein and freshwater, but there are still no eggs in sight.

Sometimes it can just be the wrong time of the year for your hens to lay.

2. Not Enough Daylight

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

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…

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

  • She will sit in the nest box all day.
  • Your Hen 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 lying 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 to establish the new pecking order. They won’t lay eggs during this time, but again, after a few days, they should start laying.

Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

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 people’s 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. Illnesses Can Be A  Cause To Chickens Stop Laying Eggs

If you have a settled, young chicken that is well fed, has plenty of natural daylight, and they have suddenly stopped laying, the 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 from spreading to the rest of the flock.
  • Parasites: This includes lice, mites, and worms. You will notice your chicken’s comb will go pale, and they won’t stop itching themselves. The easiest way to treat any parasite is to spray both the chicken coop and the chickens with a poultry cleaner. Something like Johnson Poultry Housing spray should do the trick.
  • Molts: Many people confuse the symptoms above as an illness when actually it’s the chicken molting. Chickens molt 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.

8. Chickens Stop Laying Eggs When Stressed Out

In case you haven’t noticed, many of the situations on this list are stressful. Illness, broodiness, new flock members are all stressful to chickens.

Stress, like for most creatures, causes a decrease in productivity, and in this scenario, that means a decrease in egg production.

But there’s a lot more that can stress out a hen than the issues addressed in this article.


For example, the presence of predators can freak a chicken out so bad that they lose feathers, stop eating, lose weight, and stop laying eggs.

Unfortunately, this problem can be hard to pinpoint because predators often lurk out of sight unbeknownst to us.

Rooster to Hen Ratio

Another potential stress is if you don’t have enough hens for each rooster.

If that happens, he may mount your hens too much, leading to stress and bare patches on their heads and backs. This is yet another potential cause of stress that can reduce or stop egg production.

9. Other Potential Causes That Chickens Stop Laying Eggs

The above issues aren’t the only potential reasons for your chickens to stop laying eggs. If you don’t think any of the already-mentioned causes are to blame, consider the following. 

Someone Is Eating or Stealing the Eggs

The hens may be laying eggs like you expect, but someone else gets to them before you. While this could be a human egg-thief, it could also be an animal or even one of the hens eating the eggs. 

They’re Broody

We already touched on having too many hens for your roosters, but the opposite can also be an issue. It isn’t common to let egg-laying hens interact with roosters, as you don’t want the eggs fertilized. But this can lead to broodiness. That’s when your hen gets confused and thinks her eggs may be fertilized. In this situation, you will have to address the broodiness. 

Extreme Weather

Another potential issue could be the weather conditions. Whether it is extremely hot or extremely cold, you may notice a drop in egg production. The good news is that this is easy to overcome with enough water and other methods in the summer and insulating the coop in the winter.

Closing Thoughts on Why Chickens Stop Laying Eggs

If you have ruled out all other problems on this list, look into your hens’ emotional well-being and what might be causing some undue stress. Sometimes it’s an easy fix, and sometimes it takes some investigation.

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.

Our Choice for All-In-One Automatic Chicken Coop Door

Run Chicken

  • Works Rain or Shine so you don’t have to let them out in inclement weather.
  • Go ahead and get those extra hours of sleep or go on vacation, our door has you covered.
  • Protect your Chickens from Predators with our self-locking feature

The Perfect Vitamin Boost Snack For Your Flock

Happy Grubs: More Calcium Than Mealworms

  • Increase Egg Production
  • Stronger Egg Shells
  • Healthy Feathers

Answers to Common Questions About Reasons Why Your Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

Didn’t find the information you wanted above? Or maybe you just want a quick summary of the most important points? Check out these FAQs. 

What to Do When Your Chicken Stops Laying Eggs? 

When your chicken stops laying eggs, you should get to the bottom of the problem and address the source of the issue. If there isn’t a good solution, such as in the case of an aging hen, see if you can find her another role on your farm, such as catching bugs. Or you can humanely dispose of her or turn the hen into a meat chicken. 

How Do I Encourage My Chickens to Lay Eggs?

Some of the best ways to encourage your chickens to lay eggs include ensuring there are enough nest boxes and they are appealing, regularly collecting the eggs, using a “nest egg” to train the chickens, and giving them enough spots to roost. 

How Many Days Can a Chicken Go Without Laying an Egg?

If your hen is broody, meaning she has fertilized eggs or thinks she does, she may not lay eggs for up to 21 days.

What Do You Think Will Happen If Hens Stop Laying Eggs?

If your hens stop laying eggs, you can try to come up with another purpose for them or just keep them as pets without a function. Hens can be good bug catchers or provide meat. 

What Is the Average Life Span of a Laying Hen?

Most laying hens live about five to 10 years.

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

READ NEXT: Automatic Chicken Coop Door: What to Know Before Buying

 Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

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256 thoughts on “9 Reasons Why Your Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

  1. 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?

      1. My chickens free range they are fed organic layer pellets. They have a snack block. Access to two water sources. 2 are laying regularly but two stop and start with huge gaps in between and two just haven’t started laying at all . They are laying type breeds. There’s is only one rooster to six hens so I don’t believe they are stressed.

    1. My chickens have layed eggs when i got them.But they have stopped for nearly a year but with your help that you have told me they have being laying 9 eggs in 2 days. thank you.

      1. I have 1 hen lost her feathers early fall,has them back but all the tail ones didn’t come back and she hasn’t layed since either. Will she ever lay again?the rest are all laying and they are all the same age which is almost 3yrs.

        1. Nearly identical to my situation. Molted last fall (first molt) then started laying, stopped again in February after I switched food accidentally getting a low protein blend. Actually all three stopped laying, but once I switched back to the high protein diet two started back up. Diega( Rhode island red) never started up again. She was 6 eggs a week!.Its been four months without eggs and her tail feathers havent returned. Shes seems healthy and happy, great appetite, energetic. Im stumped.

      1. It seems to have happened to me. I had a rash of disappearances, some with evident feathers ,some not. Think the culprit is a coyote or hawk/owl. The hens stayed in the coop on their highest roost for long periods of time, and returned more often when free ranging. Don’t know if it will get better, but egg production is almost nil.

        1. Oppossums! Best use a live trap with dry cat food. They LOVE it. We caught 5 in a month and sent them off to possum heven. Don’t release them within about 12 miles because they will come back to their home territory.

          1. I understand your desire to rid your place of possums but I hope you’ll consider relocation rather than death. I’ve raised chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese for years and the lowly possum has never been a problem. More often they are actually an asset to the farm as they eat rats, snakes and a ridiculous amount of ticks as well ! They are not aggressive creatures and they never carry rabies as their body temperature is too low to incubate the disease. They have unjustly been given a bad wrap probably because they are not the most attractive creatures out there. {Neither is Aunt Bertha but we’re not gonna kill her !} If you’re open to some possum enlightenment visit opossum awareness.com. This sight happened to appear on my facebook one day and it really changed the way I think of possums.I actually invite folks to leave there unwelcome possums at my place so they can do what they do and they have never been a problem. As part of the food chain, foxes and coyotes will eat possums as they are an easy target. Having some around may save your chickens from being the next meal !

        1. Maybe she has a cold?
          Is it cold where you are?
          If it gets like snowing then maybe consider using a heat lamp during the time where it’s coldest. 🙂

        2. We have a chicken that sneezes but she is laying. She has always sneezed more than the others since we got them last September but she isn’t ill so sneezing isn’t always a sign of illness.

      2. We have a gray fox eating our chickens. We lost 3 just over a week ago and our 4 that are left are not laying at all as of this week. I am not letting them free range as much because I cant afford to lose any more hems in the past year the fox has taken 10 pullets and 7 full grown hens and a baby goat. She has a den just outside our pasture somewhere and raises her kits there every year for the past 3 or 4 years. We haven’t been able to trap her and it is against the law for us to shoot her until August because it is kit season. We have tried varment control boxes. The work somewhat but tend to wear out quickly. Especially with goat rubbing against the fence all the time. I have thought about just leaving out cat food in the far corner of my pasture, maybe that would detour her away from the chickens. Any suggestions?

        1. you can always try to leave cat food out near the chooks lat at night and pick it up in the morning, if its the fox eating the food then add a couple of crushed aspirin into the food, but be aware to make sure cats or dogs are not eating it

      3. A bobcat got into our coup, killed 5 hens, but the 5 that roost in the highest spot were spared. One of them was pretty badly bitten but survived (now named “survivor”) after some tender loving care. She completely stopped laying eggs, it’s been about 3 months and she has stopped laying completely. We figure that must have been some pretty heavy trauma, hopefully she pulls out of it in the summer.

    2. I have 3 chickens 2 of them lay regularly and a 3rd one, a one year old Wellsummer, will sit on the nest but lately has not produced an egg. She had been laying one about every other day. Should I be concerned?

      1. I have an Ameraucana (I believe) she has puffy cheeks (beard) she’s all black, she lays an olive egg. She’s around 3-4 years old. She completely stopped laying this entire year. She molted last year but all her feathers grew back. We did have mites but others were laying still, not many but didn’t completely stop. I treated the coop and the mites disappeared eventually in the summer. Non of the 9 reasons I read above apply to her except the mites but that was only about 2 months during this summer. She never layed in the spring either prior to the mites. What else can be goin on? Will she ever lay again? TIA

  2. 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!

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

        1. Hi Jess,
          Are you feeding them any crushed oyster shell at the moment?
          Also, how much sunlight do they get?

        2. 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! ?

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

    3. 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.

      1. My hens wouldn’t come out of their house when I had a rooster. I had to give him away and then they were happy. My rooster was harassing the hens all day and they got sick of him

    4. I have kick started my hens on fish food, it has 32% protein and the chickens lay like crazy

          1. Hermit crab food would be my guess? It has mad protein! Remember chickens are omnivores, they do eat meat. Mealworms, crickets, etc. are meat! Though I DID know a chicken who loved cheeseburgers…

          2. One of my chickens found a rat, killed it and then ate it!
            Rats and mice are very high in protein and this may help.
            Bird whisperer 11 🙂

        1. You can also hard boil eggs and smash them up shell also. High protein and the chickens won’t recognize them as eggs.


      1. You might try pouring a little hot sauce on their food. It makes them think it’s getting hotter and they lay more eggs.

          1. Hot sauce does makes chickens lay more eggs. Try it — just a tiny bit. Don’t know why but it seems to work.

      2. Hi, my name is Chanel and I live in Australia. My chooks are free range and I have an equal amount of roosters. They are let out in the morning to forage near the creek and get locked up at night. I feed them layer pellets and scraps. Despite the fact there are plenty of foxes at night and the hens have an equal amount of roosters ( by happy accident ),they lay like crazy. I put it down to being largely left alone ( no dogs or people around harassing them all the time. Just giving them some peace and a reluable routine does wonders for all critters.
        ? Love your book and enjoy your birds everyone !

    5. Do you live in southern states? Cause we had this same problem. And it turned out to be rat snakes, they would eat the eggs. we have had two of the so far and we belive we have another one right now but check up on them and make sure, you never know

    6. I have four 2 year old black sexlinks, in the past four months three hens have stopped laying,except I get rubber eggs occasionally,always broken.
      I have fed organic layer pellets consistently since they were 18 weeks old.
      Fresh water,free ranging and I offer oyster shell free choice.
      Their combs are a healthy red and they aren’t losing feathers…one hen has laid consistently every day,throughout the winter and in the hottest weather.
      But as for the other three,I can’t figure out what’s going on.

    7. They are probably laying their eggs outside somewhere, mine do that at times….
      I lock them in run for a few days again to teach them where to lay again……

  3. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. You can put apple cider vinegar in there drinking water every day and it works well and is good for them… It even helps when they get runny poops etc…

        1. Try diatomaceous earth, get the white kind, it is sold at the tractor supply store in large bags and it can be mixed with there food. Sprinkle it around any areas that they hang around and especially in there coop, inside the coop needs to be dusted well and it is natural and not a chemical spray which is bad for there lungs as their respiratory system is very sensitive, please stay away from sprays and add apple cider vinegar to there water and they will be like new in no time…

          1. Just read an article that diatomaceous earth is HAZARDOUS to chickens! Please research this. Please, please, please!

  4. 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.

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

        1. 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…

          1. 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!

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

  5. 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

    1. 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. 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?

    1. 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. 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?

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

  8. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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

    1. Hi Jennie,
      How long have they not been laying eggs for?
      Have you changed their feed recently?

  11. 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!

    1. mine didn’t start to lay until i added 2 that had already laid. i’m new at this but it work. my 7 others started to lay. i got that advice from who already had hens. also please to hydrate your chickens. here in okla it is 100 plus. i make them ice cubes with vegetables.

  12. 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. 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?

    1. Hi Erika,
      What is their diet like? Are they getting enough protein and grit?

  14. 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! =)

    1. 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 🙂

    1. 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 🙂

  15. 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?

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

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

    1. 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.

  18. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

  19. 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

    1. 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,

  20. 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 ?

    1. 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 🙂

  21. 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?

    1. 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.

  22. 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?

    1. 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.

  23. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

      1. 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.

        1. 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…

  24. 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,

    1. Hi TwinCity18,
      During the summertime when the temperature get really high it isn’t uncommon for the heat to put the hens off lay. Do your best to keep them cool and well hydrated and then when the temperature drops they will continue to lay eggs.

      1. Claire,
        Thank you. I have been freezing milk jugs and putting them out in the water dish and changing the water every 4 hours or until the water jugs melt. Is there anything else I can do to keep them cool?
        Thank you,

  25. 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?

    1. 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.

  26. 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?

    1. 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 🙂

  27. 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

    1. 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.

  28. 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.

    1. 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…

      1. 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. 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?

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

  30. 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?

    1. 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…

  31. 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??

    1. 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.

  32. 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.

    1. 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.

  33. 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

    1. 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,

  34. 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.

    1. 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 🙂

  35. 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?

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

  36. 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?

    1. 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.

  37. 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. 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.

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

  39. 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!

    1. 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,

  40. 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.

    1. This is very bizarre- yes, you would expect a similar number…
      I’m wondering, have they ever laid a similar amount of eggs?

  41. 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.

    1. 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.

  42. 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. 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. 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. 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!!!

    1. 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.

      1. 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. 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. 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?

    1. 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.

  48. Hi, I traveled for 4 days and gave instruction to my cousin to help look after my layers but to my amazement, he went doing his own. The birds were looking tired when I came back after 4 days. Now is the fifth day after consistent feeding and they’re looking very ok now, but the challenge I have now is that they have stopped laying. Please how long will they stay before laying again, Thanks.

    1. Hi Festus,
      With a disruption like this, it normally takes a couple of weeks for them to get back to normal.

  49. Your notes are very much helpfull for me and my poultry group, i always prefer your notes and translate them in my local mother toung and share them on my whatsapp group as well as my facebook page.
    Thank you very much.

  50. I have four Golden Commets, and they are great. Very friendly and very docile.
    When I change there bedding I add some DE (Diatomaceous Earth) to their bedding to kill any fleas,lice etc., in their coop. I also noticed that it helps keep the flies down.
    If I notice chicken poop on the egg shells, I put a little DE in with their feed to kill any parasites in their digestive track, and their eggs come out nice and clean.
    Another thing that I use is Sweet PDZ. I filled a large plastic container with it and added some DE to it for my chickens to bathe it when it their is inclement weather so that they can always take a dust bath.

  51. My chicken hasn’t laid any eggs in the past 2 months, a rooster was introduced as a chick but is desperate from her and she has all the yard (40ft x 100ft) all to herself plus a water fountain and feed is always freshly put for her daily. What can I do so she can lay eggs?? It’s unusual for her.

  52. hi claire, i live in the tropics. i have 5 hens and a rooster. we brought in 2 hens and the rooster first, and after a couple weeks one of the hens started laying. (the other hen is young so we were not expecting anything from her.) then, soon after the first hen started laying, we brought in 3 more hens from a different flock. since then, for a month now, we have not gotten any eggs. we feed them ample kitchen scraps and they have plenty of space (and ample critters, since we are in the jungle) to forage in the yard. they also have shade and fresh water. being near the equator, we get around 12 hours of sunlight year round. at first they acted very territorial but all seem to get along better now. they have a coop to sleep in at night but no nesting boxes yet (the first hen was laying in some old netting material we haved stored under our elevated house). what do you think?
    thank you!

  53. Hello
    We have 7 australorp hens and they are less than a year old. We were getting 7 eggs a day and now we are down to 3-4 a day. I have checked around the pen and they are not hiding or eating them. Help what do I do?

    1. Hi Laura,
      It is normal for their egg laying to slow down as we head into winter now. You should expect them to start laying more eggs again in the spring 🙂

  54. I live in New Zealand, so we are in Spring now. I have 2 Australorps,, 1 Barnvelder and 1 Light Sussex. They are all about 3 years old. This last winter was cold and wet and they stopped laying, except occasional eggs from the Light Sussex. Now that it’s Spring, the Light Sussex is giving me 5-6 eggs a week, but the other girls nothing. They get fed laying pellets, garden greens, oats and some canned cat food, free access to oyster shells and fresh water. Everyone looks healthy, except the Light Sussex who is low on the pecking order and has a naked neck. Suggestions for the other girls?

  55. Will all the chickens moult at once or will it be random? Also, is scratch grains or cracked corn better for chickens in the winter?

    1. Hi Abby,
      It will generally happen to all the hens at once- give or take a week or so.
      Mine prefer cracked corn 🙂

    1. It’s hard to say for certain, but it’s very likely they will stop laying eggs.
      Give them about 2 weeks after the move and they should be up and laying again 🙂

  56. I have had my point of lay chickens about 3 months now but only 2 are laying, should i be worried about health problems? they look fine and are eating and drinking ok.

    1. Hi Sharon,
      Without seeing them it’s hard to tell. Make sure they are fed well and have access to plenty of water. Could you email me a photos so I can look 🙂

  57. Ok so I have a mixed breed hen and she has stop laying eggs she has fresh water, food and still no eggs I notice she is shedding her feathers I also have another hen and she had stop laying eggs for over a week then she started right back laying but my other still isn’t laying they’re the same age and stop laying around the same time but one has started and the other hasn’t

  58. I have recently changed brands of Layer Pellets and my girls have all but stopped laying. we went from 8+ eggs a day to 3 a day. Both layer feeds have the same amount of protein. Could just changing brands cause them to stop? They have been on the new brand since March.

    1. Hi Cindy,
      Yes it could well have caused the drop in production. Have you tried them again on the original feed?

  59. We ran out of layer pellets last week for like 4 days before we were able to run and grab more. In the mean time they got corn, weeds, and scraps. The first few days we didn’t see a drop but then we did. Now even after they have gotten extra layer pellets twice a day numbers are continuing to decline. We’ve gone from 45 a day to 8. How long are they going to take to recover???

  60. I recently rescued a hen that had been abandoned in a parking lot. She was malnourished and dehydrated but recovered totally with proper nutrition and TLC. However she has not laid a single egg in 2 months now. She looks like a hybrid but I have no way of knowing how old she is. Any suggestions?

  61. My chickens are 1 1/2 years old and when they were little they roosted in my laying boxes. So I thought nothing of it until they started laying, so now some times they lay eggs and then stepping on them. Now i forgot to clean the boxes while i was gone. Now i have done everything you said to do other then the light. And now they just won’t lay eggs. I have suggestion from friends that said they might be worried about something like a coyote or something is around, or that there boxes are too full and they won’t lay until there clean. I just cleaned them to day and i was hoping some one might have some other reasons that they might have stopped.

  62. I have had 3 hens for 6 weeks, bought them at point of lay, 1 Isa Brown, 1 Australorp and 1 white Leghorn. The brown laid first and did 1 egg almost every day for 10 days, then has stopped completely. The other 2 have been consistent with laying. She is a happy hen, not I’ll as far as we can see and gets plenty to eat and drink.
    Puzzling why she has stopped so soon after starting. At the moment we have 13 hours of daylight.

  63. We have 7 hens that have completely stop laying for about 1 month. The only change has been that we got 16 meat chicks one month ago. The coop is split in half by wire, so the grownups are separated from the younguns. Is this enough to stress them out to stop laying? Weather is 50-60° and 12 hrs of daylight and giving layer pellets wth any leftover human food, cracked corn etc. Thank you!

  64. This is a great article. ALL 6 OF MY HENS ARE NOT LAYING! Its been over a month sense they have consistently laid. We are in Massachusetts so the weather just started to get relatively warm, but not much sunny days in April here. I am so concerned for them and don’t really know what to do.
    They are getting good feed, but I am not sure if it is the size of the living space that may be making them irritated to the point where they don’t want to lay anymore. I also want to know if it could be because they are not digesting their food properly (have not used grit for them in a while) and maybe need some extra protein suppliments (like oyster shell).
    Any other information that you could give on how to check the chickens to see if they are okay would be great.

    1. Did their living quarters change suddenly? Is it secure from predators and stress? Also, are they free ranging? If not, absolutely supplement grit/shells

  65. I have a 3 year old Easter Egger in my flock of 10 hens. She was a daily layer for 2 years. Late last August when she molted she stopped laying and hasn’t laid again since. She’s a large bird for an Easter Egger at almost 9 lbs, but she’s not fat and she acts normal and seems healthy. She’s always been a laid-back hen (last off the roost and first back on, wants to be hand fed whenever I give scratch or treats) and she doesn’t bother and isn’t bothered by the other flock members. She started doing “the squat” after the winter break but still isn’t laying. My hens are confined in an 8×10 coop and an attached 8×16 foot run except for supervised freetime a couple of hours per day so I know she isn’t hiding eggs. Since I’ve never heard others mention a young to middle aged hen that suddenly stopped laying and wasn’t ill or injured I just wondered if anyone else has ever experienced this type of thing? She’s a pet and I don’t care about the eggs, I’m just curious.

    1. About “the squat”, I believe this is a sign of submission, probably for a rooster. Whenever mine do the squat, particularly after a break of laying, I give them about 6-8 pats down the back. They then shake and fluff up, and are generally back laying again within two days.

  66. I have one hen, Ruby – Rhode Island Red, and she is 3 years old. She hasn’t laid in over a year now. We had a total of 3 hens – one was killed by a raccoon and the other was killed by a hawk. She witnessed both deaths. Hasn’t laid since. She is SUPER healthy – eats layer feed, meal worms, blueberries, strawberries, etc. She free ranges all day. Fresh water in 2 locations for her – changed daily. She is happy as can be, but no eggs! Any idea why? We attributed it to trauma, but it has been a LONG time now… She is quite spoiled. I just want her to be healthy and happy. I am fine with her not laying, but is this ok, health-wise?

  67. Hi, new mom to 7 started pullets, they seem very happy as I worked hard on a safe and entertaining space for them. This question is for this winter. I am in northern Vermont so they will likely stop laying or greatly reduce it this winter, which is fine, I wanted to know if I should keep them on layer feed or mix/switch back to grower feed? Thank you in advance.

  68. We are new to this. We bought a Rhode Island Red & she layers one egg than nothing for almost 3 weeks. She seemed fine. We got her the non gmo organic food they had at the place. (Just found your site). We went on vacation. My mom said she kept squatting down and ran back to her coop. (We let them free range). The next day she was dead on her side. We think it is egg binding but aren’t sure. Our hearts are broken. How do we know? How do we prevent this? Could it be something else? She did sometimes open her beak but I thought she was hot. She stopped after being out for a bit. The other one seems fine. We just bought a new 3mo. baby and the older one just started laying :/

  69. Hi, I have a hen 2 and a half years old who recently lost her sister and and hasn’t laid since a few days after she lost her sister. She was very close to her sister and her death effected her severely. Its been just over 3 months now and still no eggs, i’ve checked all over for new places she could have started laying but still have not found any eggs. She is an Australorp cross and prior to this has been a very good layer, with an egg nearly every day. there have been no changes to her feed or yard and she gets plenty of sunlight, fresh water, eats layer pellets and lots of scraps and also is free range with lots of space. It is coming into winter now and was molting and had mild fowlpox after the death of her sister but recovered quickly and has been very healthy for months now. We recently introduced a new pullet of the same breed of our other hens but they have all been getting on very well. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Have you tried to confine her to the run to be 100% sure she is not laying somewhere local? Also, how long has there been additional hens with her?

  70. Hello, I have 4 Hy-line chickens that are all 23 weeks old. Two of them have started laying, and one of them laid for about half a week and she hasn’t laid since! The other one is still laying beautiful eggs. Any advice would be very helpful! Thanks!

  71. I recently acquired two hens whose flock had been attacked by a fox (there were 8 hens). One started laying within days, but the other has yet to lay. It has been two months. Every now and then she lays an egg yolk. Other than not laying she appears happy and healthy. Thoughts? Thank you!

      1. Thanks Claire. We’ve had her for two months since the fox attack. Still no eggs. She seems happy and healthy and well adjusted to her new flock.

  72. I had 4 hens which stop laying 2 months ago, introduced 3 more hens 1 month ago maybe lucky to get 1 egg every 2 days hens are 12 months old.

  73. Our landlady gave us 7 hens 2 roosters one of the hen was sent over with her eggs she is getting ready to hatch but none of our hens are laying eggs she sent them over 4 days ago how long will it take for them to lay getting worried she sent feed and all over for us.

    1. I would be patient. There could be a number of reasons but time will tell. When did she say was the last time they laid?

  74. Hello Team.
    I got a cockbird and two hens. Aseel breed. They have given me eggs daily and both went broody. So I expected little chicks. 21days passed and no chicks. This was a month ago. One of the hens broke a few eggs . Now they aren’t laying any. One of them is molting. However the other hen is what I’m really worried about. She has a bloody wound on her wing. The chicken run is regularly cleaned. I’m not sure what has caused this, but I am certain it is not the rooster.

    1. I would wash and sterilize the wound. Be sure to check on it so it does not get infected and spread to other chickens. If it does, keep her separate from them until healed. Make sure to check on her that flies don’t bother her. There is a good chance she could be bullied.

  75. We had a fox attack twice were 5 of our hen were killed ,then we bought new hens and same happened again so we kept remaining two hens closed in for a month to be sure it was safe they have never laid any eggs as they were at point of laying when we got them.We got 8 wee pullets that were henpecked they huddle together and wont come outside not sure what else we can do all eating and plenty of water.

  76. my chicken is not laying for two bt I have given it enough nutrients and sunlight bt still not laying bt other chicken are laying

    1. Chickens don’t lay for a number of reasons. I would read up on your breed and see what their laying pattern is like.

  77. Hi Claire
    I have 300 hens none of them is laying eggs. I didn’t feeded them properly because of lack of money for a week. Now I started them feeding with layer mash feed even still the hens not started the eggs. I am not getting single egg production . I am giving day light for 14 hours a day. Kindly suggest what to do. Still how many days it will start for egg production.

  78. We have 62 chickens of different ages, types, and such. ALL stopped laying within a few days of each other and its been over two months and we haven’t had a single egg. Feed is the same — laying pellets, they get oyster shell and free range all day. They get good feed, plenty of sun, lots of fresh water, a secure area, … They seem happy and unstressed. They just don’t lay eggs. Any ideas???

    1. We are about to enter a new season which means new weather patterns. When the cold months approach and leading up to them it is normal for egg production to slow and drop off. Other than that make sure to inspect for disease, mites, and watch for predators during free-range. Keep a watch on them because there could be some things you are missing if not checking on them often. Also commercial feed can help in egg production. Do a search on what nutrients your current feed offers as far as egg laying.

  79. This is a very helpful article!
    We have 4 hens about 8 months old and 1 has stopped laying (about a week now) all other hens are still regularly laying still.
    This particular hen won’t lay in the box either, she goes under the hen house but still laid every day.
    I was wondering what feed you do recommend because that is something we have changed in the last month.
    I had them on Purina pellets but after looking at the ingredients switched them to Scratch and Peck Feeds Naturally Free Organic Layer Feed for Chickens and Ducks – Non-GMO Project Verified, Soy Free and Corn Free

  80. I have 5 chickens that are 5 months old now. 1 of them was laying huge jumbo eggs for about 3 weeks straight and then she suddenly stopped laying. A couple days went by and I noticed she had something hanging from her bum. As I go to see what it is and help her it fell to the ground. It was a deflated egg just empty. Since then she still hasn’t laid any eggs and I have noticed some yolks with her poo. She eats and drinks and acts totally normal. No change in their diet or anything new or different beside shorter daylight. I believe she may be I’ll but sure doesnt look or act like it. Any ideas as to what could be wrong with my girl? I dont want to be missing a sickness and lose her. She is at the top of the pecking order and keeps the other girls safe and in line.

  81. Hi
    Thai chicken farmer here. I have 100 issa browns at 30 weeks old. They won’t lay, feed is good and they don’t look sick. lighting is set to 15 hours lights on at 3am off at 8am and they free range for most of the day, let out at sunrise and back in at dark. i am getting 6-7 eggs a day and the eggs are perfect. good size good color both inside and out. They get crushed oyster and grit separate from there food at all times and are on water nipples. to be honest this is the second set to do this to me and i never was able to figure out why. any ideas welcome, need help before i go broke.

  82. Hi. I think My chicken may of had heat stroke on a 40+ day here in Sydney. Nearly lost her. She is fine now but she hasn’t laid since. Been about 3 days now. Should I be worried.

  83. I av chickens in my cage .some are laying some are not.but this particular 2 chicken av not laid for the past 3wks.they feed well and not pale.pls wat could be d problem

  84. I have 5 hens that are 3 years old, I get maybe2 eggs a day,they are on 16% protein layer pellets. We have posts in the ground to darken their laying area. Should we take the posts out? They would be getting morning light.

  85. Hi!
    I bought 2 brahma hens to my flock about a month ago. Their previous owner said they are 2 years old and they layed eggs often at him.
    I already had other 2, one year old hens in my garden, they are not very friendly to them, and after 1 month of waiting, my new hens are still have not lay eggs.
    How long does it take for them to start laying again?
    (I started to think that my new hen’s previous owner lied to about their age.)
    I also noticed that 2 days later when i bought these 2, one of them has leg mite i think. (I used neostomosan on their leggs two times with 10 days difference, but have not see any change yet. Any advice?)

  86. I have 21 hens and no roosters. All get 16% layer, which hasn’t changed, clean water, clean coop. Nothing has changed but I introduced 4 new birds last november from a neighboring coop of mine. Shortly after they molted and stopped laying around late November. I used no artificial light over winter nor do I now. I still am getting no eggs. None. I’m stumped as to what is the issue. It seems everyone else has chickens laying as they’re selling eggs. Please help. Do I need to increase daylight? It’s about 12 hours of natural light now and they have an outdoor run.

  87. We have 6 hens, all under 2 years old. All have layed well and for some reason, after moulting, only one hen began laying again. The other 5 all seem healthy with no changes to access for water/food, etc.
    any ideas?

  88. Sounds like you’re in my boat somewhat, leslie. (My post above)’ ive changed nothing…food, water, light, setup is all the same. Mine range between less than. 1 to 3years of age. I’m just thinking give them time.

  89. Hi, I have a bluebell which I got on point of lay about 18 months ago. She hasn’t laid for about 3 months and also has just started eating the other eggs from my other 2 orpington’s. Their run is light and airy. Have access to fresh water, get fed on layers pellets, mixed corn and fresh veg daily. Have treats like mealworm and tinned sardines about twice a week. There is no sign of any illness. Can you help please with ideas to stop this. Thanks

  90. I see that this is an often asked question. Why are my girls not laying? I’ve read so many of the comments and am still baffled. We have 8 Buff Orpingtons, all just turned 2 years. We do have a light on a timer, and used it all winter. They free-range on all good days in a large yard, protected by our faithful mastif/Gr.Pyrenees. No one messes with his girls! They were having thin shells and sometimes no shells, so we ground up even finer,the oyster shell pellets that seem to big for them to want. They have the cleanest, safest coop, always water, lots of love and I sing them to sleep every night (Goodnight Irene) But… alas… eggs are rare.

  91. I recently bought two chickens.
    Was told they are laying and of 20 weeks.
    One lays every morning but the other has not laid a single egg since the 6 weeks I have had her.
    She free ranges all day from 9 am till bed time which is at 8 pm.
    Fed layers pellets.
    Don’t know why she’s just not interested in laying.
    Won’t even sit in the box.

      1. Hello guys I was actually very amused by your site, I can see you been helpful a lot, I have 420 layer birds they were producing almost 12 creates per day, due to this Corona pendamic which led to inter State lock dawn, I have no access to the feed that I usually feed them, I have to change there feed the eggs drops to 4 creates, now I did returned the birds to there former feed but still didn’t pick-up, they were five months old and for almost 3 weeks there feathers have been dropping, can you please tell me what I should do for my birds?

  92. So my 3 year old silver laced wyandotte has all of sudden stopped laying. She is free range during the day and in the coop at night. She is not broody, has plenty of fresh food and water. Feeding her high protein layer crumble. She is not molting and her combs are a nice red color. Her vent, feathers, her poop look fine. No sign of threat from predators. So i dont know why she isnt laying but would like some input. Thank you.

  93. i have two hybrid chickens – one have started laying eggs while the other haven’t. they are into their seventh month.the problem is at the first day of her laying , she laid two broken shell less eggs.Next day she didn’t lay. on third and fourth day it was again shell less eggs.and now for two consecutive days she haven’t laid any eggs. she is free range during the day. and there is two roosters with her.so is there a problem with my chickens?help me!

  94. I have two chickens about 2 1/2 years old. One of them lays like normal the other hasn’t laid yet since the fall. Same environment, same food pretty much the same everything. She appears very healthy. I can’t figure it out. Anybody have any ideas?

  95. My Australorp she is roughly about 8 yrs old she is a back yard hen about a month ago she stopped laying is that because of her age? Its ok if she has cause she is our mama hen but I was just wondering . .

  96. I have 5 chickens, all a little over 2 years old. 3 SLW and 2 easter eggers. Very rarely will I get any eggs at all! They eat Purina Layena plus Omega 3. Its July here so they are getting plenty of light, no predators, no sickness, no stressers. All have water and food 24/7. It has been over 6 months since the easter eggers laid! One silver laced wyandott will give me about 3 eggs a week, nothing from anyone else! I’m ready to get rid of them! Any advice?

  97. we’ve got 12 old hens. we’ve been getting 6-10 eggs a day this spring. we recently introduced 32 new hens 3 months ago. just as a few of the new hens began laying all old hen laying stopped…… we have a couple of hens that are not as old as the OLD ones and we are still getting a few from them, but it seems that the old hens may have stopped laying when a few of the new ones started. Did they opt for early retirement and figure the new one will pick up their slack ? seems like it.. any thoughts? nothing has changed it is early summer, free ranging and no changes other than the new hens which had no ill effect on egg laying as they were growing up from chicks with this flock.

  98. My hen suffered a shock on Sat. The coop was attacked by bees. In order to get them out of danger we brought them inside in a dog crate. The other 3 were fine with the move, but my Barred Rock was definitely in shock. She seems perfectly fine now, but has not laid an egg since Sat morning. I admit it is very hot right now with 93-100 degree temps, but it’s a little concerning because none of the other chickens have stopped laying. Could her lack of eggs be because of the shock she suffered on Sat?

  99. Good evening all, hope you are well. I have a question regarding my leghorn … she’s approximately 16months old, stopped laying completely about a week ago and now evidently there are feathers everywhere 😂 is it possibly this is her first Moult arriving early? Also noticed a slight runny nose but nothing else has changed in her diet or daily attitude/ behaviour? Thanks in advance

  100. I have 9 hens, Orpington cross, and one cockerel. I have had them from birth 2 years ago. I had 7 eggs one day but normally I have between 1 and 3 eggs a day. They are in a very large enclosure and sometimes free range in the garden. They have layers pellets and sometimes vine leaves and cabbage leaves but not every day. They appear happy. What is the problem with the laying? 2 of them keep going broody which I try to stop.

  101. I’ve got 15 hens, no roosters. Half buff orpington, half auracana. For the last 3 weeks ZERO eggs. Half of these girls are pullets and we changed their feed from grower to adult layer pellets, which I attribute to the change in egg production. But they laid eggs (the hens, not pullets of course) on this exact layer pellet feed before we switched to the grower feed. They have huge chx run, 2 water sources, 10 hr natural light, 6 hr light on timer in coop, not obvious molting (and if 1 or 2 birds are molting it shouldn’t completely cease all egg production), they get occasional snacks and some free ranging, no predators, no illness that is obvious, only 1 broody hen who sits in nest box all day. What is the scoop?

  102. I had a young blue Australorp chicken stop laying eggs. She had become egg-bound. Unfortunately she perished. But a necropsy showed she had a completely formed egg, 2 eggs with membranes and a broken yolk and several intact yolks. She developed a cough. She didn’t have worms or mites. We think what happened was that one day she was kept from her nesting box, and the Brahma hens kept chasing her out when they saw her nesting. We have since rehomed the Brahmas and are in the process of increasing our flock with different breeds than Brahmas and getting a couple more blue Australorps.

  103. My layers stopped laying after treating them with antibiotics for 7days,there was weight loss, and eating patterns changes…

    What should I do, was I wrong for such long period of drugs…

  104. I have 7 chickens of different breads (2 bantam) that have been doing wonderful. I recently got 5 new chicks and have slowly been introducing them to the flock. My bantams have recently stopped laying and started to spend all day and night next to each other laying on others eggs together and one is very territorial. She go’s after the chicks and even my dogs who she has always gotten along with. What can I do to help with the transition and make my flock happy again. I don’t want to get rid of the bantam but will if I have too.

  105. I have a question on egg size?
    From the Title: Top 10 Chicken Breeds That Lay The Largest Eggs.
    On page two is a chart that shows , What determines egg weight.
    It gives calories/fat g/ protein g,******* below that it shows an egg shaped picture . then there are numbers that says 15 ounces/ 18 ounces/ 21 ounces/ 24 ounces/ 27 ounces/30 ounces.
    For diet watchers(me) I weigh some of my eggs on a scale to see how many ounces my eggs weighed and they sure did not come near those ounces on your chart. Am I being to picky?

  106. I have 7 chickens. I got 3 one week and the other 4 the next week so around the beginning of April. I have been getting 1 or 2 eggs for about 3 weeks from the original 3. Not sure why the other 4 are not laying. Can you give some advice as I have never had chickens before?

  107. We have 7 Hans and 1 rooster.
    Rooster is silky breeds and one silky Han. Rest are regular Hans. They were laying eggs, but it’s been 3 plus months they are not laying eggs. I just don’t know what is going on.
    All these are age of 1 and half years. Please help.

  108. I have an Ameraucana (I believe) she has puffy cheeks (beard) she’s all black, she lays an olive egg. She’s around 3-4 years old. She completely stopped laying this entire year. She molted last year but all her feathers grew back. We did have mites but others were laying still, not many but didn’t completely stop. I treated the coop and the mites disappeared eventually in the summer. Non of the 9 reasons I read above apply to her except the mites but that was only about 2 months during this summer. She never layed in the spring either prior to the mites. What else can be goin on? Will she ever lay again? TIA

  109. My bantam Americauna has not laid an egg since last August. She otherwise seems healthy. Eats, drinks like my other 3 hens. I typically get 3 eggs a day. She was harmed last April and laid eggs for another 4 months. Then just stopped. Can’t figure out why. She is at the bottom of the pecking order.

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