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 somethings 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.

Chickens Stopped Laying Eggs

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.

The Perfect Automatic Chicken Door For Your Coop

Happy Coop Door - Weatherproof Automatic Chicken Coop Door Open/Close with Timer/Light Sensor, Predator Resistant Self-Locking Gears, Protection Sensor
  • Plug and Play Design - Takes 10 minutes to install the door
  • Up to 6 Months of Power with AA batteries - You don't need an outlet for the door to work, it functions on 4 AA batteries or a 6V battery (adapter included)
  • Protection Sensor - Built-in sensor when closing to detect when there is an obstruction under the door to prevent injury to chickens
  • Protects Chickens From Predators - Due to it's design, the notches the gear uses to open and close the door act as a self locking mechanism that prevents predators from breaking into the chicken coop. With this your chickens are protected and you can enjoy fresh eggs in the morning
  • Door Will Open if Hell Freezes Over, Rain or Shine - Our weatherproof design has been tested to work during rainy weather as well as extreme cold temperatures as cold as 5°F

The Perfect Vitamin Boost Snack For Your Flock

HAPPY GRUBS - ULTIMATE MIXTURE OF WHOLE, HALF, AND POWDER OF BSFL FEED - CHICKEN FEED MIXTURE - 50X-80X More Calcium Than Meal Worms - NON-GMO, Molting Treatment, Great For Wild Birds, Reptiles, Ducks
  • Egg Armor For Your Girls Eggs - Mixture of whole, half, bits AND POWDER of black soldier fly larvae that you can mix in your chicken's feed. It increases the strength of your girls' eggshells.
  • Healthier Feathers - This product is better than bulk dried mealworms and helps keep your girls' feathers healthy and grow back quicker during molting season.
  • Laying More Eggs - Because of the nutrient dense profile of dried black soldier fly larva, your hen's egg production will increase!
  • Totally Safe for Reptiles and Other Birds - Happy Grubs is worm food that can also be enjoyed as bird food, reptile food, and turtles as a treat!
  • Easy-To-Use Scooper - Our bag comes with a scooper that makes our bsfl mixture and powder easy to pour into a bowl or add to your typical chicken feed. It also has a clip so you can clip it onto the resealable bag. You can use it for feeding your other pets too!

The Perfect Feed for Your Flock

Best Feed For Egg Laying Chickens

Purina Layena | Nutritionally Complete Layer Hen Feed Crumbles | 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.

Predators

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.

The Perfect Automatic Chicken Door For Your Coop

Happy Coop Door - Weatherproof Automatic Chicken Coop Door Open/Close with Timer/Light Sensor, Predator Resistant Self-Locking Gears, Protection Sensor
  • Plug and Play Design - Takes 10 minutes to install the door
  • Up to 6 Months of Power with AA batteries - You don't need an outlet for the door to work, it functions on 4 AA batteries or a 6V battery (adapter included)
  • Protection Sensor - Built-in sensor when closing to detect when there is an obstruction under the door to prevent injury to chickens
  • Protects Chickens From Predators - Due to it's design, the notches the gear uses to open and close the door act as a self locking mechanism that prevents predators from breaking into the chicken coop. With this your chickens are protected and you can enjoy fresh eggs in the morning
  • Door Will Open if Hell Freezes Over, Rain or Shine - Our weatherproof design has been tested to work during rainy weather as well as extreme cold temperatures as cold as 5°F

The Perfect Vitamin Boost Snack For Your Flock

HAPPY GRUBS - ULTIMATE MIXTURE OF WHOLE, HALF, AND POWDER OF BSFL FEED - CHICKEN FEED MIXTURE - 50X-80X More Calcium Than Meal Worms - NON-GMO, Molting Treatment, Great For Wild Birds, Reptiles, Ducks
  • Egg Armor For Your Girls Eggs - Mixture of whole, half, bits AND POWDER of black soldier fly larvae that you can mix in your chicken's feed. It increases the strength of your girls' eggshells.
  • Healthier Feathers - This product is better than bulk dried mealworms and helps keep your girls' feathers healthy and grow back quicker during molting season.
  • Laying More Eggs - Because of the nutrient dense profile of dried black soldier fly larva, your hen's egg production will increase!
  • Totally Safe for Reptiles and Other Birds - Happy Grubs is worm food that can also be enjoyed as bird food, reptile food, and turtles as a treat!
  • Easy-To-Use Scooper - Our bag comes with a scooper that makes our bsfl mixture and powder easy to pour into a bowl or add to your typical chicken feed. It also has a clip so you can clip it onto the resealable bag. You can use it for feeding your other pets too!

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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250 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. 🙂
          Cheers,
          Birdwhisperer11

        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

    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?

  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?
          Thanks

        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.
            Cheers,
            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.

        2. I FEED MY KOI AQUAMAX AND THE HENS ALSO LOVE IT. I STOPPED LETTING THE HENS EAT KOI FOOD AND THEY STOPPED LAYING.

      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,
            Claire

  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?
      Claire

  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?
      Claire

  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 🙂
      Claire

    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 🙂
      Claire

  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?
      Claire

  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.
      Claire

  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 🙂
      Claire

  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,
      Claire

  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 🙂
      Claire

  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.
      Claire

  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.
      Claire

  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 🙂
      Claire

      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.