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Why are none of them laying?

(10 Posts)
marmiteandhoney Thu 10-Jan-13 20:36:58

My chickens haven't been laying for over a month, maybe two. I have five of them, and they all went into moult at once. Fair enough to not lay while moulting, but they're all glossy and lovely again now. And fair enough not to lay in the dark days, but days are drawing out again now.

It's not like they're all the same age, so have suddenly all come to the end of their egg laying life, either. One is old (three and a half, maybe four years), two are about two and a bit, two are one and a half years old. Surely they should still be squeezing the odd egg out occasionally?

There was some egg-eating going on previous to the moulting, but I haven't seen any sign of egg remains at all. Am pondering blowing a shop egg and filling it with curry paste just to see if that's part of the issue, but I can't see that it is really.

Anything else I could try? Would worming them help?

It's winter. They only lay occasionally in the cold, will pick up in march again.

marmiteandhoney Thu 10-Jan-13 20:42:02

We've never had all of them stop for so long before. But fingers crossed that's just them getting on a bit, and they'll pick up again in the spring.

Mine didn't lay for 6 weeks because of moulting but they're laying every 2nd or third day - but I'm in the south east so not really cold.

marmiteandhoney Thu 10-Jan-13 20:42:46

Yes, we're in London. It's not that cold here at all.

LemonBreeland Thu 10-Jan-13 21:00:15

As they get older they will stop laying for longer in the winter. Mine layed all through their first winter and the time that they have not layed for has extended each year.

marzipanpig Thu 10-Jan-13 21:02:24

When the days get longer, they will start laying again. <eyes pampered girls and shop bought eggs>

marmiteandhoney Thu 10-Jan-13 21:08:42

I don't like shop eggs wails
I'll forgive them though. Friendly little things. Although one followed dh right into church yesterday!

LittleB Sat 12-Jan-13 20:05:25

You shouldn't have to wait too long, mine always start laying again around valentines day, although my 2 youngsters (about 1 1/2) are laying 2-3 per week. Have you ever given them poultry spice, it can help keep them in condition during the winter - mine have it once a week in some porridge (with some grit), also apple cider vinegar in their water one week in four. I'd worm them if they are due worming - I do mine every 6mths, and check them for lice, I'd have expected your youngsters to start laying after their moult, unless they are chickens who don't produce many eggs (my araucana never lays in the winter - but produces such pretty blue eggs) Can you find somewhere else like a farm or other hobby chicken keeper to buy your eggs from while your chickens aren't laying?

GypsyTart Sat 12-Jan-13 22:20:32

Mine are laying a bit now. I would check that the nesting box/boxes are free of bugs. Red mites, rats, mice and other pests really put the birds off. Chickens usually prefer straw to lay on and a very quiet and darkish place to perform. Also I'd make sure that they haven't just changed location and started to produce nests in really awkward locations. Could be in the hedge or under trailers, etc. I'd check the hen house at different times of the day to see if someone is laying and perhaps other chickens are eating the eggs. Either that or perhaps put a few bought eggs in the laying box and see if they are still there by evening. Hope this helps.

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