View Full Version : My hens have quit laying..

February 18th, 2008, 07:40 PM
so I am new to chickens and such and have had two with one rooster for about a month and a half..
when we first got them they were laying quite regular, an egg each every other day or so.. over the past two weeks they have quit laying..
if it was one I would worry about sickness, but since it is both I am assuming they are fine and are cycling due to cold weather and such.. the days are actually getting longer so I am not sure it is due to lack of light.. any opinions would be helpful..
thanks so much
p.s. LOVE THIS NEW FORUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rotfl:

February 18th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Do you have a light of some kind in their hen house, or whatever shelter you provide for them? Keeping one in there can help start chickens laying again.

Also, if you only want them for the eggs, you don't need the rooster around. If anything he would do what comes natural and the hens may be trying to start brooding a batch of eggs to hatch.

Just my thought.


February 18th, 2008, 10:23 PM
I agree, a light in the hen house left on til you go to bed might help. The other thing i've heard is to give them warm mash for breakfast to warm their little bellies... Though it is getting warmer, they have probably used a lot of their stored energy all winter to keep warm and are starting to scrape the bottom of their stores, and thus conserving energy by ceasing to lay.

to make warm mash, just add hot water to thier feed to make it the consistancy of oatmeal.

also consider upping their calories in general... more fat! I don't know if you give them table scraps or refridgerator cleanings, but if you aren't DO.

help them conserve energy by making sure their house has lots of straw or other bedding and isn't drafty.

February 19th, 2008, 06:12 AM
table scraps and fridge cleanings..?? are you talking veggies or meats or everything.. I just cleaned out the fridge yesterday of left over celery, salad fixins, pears, ground beef, sour cream.. you know a little of this a little of that.. is there anything that would be harmful for them to give them.. it's not a big deal that they have stopped as long as I know they are okay and its natural.. they have hay in their kennel at night, they have free range during the day on the land.. pelleted self feeder container and water.. we'll be building a proper chicken coop in spring which I hope is coming soon as I am tired of winter cold..
thanks for the input

February 19th, 2008, 06:02 PM
OMG no! I don't think there is ANYTHING you can't feed a chicken.. that's why there are such good friends to humans!

meat scraps, spoiled food... ANYTHING... ANYTHING....

If they don't like it, they won't eat it....but REALLY ANYTHING.... the things I have seen chickens eat would gag a maggot... awe... shit.. I've even seen them happily EAT maggots....

They are nature's disposal system... and it's GOOD for them.... they will make your garbage into NICE eggs....

seriously.. there is nothing that makes a chicken happier than rooting through horse shit for undigested wheat.....

Our chickies get all the rinds and peelings that cooking produces, plus table scraps plus the weekly fridge cleanings... Once a week I rake their pen and put anything they have left into the compost pile with the straw bedding from their house.... my plants LOVE it.. and even if they don't eat tea bags or onion skins, they rip them up, poop on them and generally start the composting process.

my chickens are fat and sassy girls on this diet supplemented with a bit of layer mix and a chance to free range for a few hours each day and eat the bugs out of my garden and trim my grass.

often as not when I let them loose they go to the compost pile to look and see if their was anything they missed first time around.

February 19th, 2008, 06:11 PM
I second Tanya! Chickens really will eat anything - even chicken! :D

February 19th, 2008, 07:19 PM
OK this is REALLY foul (fowl) but when I was a kid (hippie kid mind you) after we butchered a few chickens... guess where all the guts went back to.....

I do love chickens... but they have NO class and no moral limits to what kind of nastiness they will put in their mouths.

February 19th, 2008, 08:56 PM
but now I understand why they keep hanging out with my horses.. couldn't figure it out for the life of me cause I sure as hell didn't see anything in there worth pecking around for!!!!
especially with their own grain full..
things that make ya go hmmmm!

February 20th, 2008, 06:18 AM
OK this is REALLY foul (fowl) but when I was a kid (hippie kid mind you) after we butchered a few chickens... guess where all the guts went back to.....

I do love chickens... but they have NO class and no moral limits to what kind of nastiness they will put in their mouths.

I had neighbors that fed their chickens leftovers including butchered chicken parts. Matter of fact, if they don't get enough protein they will peck a low rank chicken to death to eat!
And the more variety they get, the better the eggs!

March 4th, 2008, 12:53 PM
Yup on all the post. I agree. :)
Chickens are a natural cleaner for anything!!

They may be off right now with winter not quite being over.

I raise my birds with no artificial heat or light and when its cold their energy is going into staying warm not eggs.

Give it time and for spring to blossom. You'll probably have more eggs than you know what to do with.

Oh and molting. When the trigger in their system gets them ready for the spring and fall molts, eggs go down. They may be getting ready for their spring molt.

Dont worry if you start finding bald areas on the birds. Some like to molt heavy and drop a lot of feathers at a time. Some drop them slowly.

April 1st, 2008, 12:41 AM
Where were you guys when I was trying to do chickens with only an old barn with owls and no idea what I was doing. Book in one hand, chicken in the other. Oh wait, we didn't have PC's nor the internet then. Anyway, this was a fun and interesting read.

February 27th, 2011, 12:17 PM
Wow, I had NO idea that chickens were such opportunistic little beasties! This was a fascinating read. Very good reference material I will keep in mind if I ever get into raising chickens.

And here Frank Perdue and his son used to BRAG about feeding their birds marigold petals to get them that yellow color. Sheesh. With the way these birds eat, they probably could have fed them yellow PEEPS and gotten the same result.

February 28th, 2011, 12:59 AM
LOL.... probably right!
If you ever get to have "real" chicken and "real" eggs that are small flock home grown and not "factory" raised, you will notice the difference!
Do you realize the "fresh" eggs you get in the store can be 6 weeks old before the make it to the shelf! And, do you think chickens magically lay thousands more eggs just before Easter? No...most have been in a semi - frozen state for weeks! ICK!

February 28th, 2011, 08:36 AM
I've been vegetarian (well, okay, "flexitarian" is more appropriate, because I still eat turkey once or twice a year) for a number of years now. Chicken used to be my favorite food, but these days, meat of any kind sits like lead in my stomach. I need to pop at least a dozen Tums every time I eat meat. I would mostly want chickens for the eggs. I love eggs.

The chickens themselves taste different, too, when you raise them yourself? Maybe I would be able to go back to being a full-flegded omnivore if the meat I ate didn't have all that crap injected into it.

March 1st, 2011, 02:11 AM
If you have issues digesting meat.... try papaya! It has enzymes that help digest meat. You can also get papaya in tablets.