Chickens stopped laying : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Our 2 year old hens just stopped laying. Haven't had an egg in 3 or 4 weeks. They seem happy and healthy but just quit laying. Any suggestions?

-- Jeanne Wurster (, September 01, 1999


If you have put tick pellets out in the yard where your chickens are the pellets will make them stop laying. They should start laying again in about 6 weeks. We made this mistake 5 years ago. Hope this helps. Cindy

-- Cindy Bash (, September 01, 1999.

I have just begun raising chickens again (12 pullets, rooster) but in prior years I've almost always had chickens. My preference is Sex-Links (Rhode Island Red appearance) and Production Reds (same, only larger hen), both lay Huge Brown Eggs.

BUT, I've never had hens that lay daily year round. They always take a rest, usually in winter but sometimes in fall. I'd get 12 eggs a day for months on end, then resting time would come and it would cut down to 4-6. One hens gets her "rest" then starts laying again, but another is taking her "rest". After a few months of this, usually winter as said, they all get back on track and we get 12 eggs a day again for the remainder of the year.

I've never known of hens laying 365 days a year, but maybe someone else has?

-- Karleene Morrow (, September 01, 1999.

Most laying hens wil slow down egg production considerably after their first full year of laying. The molt has a lot to do with this. This is why I found that an economical way to obtain started layers is to go to a commercial egg operation and ask if they would be willing to sell you some birds that are past their first year laying prime. I obtained birds for $2.00 apiece. These birds layed plenty of eggs for my home use for a couple of years, and then made delicious soup to boot. The commercial guys want an egg every day, but I was satisfied to get an egg per bird every 2-3 days, and the price was right.

-- Dan Shaske (, September 03, 1999.

Hi, try giving crushed red pepper. You can mix it in cornmeal mush or just sprinkle it on the ground. My chickens love it and it always picks up the laying. But, I agree that they never lay 365 days per year at my house. That's okay. I don't always work myself.

-- rebecca (, September 04, 1999.

My father swears by spicy food such as hot peppers, etc. He picked up this tidbit of info from his father so I guess this is an old remedy. I haven't tried it on purpose, but can tell you that one time I gave my layers a batch of extra spicy leftover chile that was getting a bit past it's prime. I had a noticable increase in production within a day or two. I'd try it out again to see if it works for you, but the coyotes just killed off all but one of my chickens. The one they left was the scrubbiest hen I owned, but I guess she was fast and she's been laying an egg a day since!

-- Ellie Schwinger (, September 07, 1999.

Are you absolutly sure that nothing else is getting the eggs before you???My sis-in-law lives next door, and has a less secure pen than I do, and A possum was getting her eggs before she could, meanwhile Mine were laying just like always. Just something to be aware of. They do slow down at 2 years old, but I always keep a few oldies that are my favorites, their eggs are so much bigger!! good luck!!

-- Jenny Pipes (, October 04, 1999.

I have @ 40 hens and a few roosters that free range. When the length of the day begins to wane in late summer, the production goes down, and in September I was down to about 4-5 dozen eggs a week. After letting the hens "rest" for 3 or 4 weeks, I put the lights on with an automatic timer so their exposure to light was increased to 14 hours a day. I am now getting 16 to 18 dozen per week. Molting will also cause an interruption in the laying cycle, and cold winter weather is a deterrent, but exposure to light is the controlling factor. Good luck!

-- Brad Traver (, December 24, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ