If you have noticed a sudden drop in the number of eggs your chickens are laying, you may be wondering what has happened. Fear not, for there are several common reasons why your hens may have stopped laying eggs. In this blog post, we will explore nine astonishing reasons why your chickens may have stopped laying and reveal what you can do to fix the problem. So, grab a cup of coffee and read on to learn more.
Where Did the Eggs Go? 9 Astonishing Reasons Your Chickens Stopped Laying Revealed!
Having backyard chickens provides a unique sense of satisfaction for many reasons – collecting freshly laid eggs being one of them. But what should you do when your beloved hens have suddenly stopped laying eggs? In this article, we will reveal nine startling reasons why your chickens may have stopped laying and provide practical solutions to get them back on track.
1. Nutrition Deficiencies
Just like humans need a balanced diet, chickens require proper nutrition to remain healthy and produce eggs. If your chickens’ diet lacks essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamins, egg production can be affected. To solve this issue, ensure your chickens are getting a well-balanced diet, including pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, and mealworms.
2. Age of the Chickens
Chickens are most productive when they are young and can lay up to an egg per day. As they age, their egg production gradually decreases, and this can sometimes stop altogether. If your hens are over two years old, it is natural for them to lay fewer eggs or stop laying altogether.
3. Changes in Light Intensity
Chickens rely on the sun’s light to regulate their egg-laying cycle, and their bodies react to changes in daylight hours. If the intensity and duration of light your chickens receive change too drastically, their egg-laying cycle may be disrupted. To maintain consistent egg production, provide your hens with 14-16 hours of light daily.
4. Stress and Trauma
Just like humans, chickens can experience stress and trauma that can significantly impact their egg production. This could be due to an overcrowded coop, predator attacks, or even moving them to a new place. To ensure your hens’ emotional well-being, ensure they have enough space in their coop and run, and avoid sudden changes to their environment.
Molting is a natural process where chickens shed their old feathers and grow new ones. During this period, their bodies focus on regenerating feathers rather than producing eggs, leading to a significant drop in egg production or stopping it altogether. To help your chickens through this process, provide them with a balanced diet, some extra protein, and ensure they are well-hydrated.
Broodiness is when a hen decides to sit on a nest of eggs and hatches them to chicks. During this time, the hen will stop laying eggs altogether. To prevent broodiness, provide your hens with plenty of nesting boxes and discourage them from sitting on one for too long.
Chickens can suffer from various illnesses that can impact their egg-laying production. Some common illnesses include coccidiosis and Marek’s disease. Keep your chickens healthy by maintaining cleanliness in their coop and run, providing ample ventilation, and seeking veterinary care immediately when necessary.
8. Genetic Predisposition
Some breeds of chickens are naturally more productive egg layers than others. Before selecting chicken breeds, do your research to find out which ones are known for being prolific egg producers. Breeds such as Leghorns, Australorps, and Rhode Island Reds are famous for their egg-laying abilities.
9. Temperature Extremes
Extreme hot or cold temperatures can disrupt a hen’s egg-laying process significantly. It is crucial to ensure your chickens have a clean and well-ventilated coop to keep them cool in hot weather. In cold weather, provide a heated coop to keep your hens warm and comfortable.
Before panicking when your chickens stop laying eggs, go through this list of reasons why they may have stopped. Remember that identifying the root cause is the key to correcting the problem and getting your hens back on track.
Q1. How long does molting last, and when does it occur?
A1. Molting can last up to two months, and it can occur in the fall or late summer.
Q2. Can too many treats affect egg production?
A2. Yes, too many treats can lead to obesity and nutrient deficiency, leading to a decline in egg production.
Q3. How long is a hen broody?
A3. A broody hen can remain broody for up to four weeks.
Q4. What is the best feed for egg-laying hens?
A4. A balanced diet that includes layer pellets and fresh vegetables is ideal for egg-laying hens.
Q5. Can hens lay eggs in the dark?
A5. No, hens require light to lay eggs, and total darkness can cause them to stop laying.