A lot of poultry owners feel worried and distressed when they open up their nesting containers to find out not a single egg has been actually laid. What have I done? Why have my chickens stopped laying eggs?!” Some committed chicken lovers find this moment so distressing that they temporarily develop hostile or contemptuous thoughts for their laying hens, but others put this perceived failure upon themselves and agonise over what they may have to cause this mockery! The wisest chicken owners know that this is all part of the natural cycle of a laying hens life and no eggs now does not always mean no eggs tomorrow. So, instead of tear yourself apart with shame and frustration, read this short article that will explain eight reasons which may be causing your laying hens to dry up.
1.The natural pattern of moulting will postpone egg development
It’s quite natural for chickens to moult throughout the autumn months, for example March through to May in Australia. This is a natural process that leads to all chickens to shed their feathers, because their body prepares itself to grow much more full and gorgeous plumage. Over these months your laying hens will appear slightly haggard and world-weary, however let me assure you that this is an entirely natural and essential part of being a chicken. One of the important point to note is that during this time you need to be vigilant and ensure that your laying hens have a balanced diet of protein (chicken feed) and calcium (shell grit). Other snacks, like yoghurt, berries and porridge won’t go astray either, as they often contain helpful vitamins and nutrients that will help your laying hens through this sometimes difficult moment. The upside is if your laying hens continue to put after their moult it’s very likely that your chickens with lay larger eggs. So, don’t despair when your laying hens start to moult, just look at it like your chickens are updating their egg maker.
2. Excess of bad food in their feeds
There’s the false perception between some well-meaning chicken lovers that a fat and happy chicken may in fact produce larger and more scrumptious eggs, but this is a total fallacy. Overweight laying hens, broadly speaking, are very unhealthy and their bodies won’t have the ability to function as they would if they were at the correct weight level. So, be certain that you only provide your laying hens the ideal types of treats, in addition to maintaining a balanced diet of chicken feed, shell grit and lots of water.
3. Not enough time in Sunlight
Not all first time chicken owners understand that laying hens need lots of time out in sunlight, otherwise they are unable to produce their eggs. This is due to the fact that there’s a gland that exists behind their eyes, which in response to sunlight produces certain types of hormones which cues the chicken’s body to begin egg production- that’s a really simple way of explaining it. The Automatic Door Opener is a perfect solution if you’re someone who prefers to stay in bed at six in the morning. Naturally, during seasons like winter and autumn when there are reduced daylight hours, chickens may begin to put less or stop entirely. Some breeders rectify this by introducing heat lamps and artificial light simulators, however that is left to the discretion of the owner, as some more organic farmers don’t feel comfortable playing the chicken’s biorhythms.
4. Your hens might be getting a bit old
Average laying hens will begin to produce fewer eggs once they are 72 months old. At the end of the day there’s absolutely no way from quitting laying hens from getting older but that doesn’t mean you must stop loving them.
5. Broody Hens
There comes a time in each chicken’s life when they feel pressured to be a mother. As most chicken owners do not let their laying hens to spend some quality time with a rooster, some chickens get really confused and believe that their eggs may be fertilised. This is usually referred to as broodiness and it often effect hens for five to ten weeks.
6. Stress can divert your chickens from laying
Chickens may look like tranquil creatures but through the laying season they are delicate and neurotic artists who need total concentration, otherwise they won’t be able to create their eggs. There are things which could cause your laying hens to feel distressed and distracted, such as untamed dogs, over-excitable kids, predators and enthusiastic owners who might be sticking their beaks to the nesting boxes too regularly. Additionally, transferring your laying hens to a new coop or introducing new chickens to the flock can also stress your chickens out, which in turn will inhibit them from laying. It is actually an excellent idea to put off any sort of significant modifications that will alarm your laying chickens to a time of the year when you don’t expect them to be laying anyway.
7. It may be a signal your chickens are suffering with lice and fleas
If you’re still unsure what may be causing your chickens to prevent laying you might wish to consider taking your laying hens for a check-up at the VET. Firstly however, check to see if there are any mites or lice within that dermis or on their skin which might be causing them distress. If you do find some mites or lice just clean out the coop and think about giving your chickens a wash, otherwise the fleas will continue to torment your poor hens and you won’t be able to enjoy their scrumptious eggs.
8. Disease and discomfort will stop eggs in their paths
There are a plethora of disease that laying hens can capture will often result in some terrible symptoms, which normally comprises a reduction in egg production. Most disease will often result in your chicken experiencing a period of diarrhoea, which can be characterised by excess mess around the poultry’s port. Once more, in the event you notice any typical signs of symptoms, which may include uncharacteristic reduction in eggs, please contact your local VET.
Most of the time laying hens cease to make eggs permanently or temporarily for a number of natural motives, such as age, season or moulting. Though a lot of us wish our laying hens would cook up tasty eggs for us for many, many years, this unfortunately is seldom true. The best thing you can do is relax, accept the facts and show gratitude to your laying hens, which have worked very tough for you for 72 weeks or more to prepare fantastic, nutritious and delicious eggs to you.