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northybaby

all not laying

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I have 3 rescue hens all of which have been brilliant layers since the they arrived. I have had them for 1 year and now suddenly i'm lucky to get one egg a day. One of them is moulting but the other 2 are the healthiest they have ever looked. Any ideas why? also before they stopped laying the eggs had gotten really big. could this be anything to do with it?

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Do you know how old they are? Plus sometimes they will stop and start for no apparent reason , could they have been scared by something like loud noise or a prowling fox? Have a feel around their back end and belly just to make sure they are not egg bound.(you will be able to feel the egg) if not would wait a month or so and see what happens they might just start laying again? Chickens normally only lay for 2/4 yrs . Hope this helps.

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I have giver them a feel but i'll give them another look. They must be coming up for 2 now. I hope at least one of them lays for a bit longer as we love having the yummy eggs :) also when everyone's hens stop laying as they get older, do you just keep them pottering around happily and go back to shop bought eggs?

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We've had several hybrids now that have given up laying around 2.3 -3 years of age. We call them 'free-loaders' rather than 'free-rangers' then. All last autumn and winter we were egg-less with 3 chooks until 2 sadly developed peritonitis and had to be PTS. At that point we bought two new girsls to join our remaining hen and so we are now back to two eggs a day. We personally keep chickens as much as pets as for their eggs and so we are happy to let them live out their lives even once they are o longer laying; however, if eggs are really the priority for you then I think the view most people take is that it is entirely your choice if you want to cull non-laying hens start again.

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When two of mine stopped laying I just let them live out the rest of their life happily wondering round. Be mindful that a happy healthy pet chicken can live for many years!!! They might just molt a few feathers that you don't notice then start laying again? You could always rescue more chickens depending on the space you have and money for feed? I would never recommend putting an animal to sleep if its healthy even if they don't lay anymore??? You could rehome them and start again as not everyone has chickens just for eggs they make great pets too.

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I would never get rid of them. They are still so funny and entertaining. Even if our very noisy one gets us up at 5am everyday! We don't have space for more and they have their little group now so we will just let them free load haha. Might try and fing some other locals we could by eggs from :) thanks all

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Glad your not getting rid of them and your right they are funny to watch. People who rescue chickens and then cull them when they stop laying are no better than caged hen farmers, yes they may have a little freedom but the end result is the same. A life is a Life and should be preserved whether its animal or human ! I would only recommend putting an animal to sleep if its beoned help and suffering. Even then for animal lovers its a hard thing to do and to go through but the animals welfare must always come first....

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Looks like they are not done yet. 2 eggs a day for the last few days. Was a bit worried they might be unwell but they seem fine. thanks for all the help

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Also check you don't have an egg eater.With my battles as they got older the shells got thinner and they seemed to give one in particular a taste for eggs.I had to chek every 15 mins in morning and got lots of eggs,if I was out lucky to get one.

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Things to consider:

 

Could they have worms

Could they be suffering from another parasite that could be dragging them down

Quality of feed

Percentage of diet made up of quality feed

Egg eating

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I have checked for worms and have been treating for it regularly.

I have checked for red mite and no sign at all.

They are on the same feed as always, just layers pellets, but I have bought some vitamin stuff for them.

I also feed them left over veg and salad.

Pretty sure its not egg eating no sign of that (unless I accidently drop and break an egg, then they eat it!)

 

2 of them are laying again. so maybe it was just a phase !

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What have you been worming them with? If it was a herbal preparation, I would treat them with Flubenvet.

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Sometimes they go through the moulting stage without actually moulting so they stop laying then start again ? My rescue ones did that a couple of months after when I first got them . :wink:

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