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Author Topic: Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?  (Read 1847 times)

Rokx

  • Joined May 2012
Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?
« on: July 02, 2012, 06:00:19 pm »
My chickens all stopped laying about 3 weeks ago and haven't laid since...

They're still being fed the same food, they have been de-mited/wormed etc.  Nothing in their routine has changed.  I check a few times through the day and there have been no eggs at all, and no signs of egg eating.

The only other thing I can think of is that they are moulting; there are a few more feathers around (I think... not a huge amount though..) but the chickens aren't looking particularly patchy/sparse.

Do chickens usually totally stop laying all at the same time if they are moulting?  And if so, how long should this last?

If not, what else could have caused this?  We've gone from all 5 of them laying every day to none at all!
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SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2012, 06:03:07 pm »
They can all moult and stop laying at the same time, yes, so that could be it. 

Is there any possibility they are hiding their eggs from you?  We lurch from famine to feast as our unruly flock of freeloaders find ever more tricky places to lay and we search high and low until the cache becomes so large that eventually one of us spots it... ::)

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Rokx

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2012, 06:06:29 pm »
Hadn't thought of that!  They are in quite a big area, so will have to have a search!

hughesy

  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2012, 06:21:43 pm »
We caught jackdaws rolling eggs out of one of our coops the other day. They can be very persistent once they find an easy food source.

Rokx

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2012, 06:28:01 pm »
Just been out to search their enclosure and I didn't find any hidden eggs  :(

We kept them locked in their run last week for a few days in case they had been not eating enough of their feed while they were roaming around, and there were no eggs then either, so don't think it is anything stealing them.  Can't believe jackdaws stole from your coop though!  I didn't know they were so cunning!  :o

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 07:28:18 pm »
Yes they do stop laying completely as growing feathers consumes all the protein they have available. Often they eat the shed feathers leaving only the large ones lying around so its not obvios they are moulting. Part the feathers and look for new ones growing.

Rokx

  • Joined May 2012
Re: Do chickens stop laying COMPLETELY when they moult?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 06:29:30 pm »
Thanks Chris.  Hopefully it is just that then!  I did part their feathers and have a look for new ones today, couldn't see any, but I didn't look for too long.  They seem healthy in themselves, so I think I shall assume it is moulting and wait & see if they start to lay again.

 

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