Four possible reasons your hens are not laying eggs. It can be very frustrating to have hens that don’t lay eggs. You’re feeding them, keeping them safe and warm, and all you want in return is something for breakfast, but day after day you’re disappointed.
Despite the frustrations, this is a fairly common occurrence, and there are solutions to help ensure your hens lay more eggs, but determining the root cause of the initial problem is important; read on to find out more.
If a hen is too young or too old, it won’t lay any eggs. The majority of breeds will begin laying eggs at between five and eight months old, although some will be a little earlier than that, and others might be closer to a year.
Check which breed you have and when they are expected to start laying, as they may just not be ready. Equally, when hens get too old, they will stop laying eggs. Again, it will depend somewhat on the breed, but most will stop laying at around seven years old.
If your hens aren’t eating the right food and their diet doesn’t contain all of the essential nutrients they need to produce eggs, they won’t be able to lay any, even if they are the right age. Look for special animal feeds that are going to contain all the vitamins and minerals that hens need to thrive; learn more here about the type of all-natural food that will work well and have them producing eggs in no time. A hen’s diet needs to contain (among other things) calcium and methionine, with plenty of protein too
Many people feed a variety of foods to their chickens. It is important to feed a layer pellet or crumble to your chickens to keep their diet properly balanced. I prefer to feed a pellet, the chickens don’t seem to waste as much as the crumbles. This in turn saves money on feed.
I also feed scratch when I am not letting them out of the pen. I think they enjoy having something to pick at during the day.
In the winter time I feed at least a 20% protein feed, especially if you live in a cold area. The hen needs enough protein to not only produce eggs but to also keep her body temperature up.
They’re A Rooster
Although it might sound strange, hens and roosters are easy to mix up when they are young (and sometimes as they get older too), but despite appearances, the rooster, being the male of the species, won’t ever lay any eggs, no matter what you feed them or how long you wait. You need hens if you want eggs, and unless you want those eggs to be fertilized so you canmajority of breeds will begin laying eggs, it’s possibly best not to have any roosters at all.
If you bought a lot of chicks that you decided to take care of until they were old enough to lay for you, you might not have known if you were getting hens or roosters, and the person who was selling them probably didn’t know either. Some roosters will even camouflage themselves as hens as they mature if there is another rooster in the enclosure and they don’t want to fight.
Not Enough Daylight
Hens will often stop laying eggs during the winter when there is less daylight. Ideally, there will need to be around 14 or 15 hours of daylight within 24 hours before the hen’s body thinks there is enough light to raise a chick (which, of course, for the hen, is the only reason to lay an egg).
If you don’t mind not having eggs for six months or so in the year, you can leave your hens as they are. If, however, you would prefer your hens laid eggs for 12 months a year, you’ll need to invest in a bright light and a timer to put into their coop; this will fool the hen into thinking there is more sunshine than there really is.
These are just a few suggestions. If these simple solutions don’t help there may be other options you need to look at for your flock.
Enjoy your chickens and hopefully your abundance of eggs.