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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks so much. I have been trying for several months to get help. In the fall of 2021 I got 4 pullets. A Rhode Island Red, Isa Brown, Brahma, and a Bared Rock. They got on great and last winter I got 3 to 4 eggs every day. I go away for the summer every year but never had my chickens survived until then but this year I needed to find a chicken sitter. I built a new coop and transferred them in mid May. They layed great until early July and then 3 of them just stopped. Not slowed down just stopped, I brought the one we thought was laying home for 10 days and it was the Isa Brown. I never new chicken could lay every day but it is still laying. I decided I would get rid of them when I ran out of feed but all of a sudden the Brahma layed every other day for 12 days so I bought more feed. She hasn't laid since.??????? Every once in a while I find the Rhode Island in the nest. They are on the same feed. Now in the same coop. Nothing has changed. I wouldn't be so upset if I got one once in a while but they just stopped, I use a light that come on at 3:30. No one has been able to give me any idea and all my google searches turned up nothing. I only want them for eggs so if they don't start soon I am getting rid of them. Sorry for the ramble.
 

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Rambling is OK. Sometimes by rambling there is information hidden there.

You took the girls to someone to bird sit? Is that correct? Moving birds, even to a new coop on the same property, will cause them to stop laying. That's entirely normal.

It's Winter. It's the time their bodies take a break from laying. By using a light to force them to keep laying you're just burning them out faster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your comments. The problem I have is that they laid for about 6 weeks after I moved them and then stopped. It was the middle of summer. Only 3 stopped. Now 6 months later the one is still laying and one laid for about 12 days and then stopped again. I have been feeding them the same. The bedding in the coop is the same. They have a 12 X 4 outside run. Even with the light on I would think they should still lay for one more winter. I am now planning on getting new ones in the fall and replacing these shortly. It is to cold here in Vermont to keep going out looking for eggs all winter,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for keeping with me. Yes. The coop is only 4 x 4 but the run is 15 X 4 so there is place to hide them. I have an indoor feeder and waterer. I also hang a feeder in the run during the day. The water I keep thawed with a 40Watt bulb under a clay pot during the winter. I occasionally give them some extras like carrot peals and white potato peals, sunflower seeds and have always given my chickens these. just started with some meal worms hoping that would get them started. No luck.
 

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I also have an artificial light on my chickens over the winter, and even despite that they still slow down. They haven't entirely stopped yet, but I'm only getting about 2-4 eggs per day out of 17 hens, and most of those are a year or less old. Some factors that contribute to the slow down could be molting (entirely normal) or colder temperatures. They're putting more energy into keeping themselves warm and less into egg laying. If I have a few days of warmer, upper 20s temps I might get between 8-12 eggs. If your chickens aren't getting as much time outside (mine certainly are not because they are weenies and don't like snow), they may get a bit stressed out and stop laying, too. I try to find "activities" for them to do inside the coop, like peck at whole vegetables to relieve some of the boredom, but there's only so much you can do.

Also consider your birds are no longer young. Many chickens only really have an egg laying period of 2-3 years, especially those hybrids like ISA Browns. They churn out eggs, but their laying period and lives are relatively short. Heritage breeds often lay longer, but they won't lay you eggs every day anymore, and instead might give you 1-2 per week. I have a few heritage breeds who are at or over 3 years old and no longer lay eggs for me every day...now they're just pest control haha. I like to have a wide range of ages in my flock so I'm always in eggs, but I appreciate the wisdom the older hens impart on my younger flock members. They free range most days in the summer, and the older hens definitely seem to teach the young pullets about watching out for hawks and other predators, and where the good foraging spots are.

It might be time to consider adding some youngsters to your flock, as your current flock is probably reaching the end of their laying period, anyway. You might consider looking into breeds that are known for laying through the winter. The only other advice I can offer is make sure they always have plenty of fresh water and a decent layer feed to help egg production.
 

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The coop is also almost too small. The rule of thumb is 4 sq ft of open floor space per bird. You have the water and the feeder in there. If you don't have exterior nesting boxes they are also taking up room.

Lillith mentioned stress. Not enough space when they have to be up can be stressful for them.

BTW, helping is one of the reasons this forum exists. Getting to see other's flocks and set ups is another reason. And just plain talking about almost anything is also a reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all tnfo. If my chickens hadn't done so well last year when they were young, and if they hadn't stopped before they had laid for even a year, (10 1/2 months) I could except a lot of things. Even a slow down would be acceptable. And over the years my other chickens laid all winter with my light on about 4 in the morning. Same coop and run. Same food. Poulin layer pellets. In my early years I lost to ***** in the spring but fixed it last year so was all set for the summer. I am already thinking of new ones come fall but had planned on these for at least 3 summers.

As for calcium I am amazed at how hard the shells are on the eggs I do get.
 
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