Now and again, egg-laying can just stop. Sometimes, it can be a struggle to find a reason beyond something obvious like a bottom trim. Here are some of the common causes we have found for a lack of eggs being produced.
Chickens with strong immune systems tend to be quite resilient to most diseases and stress. However, common parasites such as worms and lice can cause issues if allowed to build-up in number. Parasites “steal” the nutrients that should be going to the hen or cause excessive aggravation to hens.
Intestinal worms such as Roundworm are commonly contracted through rodent and wild bird droppings. Many dewormers are water-based and not registered for egg-laying birds, so check the information on the packet. Always sweeten up the liquid to encourage your chickens to drink the medicated water and always follow up the first treatment with a second. We have a feed-based dewormer for laying hens if you have difficulty finding the right liquid dewormer from your local pet shop.
Lice, and to a lesser extent, mites, are external parasites that are quite common. Poultry lice cause excessive itching and preening while mites bite like mosquitoes and drink the blood from your hens. It’s important to treat them and thoroughly clean your chicken coop at the same time to avoid any rapid re-occurrence.
Foxes are ever-present and the cause of a great deal of stress to hens and their owners. More common in suburbia than in rural areas, foxes are very observant and will choose their opportunity to attack very carefully. Hens are very attuned to the presence of foxes and will often stop laying suddenly if they detect one near their coop.
Loud noises can also suddenly stop hens from laying. Thunderstorms, barking or fighting dogs, construction noise, parties, or loud cars can all stop eggs flowing for a few days.
Bad behaviour by members of a flock can cause a reduction of egg-laying in the bullied hen/s. If bullying is particularly bad, the affected hen or hens will be under constant stress which will limit their ability to both access and digest food. Spraying a product like Vitality Booster on feed will add an extra layer of nutrition to support the health of any hens under stress.
In conclusion, there are various factors that can lead to a sudden halt in egg production from your hens. Health issues such as parasites like worms and lice can disrupt their overall well-being and nutrient absorption. It's crucial to address these concerns with appropriate treatments and deworming solutions. Perceived threats like foxes and loud noises can also induce stress in hens, causing a temporary stop in laying. Additionally, flock behaviour and bullying can negatively impact egg production by creating a stressful environment for certain hens.
Taking steps to support their health and nutrition, such as using products like Vitality Booster, can help alleviate stress and promote a more productive laying cycle. By understanding and addressing these common causes, you can ensure the optimal conditions for your hens and maintain a consistent supply of fresh eggs.