Healthy hen not laying

Marigold

Moderator
PKF Sponsor
Messages
8,053
Location
Hampshire, U.K.
I have three hens, all two years old. All laid very well from coming into lay in September 2020, throughout their first winter, and the summer of 2021. They moulted, as expected, in the winter of 2021-22, and gradually returned to lay from January onwards this year. The first to lay again was Amber, a sort-of-Skyline, that looks like a brown leghorn, with a flamboyant floppy comb, who lays pale greenish-grey eggs. The other two are both now laying an egg each every day, like youngsters, - but Amber has gone on holiday, or on strike, and it’s been more than two weeks since she laid at all. She’s perfectly healthy, appears to be top hen judging by the way she’s always first at whatever treats are on the plate at teatime, comb bright red, very active, appetite excellent.
I need 14 eggs per week for breakfast for the two of us, and normally three hens can easily supply this, with one or two extra for cooking. At the moment I’m just about getting that, except when one of the two layers has a well-deserved day off. But a can’t understand why Amber has so suddenly stopped altogether. Any ideas?
I have begun to wonder whether it would be a good idea to ask her if she realises the possible consequences if she doesn’t buck her ideas up - her conditions of employment clearly state that she can continue to live in chicken luxury so long as she lays eggs now and then, but failure to do so over a long period of time will result in abrupt termination of her contract, so I can employ two new, younger workers in her place. So far, I haven’t mentioned this to her, in case it makes her nervous and therefore less able to produce the goods.
Advice welcome!
 

Margaid

Active member
Messages
2,057
Location
Shropshire
No advice to give I'm sorry, and given the security of your run and how well you care for your girls there's no chance of her laying somewhere else is there? Presumably the last eggs she laid were perfectly normal with no indication that she might be about to stop.

Sounds as though maybe a verbal warning is in order, followed by a written warning if she doesn't take any notice.
 

Icemaiden

Well-known member
Messages
1,172
Location
Kent
Has she got any scabs on her comb? I've found that hens tend to go off lay for a while when they get fowl pox, which can be spread via mosquito bites.
 

bigyetiman

Well-known member
Messages
2,238
I think two verbal warnings, a written warning as per Margaid's advice is in order, or perhaps a diagram of your culinary needs might help
 

Marigold

Moderator
PKF Sponsor
Messages
8,053
Location
Hampshire, U.K.
I followed your advice, BYM, and delivered the first official verbal warning yesterday, reminding her of her contractual obligations, and making clear the conditions under which her live-in employment, and indeed herself, would be terminated if no eggs appeared within the next two weeks.
Result today;

2A186651-69A5-44D2-A7B3-64DADBC2C0BC.jpeg
 

LadyA

Well-known member
PKF Sponsor
Messages
1,278
That's actually hilarious! [emoji23]

Sent from my SM-A415F using Tapatalk

 

Marigold

Moderator
PKF Sponsor
Messages
8,053
Location
Hampshire, U.K.
And today, the other two have had a day off - but Amber evidently took the Talk to heart and produced this - on top of an opened bale of Aubiose!

A882127F-6D7E-4C5D-8F13-01D6D0E5BFC4.jpeg
 

bigyetiman

Well-known member
Messages
2,238
You could also threaten them with a visit from BYM and put a picture of me up on the wall, :eek: that should work, or stop them laying altogether.
Stop laughing Margaid :lol: :lol:

Glad the talk seems to be working
 

Margaid

Active member
Messages
2,057
Location
Shropshire
bigyetiman said:
You could also threaten them with a visit from BYM and put a picture of me up on the wall, :eek: that should work, or stop them laying altogether.
Stop laughing Margaid :lol: :lol:

Glad the talk seems to be working

You know me too well BYM! :D
 

Marigold

Moderator
PKF Sponsor
Messages
8,053
Location
Hampshire, U.K.
Well, I may need that pic of you, BYM.

The Last Warning Talk on March 29 produced an egg from Amber on March 30, and another on March 31, as above.
Since then, nothing, nada, not a single one in the past 8 weeks.
Consequently, she is now in glorious health, every glossy feather in place, first to the treats bowl and bossing the other two about. Piper and Ash are still working hard, each laying almost every day, and both looking comparatively middle-aged as a result.
However, Ash, the partridge leghorn, has just decided to moult. The run is full of feathers and she looks a sorry bird, her beautiful tail falling to bits, and with her lovely grey and brown feathers sticking out at odd angles, what’s left of them. She did a good moult in December so no way is another one due yet. She used to be the boss until Amber took over the role in the past few weeks. However, SHE IS STILL LAYING nearly every day, great big eggs!
Here she is, the poor girl, looking really tatty.

3A635555-30B7-4B80-89B1-F38464B73217.jpeg

And here is Amber, next to her, looking as if she’s just got back from the groomer, obviously intending to have first go at the corn on the plate.

67A6B818-79F6-43EF-9389-23D94192D048.jpeg

With the price of feed going up, my patience is getting thin…….
 

bigyetiman

Well-known member
Messages
2,238
It may need a picture of me then. Or tell her you will send Boris round to party, that should scare her back to normality.

She must be having a mid life crisis, poor dear
 
Top