Have your hens stopped laying? The catastrophe ! Aren’t they happy with you? Or maybe they have an illness that they can’t tell you about? Find out the reasons behind the problem and several home remedies to get hens to lay eggs.
Emergency: My hens are no longer laying eggs!
Among the reasons that could explain the lack of eggs in the nest box is the age of the animals. Note that a hen would only start laying once the age of maturity has been reached. This could vary, but is usually between 5 and 7 months. Ideally, the barnyard will produce eggs for 2, 3, 4 years (depending on the breed). Afterwards, your hens would gradually begin to lay less, as they age. There would thus come a time when they are no longer able to lay eggs.
Hen too young or too old
Apart from age, there is also feed which is essential for laying eggs, as well as for the general health of the poultry house. This concerns the three – undernourished, overfed and malnourished hens. If animals do not receive the macro and micro-nutrients necessary for their development, they will suffer. One of the indices of such suffering is to be perceived in particular at the level of the quality and frequency of the laying. Hens need about 20 grams of protein per day, so be sure to provide them with this through feed. Hydration is also important, so make sure your chickens have access to fresh water at all times.
Diet with little protein
#The lack of light
Do hens lay eggs in winter? Many of us ask ourselves this question because we tend to collect fewer eggs on cold days. This is probably due to the days getting shorter. In principle, the hens need a dozen hours of daylight to maintain their laying. To maximize production, 14-16 hours of light per day will be needed. However, it is better to let the hens take their well-deserved rest, before they come to start breeding again in winter.
#The moulting period
This period also coincides with the moulting of the hens. That is to say, with the period when the barnyard loses its plumage. All the energy resources in the hen are called upon so that it can produce new feathers. She then stops laying eggs, in order to save energy for this regeneration process.
Lack of light and regenerative moulting period
Man is not the only creature that suffers from stress. When hens suffer from this, they might stop feeding, start laying eggs in strange places, or even stop laying eggs. The reasons for stress are quite varied. A predator attack, new arrivals in the barnyard, a move from the chicken coop, a hyperactive and violent rooster.
#Pests and diseases
Finally, if you have guaranteed good living conditions for your hens but they still do not lay eggs, they may be suffering from a disease or parasites. A chicken coop teeming with lice and mites is under tremendous stress. A heavy infestation could lead to anemia in the hen.
Before resorting to grandmother’s recipes for laying hens, first think about ensuring adequate living conditions. Several factors are to be considered and we will briefly present them in the following lines.
#Choose the beautiful breed
There are breeds of laying hens specially bred for their ability to produce eggs. It is then in the first place very important to opt for such. Free-range red hen, the Marans, the Sussex, the Leghorn, the Harco, the Gâtinaise, the Gournay.
Be sure to ensure excellent living conditions for your hens, eliminating any source of stress for them. Keep predators and pests away, just like cats and dogs for that matter. To reduce stress, consider again minimizing changes in the hens’ usual routine. Diet, habitat, daily walks, new members – keep them to a bare minimum.
#Make them eat a balanced diet
We have already pointed out the importance of protein in the chicken menu. The supply of calcium is also very important, so that the eggshells are as hard as possible. To boost the amount of calcium in the feed, consider adding oyster shells or cooked eggshells to the hen menu. Attention ! Do not treat your hens to an excess of delicacies. Being overweight could also prevent your hens from laying eggs. Never leave your chickens without water either! Heat waves are as stressful for hens as the cold.
#Watch out for pests
Watch out for parasites and regularly inspect your hens’ heads, feet and plumage. If you spot traces of the presence of these organisms, act without delay!
#Ensure sufficient space
Wedging the hens into too small a space would be a mistake. If they like to spend the night nestled next to each other, be sure to guarantee them plenty of space during the day. In general, it is considered that inside the coop the hens would need 0.5 to 1.5 m2 per hen. This of course, in case they go out for a walk during the day. Otherwise, they would need 10 to 20 m2 per hen in an enclosed coop. Otherwise, the hens could develop anti-social behavior. Eating eggs, pecking and tearing leaves, trampling and attacking the weakest in the hen house. The hen that lays and a happy hen. Giving chickens space is a matter of well-being and mental and emotional health.
#Take care of the hygiene of the chicken coop
Similar to humans, hens also dislike eating, sleeping and socializing in a mess and dirt. For them to lay a lot of eggs, make sure you provide them with a clean and healthy environment, by cleaning the nest box regularly.
Grandma’s Remedy for Laying Hens
In case you want to stimulate your hens to lay eggs, however, there are plenty of natural remedies with beneficial properties that you could take advantage of. Such are for example the medicinal herbs listed below. Just add them to the hens menu to enjoy.