They come from a number of different breeds or species which is responsible for the differences observed in their growth and development process. This equally accounts for the differences in the age at which some of them mature and start to lay eggs. While Dominique’s species start to lay eggs between four and five months, the ones known as Rhodes Island Reds may start to lay eggs after attaining about eight months of age whereas, those called Lighter Weight breed may even start to lay eggs earlier.
However, as they start laying eggs, their productivity could be hampered by some prevailing situations which constitute the reasons the females commonly called hens stop to lay eggs some of the times. Such reasons are indicated below as well as the accompanying solutions to each of the problems identified.
15 Reasons hens stop laying eggs and the solutions
1. The Species of the Hen
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In the light of these vagaries in the number of inherent ova each species has, the quantity of eggs each species could lay in their lifetime and respective quantities of eggs each species could lay per annum, the species that can lay greater quantities per annum have the tendency to exhaust their life time quota earlier than those that lay fewer quantities in a year; hence, they lose their ability to lay eggs even when other hens of the same age but from different species are still laying eggs. However, each of the species ceases to lay eggs as soon as their life time endowed number of ova gets exhausted too. Therefore, no matter the species of a hen, it has limited quantity of eggs that it can lay in its lifetime and could not continue any time it exhausts its ova.
However, it is left to the poultry farmer or the individual to obtain necessary information from renowned breeders and hatchers on the characteristics and capabilities of the various species and decide on the one or a combination of the species to breed, depending on the individual or personal objectives. The same applies to every other person who intends to rear the chickens, either as pets or for their eggs and meat.
2. Old Age
- As a flock could comprise of varied species, the breeder should be watchful and identify hens that have ceased to lay eggs entirely and could then take any other desirable actions from the subsequent ones below.
- Dispose of those identified as unproductive by sending them out to chicken retirement homes; sell them off or slaughter them for meat.
- Retain the redundant hens if the flock was initially kept as pets.
- Replace the redundant quantities with young chickens from notable hatchers and breeders.
- Endeavor to make your choice from among the preferred species if replacement is the option chosen.
3. Poor Diet
4. Inadequate Supply of Fresh Water
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5. Inadequate Daylight and High Summer Heat.
In order to mitigate the adverse effects of the summer heat; ensure adequate ventilation of the cages within their homestead to let in fresh air that would douse the heat level and its adverse effect on the hens.
6. Inadequate Safety And Security Measures
Naturally, chickens appreciate a safe environment and thrive better within a homestead they consider adequately safe and secure for them. They feel more relaxed and predisposed to function optimally, particularly, within the period they are about to lay their eggs. Therefore, adequate safety measures should always be taken within the environment where the homestead of chickens is located
- Ensure that predators such as stray dogs, hawks and other animals, whose presence could frighten the chickens, are kept out of the environment.
- Prevent children from playing within the chickens homestead.
- Limit loud noise and movement of vehicles around your flock to prevent frightening the hens.
- Arrange for a sizeable number of roosters within their homestead; the presence of the roosters tends to offer protections to the hens.
7. Environmental Distortions
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This will give rise to some measure of distortions within their environment. During this period of interventions and or distortions, the hens will not be laying eggs. However, egg-laying will resume, once more, as soon as the situation settles down
Besides, the breeder should tolerate the shortfall as it is white inevitable, particularly, when it is imperative that the redundant old hens should be replaced with new chickens in order to shore up the depleting productivity of the existing flock.
Many poultry diseases such as avian influenza hamper hens from laying eggs. Others include bird flu, respiratory viruses, parasites such as lice, mites, worms and some others.
- Look out for possible symptoms such as dull and listless appearance, breeding through the nostrils, watery eyes, lameness and death of some of them.
- When any or some of these symptoms are observed, call the attention of a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Quarantine the infected birds to safeguard the healthy ones.
- Replace the dead with young ones from a reputable hatchery and do not replace with adult chickens bought from other breeders.
- Maintain a clean and healthy environment within your coop and its surroundings
10. Broody Hens
11. Insufficient Coop
12. Empty Feeders
13. Dirty Coops
14. Inadequate support Facility.
In the light of the foregoing, the major reasons hens stop laying eggs and the corresponding solutions to the problems identified have been lucidly highlighted
How long do chickens lay eggs?
This is more so as it has been explained that the various species of chickens are born with different traits, specifically, being born with different specific numbers of tiny ova which accounts for other peculiarities such as the ability to lay different quantity of eggs in their lifetime as well as in the year. /Based on these notable existing basic differences among the various species of chickens, it follows, therefore, that the issue of when, how and how long chickens lay eggs lacks uniformity due to these different natural endowments of their respective species.
Similarly, it follows too that the productivity pattern of f the hens which come from different species of chickens cannot be expected to be homogeneous because of these fundamental functional differences among the various species.
This explains further, why some hens lay eggs for two to three years and retire, while some others retire after laying eggs for three years. Besides, it also explains why some hens lay eggs for between five and seven years before they eventually stop. It is even not unusual to see hens that can lay eggs for up to nine years before they become unproductive. They are often found from a particular species known as Orpington.
In the light of the foregoing, it could be deduced that there is no specific age at which hens start to lay eggs and there is also no definite period of time for hens to remain productive. On the average, a sharp decline in the productivity of hens become apparent after two to three years or even more; the older they become, the lesser the number of eggs they lay until the eventually stop to lay eggs entirely.
Therefore, how long chickens lay eggs cannot be determined irrespective of their species.