Why do hens stop laying eggs?
There are a couple of reasons why hens may stop laying eggs. Various factors such as declining day, length, lack of nutrition, disease, broodiness, molting, aging and stress can greatly affect egg production.
The number one reason why hens stop laying eggs is due to declining day length. Hens are particularly sensitive to day length. LSU AgCenter poultry specialist Dr. Theresia Lavergne states that, the reproductive state of birds is regulated by the amount of light they receive each dayÃ¢â‚¬Â. Declining day lengths discourages egg production while an increase in day length stimulates hens to lay eggs.
Inadequate nutrition is another cause for a decrease in egg production. Hens require a balanced and adequate diet in order to continue laying eggs. Each egg contains significant amounts of protein and calcium and if the hen does not have enough of these minerals in its diet, then this may result in a reduced egg production. Providing those with nutritionally balanced food and giving them oyster shells will keep their eggs shells strong.
Hens infected with poultry disease are more likely to stop laying eggs. In case you suspect a disease, it is very important to immediately contact your local veterinarian and get them treated.
Age can affect egg production. Although a hen may live to many years, it is not unusual for a hen to have a decrease in egg production once it starts aging. As hens grow older, it will lose its ability to reproduce and will eventually stop producing eggs.
Some hens have the tendency to become broody, meaning that they will stop laying eggs and instead focus on the incubation of the eggs to make them hatch. Hens are more likely to become broody if they are allowed to collect eggs in a nest. So it is best to pick up the eggs at least once a day everyday to prevent the hen from building a clutch.
Hens are most likely to molt after producing eggs for several months. When molting occurs, the egg production is decreased since molting and egg production is not compatible.
Lastly, stress can affect a hen’s egg production. Avoid getting the hens stressed by limiting the occurrence of chilling, handling, environment changes, moving, parasites, fright and predators.