Year and a half old hens not laying

My girls slowed WAAAAY down during the summer (as usual) but they are not picking the pace up now that it's cooled off... is it time to eat them and get new ones?  If not, what can I do to get the girls laying again??  Help! 

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  • we are going through our annual molt cycle ... last and this month .... that has been observed to curtail laying ...

  • My own girls were doing quite well through the heat of the summer, but slowed way down about 8 weeks ago, down to 4 or 5 eggs for 17 birds. In the past few days, I started offering more treats from the kitchen waste, and a scoop of COB mix that I had for the horses (Corn/oats/barley with molasses). Production jumped up to 10 eggs a day now. There's so much spilled pellets mixed in with their litter, it's not like they've ever had to go hungry, so not sure why this is making a difference. Yes, my coop area has DE, a light, appropriate layer pellets, oyster shell... No, they're not broody, not molting, so no idea what was happening here, either.

  • I have the same problem with 8 hens that are over two years old. I am lucky to get an egg a day. It appears that a few are ready to molt, feathers all over. Purchased some chicks over the summer and they should start laying after Thanksgiving. If there is no improvement on the older ones in the near future they are going to become chicken broth soon.
    I've tried everything. Its nice to know that I am not the only one having the same problem.

  • Suggestions and questions:

    Do you have a rooster? ( A rooster can encourage hens to lay more.)

    Have you treated them for lice? ( Parasites like lice can prevent them from laying. The treatment is simple. Dust them with DE.)

    Have they gone even one day without food?

    Are you supplying artificial light to lengthen their day?

    Are they getting the right amount of protein in their diet?

    Is there anything else which might be stressing out these hens?

    • Christie, everything being equal (and they follow me around like the Pied Piper, clucking for treats)... maybe it's my thoughts of homemade chicken broth that they are picking up and stressing them out?  They don't appear to be stressed... 

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