12 Reasons why chickens stopped laying eggs

There are many reasons why chickens may stop laying eggs. Under normal conditions, chickens will lay an egg after every 24-26 hours. If they stop laying eggs, this should be a big concern to you as a farmer, especially when the cost of raising chickens is skyrocketing.

Here are 12 key reasons why chickens may have stopped laying eggs.

Poor diet

Poor diet is one of the key reasons why chickens stop laying eggs. Are you feeding your layers with the proper diet? Have you recently changed your diet?

One crucial fact to note is that even a change in the pellet brand can impact your hen’s laying behavior. Make sure you give your layers a balanced diet. Feed rich in vitamins such as mealworms, oats, and pumpkin seeds are a good option if layers’ pellets seem not to work.

Lack of enough daylight

The lack of enough daylight is another reason why chickens stop laying eggs. To sustain strong production, chickens require at least 16 hours of daylight.

So, ensure you provide additional artificial light in the coop for consistent egg production. Otherwise, hormonal responses due to a lack of supplemental light will cause your chicken to stop laying eggs naturally.

Also, be courteous with how much light you give your chickens. Note that excess lighting can trigger problems like cannibalism in poultry.


Broody chickens do not lay eggs. As your chicken prepares for a brooding period, she will stop laying eggs. The brooding period is 21 days, during which chickens will not lay eggs.

New stock added

If you’ve recently bought a new stock, this can be part of the reason your chickens stopped laying eggs.

Be patient to give your chickens a few days to adjust to their new environment.

The same goes for the case when you’ve just introduced a new stock into the flock. Introducing new stock disrupts the flock’s routine pecking order and could explain why chickens stop laying eggs.

Change of environment

A change in the environment can significantly affect your chicken’s laying behavior. A change in environment can be why chickens stop laying eggs because birds love routine. Any slight disruption in their everyday routine will impact their behavior.

So, if you recently changed the coop, chances are that your chickens are unhappy or stressed.

The type of breed

What kinds of layers do you’ve?

Layers have different laying behavior. For instance, improved kienyeji chickens lay more regularly than pure kienyeji chickens. Our article on the differences between improved kienyeji and pure kienyeji is very helpful. 

The idea is that certain breeds are better layers than others. This means that you must be considerate when selecting layer breeds.

Chicken age

Factors related to age can be some of the reasons why chickens stop laying eggs. In most chicken breeds, laying starts between weeks 18 and 20.

Once laying begins, your chicken will be productive. The productivity is optimal during the first year but declines over the subsequent years until the chicken retires


Chickens’ laying trend will change when they are sick.

The presence of symptoms such as a drop in energy levels, droopy tail, refusal to leave the coop, diarrhea, vent discharge, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, gasping, or eyes turning glassy, droopy, or water are red flags.


Stress is actually the primary reason why chickens stop laying eggs. In fact, laying stops when chickens are exposed to any stressors –broodiness, illnesses, insufficient light, name them.

Stress is a cause of a decline in productivity in all layer birds.

Extreme weather

Changes in weather conditions can also cause chickens to stop laying eggs. Extremely hot or cold weather could stress your chicken and impact their productivity.


Molting is a period when chickens lose and regrow new feathers. Molting happens at 18 months and annually after.

A brief break in egg production may occur during molting as chickens direct their energy to develop feathers. Once new feathers grow, usually after 16 weeks, the productivity should restore. 

Try to switch to protein-rich foods during molting to supplement your chickens’ energy.

Inadequate watering

We cannot ignore the watering issue when talking about why chickens stop laying eggs. Water is part of the chicken diet but is often ignored.

If your chickens don’t get enough water or have no access to clean, fresh water 24 hours, the laying cycle will be disrupted, and egg production will drop.

Final thoughts

As you can see, there are many reasons why chickens stop laying eggs. As you can see, the real causes of chickens not laying relate to factors over which the raiser has complete control.

If you’re already facing problems with your layers’ laying habit, simple improvements to your management practices will get everything back to normal.

Let me hear your thoughts on the comments.

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