As fall progresses here in southwest Montana our egg production has reached new lows. Our flock is the smallest each year at this time. Chickens ability to lay eggs is directly related to the number of hours of light, aka length of days. This can often be compounded by a fall molt.
Egg farmers today often light their chicken barns to ensure that they lay regardless of what is happening in nature. I raise my chickens more naturally and work with what light nature sends my way. I allow the natural rhythm of the seasons of life to cause my chickens to slow down and even take a break from laying eggs.
Molting is that time when chickens decided that their feathers must be replaced. For my birds it is usually happens during the fall and winter months. It seems to be one of those things that is counter intuitive to mother nature. Why would birds naturally lose all their feathers when it is getting colder out?? Who knows but molts traditionally occur in fall and winter.
With a small flock then compound in the shortening days and the loss of feathers eggs become a precious commodity.