Chickens can and do get upper respiratory types of ailments and will sometimes make a noise like you describe if something like that is wrong. Their lungs are not like ours so the noise/weezing sounds is more contant.
Also, depending on the breed and age of the chicken, they molt in the fall. Molting is growing a new set of feathers, which takes a lot of energy to do, and most all chickens will stop laying eggs during this phase.
Also, many breeds do stop laying for the winter anyway. Or if they are a hearty year-round layer breed that isn't getting the right diet, will also stop laying for the winter.