This week, I lost one of my beautiful hens. Autopsy not back yet. I've started the flock on antibiotics as per the vet's instructions. Before my hen died (mottled houdan, 7 months), she had stopped laying eggs about 10 days before she died. Her death was sudden and surprising to me. I thought the colder weather and the molting were the reasons for her lack of eggs.
Since Monday, two of my other hens haven't been laying. I'm watching them closely. Their comb and waddles are red and they are eating and drinking water. They both got to free range for a few hours today and were running around looking for bugs. Neither of them had any interest in laying. They usually make funny sounds when they are about to lay or seem irritated. I've been calling it 'fussy hen' syndrome. After laying, the hen make a noise and the whole flock celebrates. It's this loud chant they all do at once for about three minutes. Then I know that an egg has been laid.
Nothing. Not a sound. My little silkie did lay one egg a couple of days ago.. she's never been regular. The two that have stopped.. one is a cochin bantam and the other is a mottled houdan. The houdan wasn't as regular but an egg every other day. The cochin was everyday.. on a clock.. by a schedule.. just add two-three hours. I put some of her eggs from about a month ago back into the coop to see if that would give her the idea. She has moved them all around the nesting box... but isn't sitting on them. She won't sleep on the roost and last night she put them in the middle of her little coop and then was sleeping on the edges so as not to sit on them. She is not broody. The other one is not broody. With the houdan, it's almost like she forgot that she is supposed to lay.
I know that we are all grieving the loss of Paris. The pecking orders have changed and everyone is all out of sorts. I can't eat the eggs anyways because of the antibiotics, I'm just worried this is a symptom that they are all dying. I want to know they are going to live. They never have to give another egg. They are my buddies.