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Is it time for chicken soup?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We bought 3 chicks last spring. All three matured and were laying for a few months, then we had a suspicion one had stopped or slowed down but could never figure out which it was since all appeared healthy .  We lost two of the girls in the winter to a hawk when none were laying. So now it's May here in sunny So. Cal. and  we have added two five-month-old pullets to our remaining hen about four weeks ago. She's still not laying, we've dewormed her and sprayed her and the coop for mites just in case. She looks healthy, is the bully of the flock, talks constantly like she has just layed an egg and occasionally crows.

 

My husband wants to make soup of her; which we agreed we would do when we chose to keep chickens.  I want to be sure we've given her enough time. I hate the idea of killing a bird that should be in the prime of her laying years.  


Edited by wwin - 5/14/16 at 8:12am
post #2 of 8

What kind of chicken is she? I would give her a chance still. You can always put her in the pot. I would agree it should be laying by May in So Cal. Have you actually heard her egg song? Could she be laying somewhere else?

post #3 of 8
Chickens are social creatures. They are not typically solitary beings; it's not natural for them to be alone. The stress of being alone for until you got her some mates could have caused her to stop laying for a while. Also, if she witnessed the hawk attacks of the two that died, that could certainly stress her too. And while it can be stressful to be alone for a chicken, it's also stressful to get new flock mates!

I'd give her a bit more time. Perhaps give them all some probiotics and vitamin supplements to help with stress.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

She's a Barred Rock. She sings her egg song around 3 times a day, between that and all her regular talking (she is very chatty) starting at 5 AM my husband  is very unhappy with her. Since the Hawk we've had them in an enclosed run and she sit's in her nesting box like she's laying so I don't think she's laying anywhere else.  We have been dealing with a rat problem at night but if they are getting her eggs they would have to be pretty fast and consistent since I was checking 5 or 6 times a day (Now I admit I only look once or twice a day) . 

 

I agree about being alone. It was extremely stressful and took me forever to find older pullets for her around here.  As it was I paid an arm and a leg for these guys. 


Edited by wwin - 5/14/16 at 8:37am
post #5 of 8
Also, did she have signs of worms? If not, then deworming can also be stressful. It's stressful whether they have worm overload or not, but if they do have an overload, at least it's worth it. Any sign of worms in her poo after worming treatment?
Edited by pdirt - 5/14/16 at 8:36am
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdirt View Post

Chickens are social creatures. They are not typically solitary beings; it's not natural for them to be alone. The stress of being alone for until you got her some mates could have caused her to stop laying for a while. Also, if she witnessed the hawk attacks of the two that died, that could certainly stress her too. And while it can be stressful to be alone for a chicken, it's also stressful to get new flock mates!

I'd give her a bit more time. Perhaps give them all some probiotics and vitamin supplements to help with stress.

I actually thought all of those things were also possibilities. Change is hard on chickens. Maybe give her till the end of this season, she's probably not gonna get any tougher. When I lived in So cal, my chickens did not stop laying the first "winter". The second season when they molted for the first time was when they took a break.

post #7 of 8

Sitting in the nesting box sounds like she might actually be getting ready to lay and maybe practicing. Or she's ready but her body is still working up to it. We will be eating our chickens also, so that's not why I say give her a chance. Like you say she should be in her prime.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I chose to try the worming med. because:

She had already not laid for months / nothing else was working and she showed some recent signs that might have been worms. 

I was adding new birds that had been on the meds and if she did have worms I didn't want her to infect them

It postponed the chopping block

 

It sounds like giving her more time is a good idea.  Unfortunately for her, more change is coming. Two 6-week-old Easter Egger chicks will be moving into a far section of the run next week.

 

I'll try the probiotics and vitamins. 


Edited by wwin - 5/14/16 at 9:21am
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