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3 hens only one laying.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TarnFrenchy, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. I had 5 hens and then a cock. The cock was getting so cocky all hens stopped laying after he was introduced.

    All the hens combs went very pale. I got rid of the cock but still the hens day aged combs were pale and no eggs.

    2 hens died within days of each other.

    Now 3 hens and 2) still have very pale combs and no eggs. One had recovered her nice red comb and is laying daily.

    What can I do for the 2 not laying.

    Hens have their coop and they sleep in their Iglu style coop nightly. Being fed on wheat, sunflower seed and purchased in chicken pellets. Plus they get treats of left over cat food mashed into the seeds as well as fresh veg and fruit.

    At a loss. Do I get rid of the 2 non layers and replace?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You don't say the age or breed. That's important information.

    One thing I'd do is loose all the extras for a while. Chicken feed is a complete ration. Anything else can skew nutrition.

    This is the time of year when laying slows/stops due to shorter days.
     
  3. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I kinda doubt the rooster's attitude caused this much of an issue. It sounds more like he brought disease, since you say two birds died (although it could be a coincidence). Pale combs can mean illness, or molting I hear.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeah, molters always have pale combs and don't lay.

    The 2 deaths in short order is a major concern.
     
  5. Thanks for the responses.

    To fill in the gaps.

    I started off with 3 French breed Red hens back in April and they were full grown but not mature hens so we knew we had to wait for eggs, and then my neighbour suggested Black Maron birds as hardy, best layers. So I purchased 2 of these in May. Again full size but not mature. Again expecting a wait.

    2 to 3 weeks and we were getting eggs regularly.

    About 3 weeks later the Cock was introduced and he set about every hen ripping their combs until they were all bleeding profusely. During his time egg production dropped from 3 per day to 1 a week if we were lucky.

    One of the girls trying to flee from him damaged her leg and hopped around trying to keep away from him. Her leg was quite damaged as she would not put her weight on it. Every time she lay down trying to rest her leg with it outstretched he would jump on. I allowed this for 3 weeks before getting rid of the cock and no sooner had he gone that the girl was back on her 2 feet.

    At this point no eggs.

    Some 8 weeks later out of the blue we found one hen in the coop dead and then a fews days after that another hen dead same place. We have pressure washer disinfected the coop with fungicide regularly and checked the birds for mites and ticks and things but no sign of anything.

    The coop is of wood construction and roughly based on the design of EGLU coops; raised off the ground with a ladder and under the roosting bars is open so any poo can fall to the ground. The nesting box is closed but for air vents. The nest area is insulated and warm.

    All of July, August and September, no eggs. Only in the last few weeks has one of the 2 black hens had a bright red comb again and started laying again. The other black and the last red hen still have very pale red combs and are not laying.

    Our neighbour has some 40 hens in total and daily collects between 30 and 40 eggs. We have tried to emulate him just on a small scale and we have told him about our problems but even he is at a loss as to what is going on.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Regularly? Like how often and with what chemical exactly? Not sure that is a good idea.

    What is your climate? You can put your location in your profile so folks can give better answers/suggestions.

    Could just be that the shortening days, on top of all that stress - and possibly disease form introducing birds from multiple sources, have put them off laying.
     
  7. When the hens stopped laying we considered all options and a friend suggested that perhaps the birds were infected and that we should disinfect and do so regularly to ensure that the birds stay healthy. We went to our local agricultural suppliers and we purchased a professional product and followed the instructions. It tells us it eliminates red mites and other nasties that attack hens via the coop.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd just give them time to settle in, no more stress causing changes..sometimes it just takes patience.

    Are they getting a balanced diet? At least 16-18% protein and some calcium?

    Could be the shortening days/lengthening nights:

    The not laying could be because of lack of daylight. Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
     
  9. Thanks for the detailed response. I suppose the real question I'm raising is how do I get the 2 hens that have laid previously back to having nice red combs and therefore laying again?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sometimes you just have to wait, you can't make them do anything really......and as I said before, they may not lay thru the winter without supplemental light.
    The redder plumper combs happen when their bodies are ready to lay.

    I'll ask my question again: Are they getting a balanced diet? At least 16-18% protein and some calcium?
     

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