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3 Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ThePRfan, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2014
    For a while Mrs.Prissy(My red sex link)wasn't laying.She started maybe 5 or 6 days ago.Now that she has begun,she is doing great at,but my rooster,has cravings for her.My questions is,is this because she is the only laying hen?I'd hate to see her bald again,she just went threw molt.



    I have a 2nd question.(Pretty stupid 1)but still it's worth asking for.I have a few New hampshire reds.1 is more yellowish,while her mane is orange.The other,Flight,is actually red with some orange.So why are they called reds?And may not even have a
    full blooded hen?(PS.They both have black specks on the neck and tail.)

    My third.This is about Cinnamon and Pecking Order.I know how it works it.She is pretty big in it,but still won't eat with the group,and I know of a few bullies,but they don't don't do it very often.Also,before even getting the other birds,Chitchat,my PR or sex link,was at the bottom, very bottom ,the last 1.But now,Cinnamon is acting skittish and weak.Chitchat is acting free and less skittish.What's going on?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there

    If Mrs Prissy is your only laying hen it could well be that your rooster recognises that, and is trying to keep her eggs fertilised. It is not unusual for them to mount hens who have not yet come into lay either, but usually their favourite girl is a laying hen. If you are worried about her going bald from his mating attempts you could buy her an apron ('saddle') to give her some protection. All 8 of my girls wear aprons at the moment because we are in Spring and my rooster is very active at this time. The aprons minimise feather loss and make them more comfortable when he does mate them.

    As far as your New Hampshire Reds go, it is not unusual to have variations in colouring from bird to bird. Their genetics will play a large part in this and wether or not you have pure or crossed variations of the breed will have an impact also.

    Finally, the pecking order of a flock can change constantly. One thing is for certain - the head hen will always eat first, second in command will eat second and so on. If Cinnamon is not eating with the group at all, that is a firm indication that she is very low on the pecking order, if not at the bottom. There is a lot more to the pecking order than simply who is being bullied: Indeed, the second highest hen may peck at the third highest, but that is not to say the third highest is on her way down the order. It is just a negotiation and confirmation of who is who!

    A lowly hen will not be allowed to eat or drink with the others (they will drive her away from the feeders and waterers) and she will sleep on a lower roost too. Generally, if they are very low in the order they will not even socialise with the main group, skirting around the edges of the run and steering clear of all the other birds for fear of an attack.

    It sounds to me that Chitchat has risen above Cinnamon in the pecking order, and that Cinnamon is being separated from the food by the others. You need to make sure she is able to get free access to food and water as she needs it, so put in multiple feeders and waterers both in the coop and run. If she is becoming weak I would recommend doing this ASAP.

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  3. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She will eat first thing when she comes out,just not enough.Maybe three minutes or five,then she'll go under their stairs and sit there.Chitchat is scared of Cinnamon,but 1 peck from a higher hen in peck order,and Cinnamon's gone.

    Also,so my Newhamp may not be a pure blooded Newhamp?That sucks.But i'm use to it.
    I am sick of these store bought people.Hatchers are getting on my last nerve,but oh well,I still love my hens.

    All the hens are "Adults" it's just they all decided to quit laying.
    So Mrs.Prissy may intend on going broody?She already did once last summer.
     
  4. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The behaviour Cinnamon is exhibiting is that of a hen low on the pecking order. If she is hiding from the rest of the flock, that's not indicative of a hen high up in the pecking order. The fact that Chitchat is scared of her only suggests that Cinnamon is above Chitchat, not that Cinnamon is high up in the order of the whole flock.

    I have no idea if your girls are pure or not. If you buy from a hatchery or a reputable breeder they may well be pure. At the end of the day, unless you were intending to breed them for sale, it doesn't really matter if they are pure or not - they should all still lay eggs for you.

    Your hens may have 'quit laying' because of the shortening daylight now that Winter is approaching. There are many factors that affect egg production. Ensuring that they are getting free access to a good quality feed and water is one. The age of your hens is another. They also need a good, clean, well ventilated coop, appropriate health care as required, grit and oyster shell, sufficient daylight (approximately 14 hours per day), comfortable nests and a stress-free environment.

    Mrs Prissy may or may not go broody. Just because the rooster is fertilising her eggs does not mean she will sit for you. It is nature for the rooster to want to fertilise as many hens as he can, but wether a hen goes broody or not depends on her hormones, not on how often she is mounted.

    - Krista
     
  5. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I will clean the coop.But they are sleeping in the nest boxes,and pooping.I can;t do much about it.May this bea problem? Also,as her being so young,onlya 1 year,may she not feel free to do it again?
     
  6. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    They should not be sleeping in the nest boxes, no. As you say, if they do that they then fill them up with poop, and considering that's where you want them to lay eggs that is not ideal.

    Do you have roosts for them to sleep on? And are the roosts higher up in the coop than the nest boxes? Chickens will normally want to roost at the highest point they can, so if the nest boxes are up high you might need to move them lower (or move the roosts higher!) You could also try blocking off the nest boxes at night, and re-opening them each morning so they can lay.

    Cleaning the coop should be done regularly. We wouldn't want to live in a messy house, would we? Well, it's the same for chickens - they like a clean home too. Plus, a clean coop and run = less chance of lice and mite infestations occurring. It's no guarantee, of course, but everything you can do to keep your chickens in a clean environment contributes to their ongoing good health.

    As far as going broody is concerned, some chickens never go broody! Some will do it only once. And some will try going broody every few months! There is really no way to predict it. As I said, it's a hormonal thing.

    - Krista
     

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