3 weeks - no eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LittleHomestead, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. LittleHomestead

    LittleHomestead Hatching

    Nov 21, 2014
    3 weeks ago a hawk attacked and killed one of my hens while they were free-ranging. The first few days the remaining 8 were very skittish. I have kept them in their large enclosed run (15 ft x 6 ft) attached to their coop. Not one egg since the attack! Yes, a few are molting but the others aren't. Have they been scared out of laying? Can that happen? The first few days I wasn't concerned but now I am getting worried.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland

    Yes, stress from the attack is most likely the reason you haven't seen any eggs lately. Chickens are very susceptible to stress and can take some time to recover from traumatic events such as predator attacks. I'm sorry to hear about your loss and hope things will return to normal in the coop soon.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto on the stress......also, if you live in the northern hemisphere, the short days/long nights can be a factor if you're not using supplemental lighting.

    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 a 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.

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