7 month old stopped laying and has a shriveled comb

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by elmoore00, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. elmoore00

    elmoore00 New Egg

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    My Blue Andalusian started laying in August. She was laying 6 eggs/week for 2 months and then stopped abruptly in October. I have noticed many of her feathers in the cage and that her comb is shriveled up as well. I suspected that she was molting but from what I am reading she shouldn't molt until next fall. Right before she stopped laying, she was viciously attacking our Orpington and I had to put her in a dog crate during the day. I ordered some of the chicken blinders and that put an end to the attacks. I tried taking off the blinders, but the attacks started again, so I put them back on.

    This is our first flock and we have 6 total. Is something wrong with her?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    A lot of things can cause a hen to quit laying, and most are temporary. Any or all of the things you mentioned could cause it.

    However, I suspect the main cause is her shortened exposure to daylight now that it's winter, that is, if you live in the northern hemisphere. Try turning on a low wattage light a few hours before sunrise and see if that does the trick.
     
  3. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At first I thought the "shriveled comb" might be a sign of a problem but I found this via a google search:

    A hen that is not laying will often have a more-shriveled comb and it may not be as bright red. Her vent will often look dry. Her pubic bones will feel very sharp and be tight around the vent area.

    So I'm going to go with it probably being a daylight issue, depending on your location of course.


    http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/6-5/the_answer_man_layer_issues/
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is your coop and run?

    Could be a crowding issue is causing the aggression and the stress can add to the reasons they stop laying.
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    She's moulting. The shriveled comb and feathers lying around are a dead give away. Give her some higher-protein feed like Flock Raiser or even chick starter while she regrows her feathers and then start up with the calcium-enriched layer pellets again once you see her comb start to plump up.

    The combination of stress and lack of 14 hours of light a day is enough to throw even a pullet into moult this time of year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The condition of the comb is meant to be an indicator to the rooster which hens are fertile and receptive. Birds that are molting, ill or broody combs become pale and lose their plumpness, an indicator they're not in a place to reproduce, thus not receptive to mating. So the comb thing is normal.

    I agree it's unusual for her to molt at this age, but the stress could have brought it on. I agree on the overcrowding--how much space do you have, coop and run? If you have birds attacking each other, in my mind the peepers are just a stop gap, it means you have a flock management issue to address.
     
  7. elmoore00

    elmoore00 New Egg

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    Thanks for all the responses. My coop and run total more than 130 square feet. I thought that is more than enough for 6 chickens.
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Definitely. Watch her comb, when it begins to redden up again, watch for eggs.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is just the coop?
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    That is plenty of room, so something else is going on with the attacking. I'm not good at trouble shooting things like that--if they have plenty of space and places to hide, and I still have an overly aggressive bird, I just invite her to dinner. That's my solution to a lot of things lol.
     

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