Added pullets to flock - older chickens stopped laying.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Neophyte, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. Neophyte

    Neophyte New Egg

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Not sure if this is a flock management question or an egg laying question because the issue involves both.

    We have two 1.5 year old hens in a large enclosure. We recently added two 4 month old pullets to the enclosure. When the pullets were first added to the flock, the older hens were very hostile and alarmed, and this marked a sudden stop to egg laying. Three weeks later, egg laying has not resumed, even though the pecking order has been sorted and relations seemed to have improved (though they still walk around in pairs, never really mixing). About 5 days ago I added some eggs to the coop to see if I could encourage laying to start again, but so far we've had no results.

    Any suggestions as to how to encourage the hens to start laying again?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2010
    New Britain, CT
    [​IMG] I hope someone answers you soon, 'cause I have a similar issue. One or both of our newer (to us) older (in age) chickens gave us three eggs total for a few days after we got them home, but nothing since. Like yours, it's almost like they have cliques: the 3 (not-yet-laying) pullets hang out together, and the 2 chickens stick together.
    [Also, one of the pair is leaving feathers all over the place. Since I have read that chickens won't lay when moulting, it would seem that that's her problem.]
     
  3. Eastins Eggs

    Eastins Eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Ceresco Nebraska
    Where are you from? Is it hot, the temperature could be putting a lot of stress on the hens and the addition of new pullets may have pushed them over the edge and into a partial or soft molt. We have seen a lot of this in our older hens this year due to the heat.
     
  4. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    This exact same thing is happening to me too!! One of the pullets started laying but I miss my big beautiful colored eggs!! Hope someone can answer your question.
     
  5. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    Imagine mature, stately ladies suddenly being forced to coexist with a gang of rowdy teenagers. It took my girls a good couple of weeks to lay again after I added 5 pullets to their coop. They were not pleased with the disruption in their routine, and the end to their peace and quiet.

    Plus, we had a few weeks of extreme heat (for New England) and drought, all around the same time.

    One of them STILL isn't back up to her former production level, but we're patient with her. My guess is, yours will recover eventually. Good luck!
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    lol...been there, done that. I was lucky in that my girls only took a few days off when I added two pullets. Then when I did some coop modifications to add more roost space, they took a few more days off... [​IMG] Chickens definitely don't like change.
     
  7. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    I hear that. I moved their nest boxes 90 degrees awhile back, and they stopped laying for a week. When they DID start up again, they laid in another are of the coop, not the boxes.

    All 3 of my laying hens are currently boycotting the nest boxes, laying in a corner of the coop far away from them. The only reason I can find is that the silly pullets started sleeping on TOP of the nest boxes a few weeks ago (they used to perch on the perches!). Maybe the big girls think the little ones left their cooties behind over them? Goons.
     
  8. Neophyte

    Neophyte New Egg

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    Jun 30, 2008
    Quote:I'm in Eugene, Oregon, and we have had a bit of heat this summer, though recently it's got a bit cooler. Based on your response and others I think i'll just be patient. Maybe when it cools further the girls will finally feel better again.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Yes, ANY change or alteration in a routine, location, number of flock members, or other stressor can put layers off laying for a while.

    When my 8 month old BO, Buffy, went broody, she took the nest box most of the other ladies liked the best. That set THEM off laying for quite a while - especially when Buffy either stole the eggs they laid in the adjacent nest box, or they laid in their favorite one when she was up and out of it on a food & potty break. If Buffy wasn't laying, most of them weren't gonna lay, either, so there!

    Actually, it was during our really hot spell... but egg production was down until Buffy was finally out in the yard with my first GrandChick, and the favorite nest box was free again.
     

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