And then there were 2

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nutmeg259, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 In the Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    About three weeks ago, a predator grabbed 3/5 birds, so for now they are confined to their coop unless we are outside with them. The two remaining birds are both one year old. Immediately after the attack I was still getting 2 eggs a day, now all of the sudden I'm lucky to get 1 every few days. They also have no interest in the fresh fruits and veggies I offer them. I'm very new to raising chickens but I can surmise that the decreased egg production is a result of their near death experience, loss of their buddies, and confinement to the coop. Their coop is 8x4 and the attached run is 6x6.

    Over time, will they adapt and begin laying again? We would like to get a few more birds, but I'm worried this will create additional stress for them. Thought and advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014

  2. They'll adjust. Chickens HATE change and stress. They've had both in spades.
    1) they've experienced an attack from a predator
    2) they've experience a change in the flock makeup (missing 3 members)
    3) they've experienced a change in their enivronment (keeping cooped instead of free range)

    All those things cause stress.. pretty much any change in a chicken's routine causes stress - I swear they're worse than my horses!. Stress = lack of egg laying. Yes, adding more birds causes stress as well. In my not-so-experienced opinion, adding birds right now is probably not a good idea. Might be better to let them settle.

    That being said, you mentioned they were laying 2 eggs a day and now 3 weeks later they're not laying much. Another consideration is.. has it gotten hot where you are? This often leads to lower egg production too. Lack of interest in fruits n veggies might be an indication that they're heat stressed or that they have something else going on. How about worms or mite / lice infestation? How's their weight? Color of their combs? Brightness of the eyes? See any bugs crawling on their legs? any hidden injuries from whatever got your other birds?
     
  3. nutmeg259

    nutmeg259 In the Brooder

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    Jul 13, 2014
    Yes, it has been warm (for Maine anyway.) Their weight seems fine... One of them was lucky to be alive. She lost a bunch of feathers on her hind end, I have no idea how she escaped! No noticeable injuries though, and the feathers are growing back.
     
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Really, I am more of the in for a dime, in for a dollar, everything is upside down, may as well as add to the flock. Instead of waiting till settled and then messing it up again.

    If you can get point of lay birds, or really any adult bird, if it was healthy, I would take it. Because winter is not that long away for Maine, and more birds make more warmth.

    Mrs K
     

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