Are my bantams traumatised - PLEASE HELP

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Aussie new mum, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. Aussie new mum

    Aussie new mum Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    Brisbane, Queensland
    We live in Aust and had a large tree (60 ft) fall on our house in a bad storm 2 nights ago. The tree was beside the chicken coop and while it didn't fall on it, there would have been a loud cracking as the trunk split and the roots lifted the pavers on one side of the coop. We moved the coop to a safer spot today and set it up the same way as it was before. My concern is my older bantam Lolly (12 months) stopped laying a few days before the tree fell but in the 2 days since the tree fell has not let me pick her up - she normally squats to let me pick her up. The other bantam is about 17 weeks and she won't let me pick her up at all - we didn't get her until she was 6 weeks.
    My questions are:
    Could the falling tree have anything to do with Lolly not laying and now not letting me pick her up or could it be as the other chicken grows up, they stick together and if one won't let me pick her up the other one won't?
    Do chickens just stop laying for no reason?
    Thanks for your help.
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Stress may cause chickens to stop laying for awhile. Also, moving the coop to a new location may have added to the stress caused by the storm. Chickens are very much creatures of habit.

    Are they still eating and drinking as normal?
  3. Aussie new mum

    Aussie new mum Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2008
    Brisbane, Queensland
    The coop has only been moved about 15 ft from where they were and is in the same area of the yard just on the other side of the path.
    Yes, they are still eating and drinking. I have built a temporary run for them that is attached to the coop (they normally free range all around the yard) and was planning on keeping them in there for 3 - 4 days. Even before the storm, the youngest one was going back into the coop at night for a few weeks then started going into the carport again and going to sleep on the car. I would move her back into the coop. I thought if I keep them in the coop and run the youngest one would also learn that when she goes outside the coop she goes inside to sleep at night. They had their favourite treat this morning (grapes) and apart from not being happy at being confined, seem to be ok.
    Can you tell me if I'm doing the right thing?
    We will have to move the coop again when the work is done on the tree and the house to repair everything. I know it's not good to keep moving them but I don't have any choice at the moment.
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
  4. UrbanChickenMama

    UrbanChickenMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2008
    Vancouver, WA
    You are doing all you can. I agree with the other responses, they stop laying due to stress. If they've stopped laying, then they'll stop squatting for you to pick them up. Just give them plenty of love and extra treats and I'm sure they'll get back to laying soon.
  5. mainchick

    mainchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Southern CA
    stress will do it! Also the weather change will slow down egg laying too!

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