Bobcat attack refugees (Australorp and ameraucana) likelihood of laying again

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sethiwsmith, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. sethiwsmith

    sethiwsmith New Egg

    Jan 21, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    About a month ago I took in two hens from a friend whose flock was getting ravaged by a bobcat. In a short amount of time her flock went from 10 down to two sad refugees. They were pretty low on the totem pole in the flock, and were both hen pecked pretty gnarly. Before the bobcat attacks they were steady layers but, understandably, quit laying once a few others were picked off. They've both grown back their feathers beautifully, and are definitely showing signs of growing confidence.

    When we took them in, they went into our chicken yard with two RIRs (about 8 months old, but hadn't started laying yet). There seems to be a fairly well understood pecking order that doesn't appear to cause any of them much stress (even the ├╝ber-runt Ameraucana is making strides). Since we've introduced them in, our biggest RIR started laying daily, and I'm pretty sure our other RIR started just this morning (yay!). Neither of the refugees have started laying again, and I'm wondering what to expect in the future. Is it likely that they'll pick back up at some point? Neither is at an age where they would be expected to naturally stop laying, so I'm wondering if anyone's had experience with something like this. I know each chicken's different, and they've gone through a heck of a lot lately, but maybe there's hope?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They will most likely start laying again eventually, I'd guess. The stress could also have induced a molt, perhaps not a heavy enough one that you've even noticed it, and of course this time of year, day length will cause some to decrease or stop laying. My EE's were never good winter layers.You're right, they are very much individuals, so in the end it's guesswork hwo long it will take -- but I'd be willing to bet they will start laying again eventually!

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