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Chickens attacked over a month ago not laying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chiemi, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. Chiemi

    Chiemi New Egg

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    Oct 16, 2015
    My poor girls were attacked over a month ago. 2 of the 6 were killed. I found one and she died in my arms and then went door to door looking for the other one and found her dying in someone's backyard. She also died in my arms. I'm pretty sure I haven't cried that hard my entire adult life. My girls used to be free range. We have a good size back yard and tall fences, but somehow a dog jumped over a 6ft fence. Now they are confined to their coop which has a small chicken run. They haven't laid since the attack. I'm not sure what to do for them. We are trying to figure out how to build them a bigger run, because I am completely scared to let them free range again. I cannot figure out why they aren't laying. Any suggestions? They aren't yet a year old. We got them in march and raised them from chicks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  2. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess is that they are extremely stressed after the encounter with the predator. They will most likely lay some time again very soon, I think that their bodies have just been worn out and terrorized from the attack that they refused to lay for a brief amount of time. Hopefully they start laying again because I don't know what the issue could be otherwise. All I know is that if a chicken becomes stressed/irritated, it may not lay eggs.
     
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] An attack on your hens is always very stressing to them. However, that said, talking to my friends with chickens, many chickens in our area seem to choose this time to molt. (WHAT are they thinking?) How old are your hens and could a molt be influencing their laying? I hope mine start laying soon but I've been told they may wait until the days start getting longer again.
     
  4. Chiemi

    Chiemi New Egg

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    Oct 16, 2015
    My hens are around 7 months old. There are a lot of feathers in their coop, but they don't look like they have lost a lot of feathers. Maybe they got stressed and went straight into molting. Do you think a lamp in their coop would help?
     
  5. Chiemi

    Chiemi New Egg

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    That makes sense. We have been trying to baby them and give them their favorite food (watermelon) once a week in hopes that it will help make them feel more calm. My husband and I trying out supervised free range time this morning so that they can run around a little bit more.
     
  6. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's the best thing to do - make them feel more safe in their environment again as they once did. It is always good to caress them, maybe visit them in their coop here and there and show them that you mean no harm and your only intention is to protect them. My hens trust me after a long time of hand feeding them, spending time with them, etc. But, however, my flock is free ranged - they're always at risk and always have been. Only lost one hen 4 years back once because of a fox.
    Heat may also be good for them so they can feel even more comforted in their coop. It may make them want to lay more and feel better about where they live.
     
  7. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At seven months they shouldn't be molting. Had they been laying before the attack. Some pullets don't start to lay until months older than that although six months is usually given as the average.
    When you say a lamp, do you mean a heat lamp or one for light? After doing a lot of reading on the subject, I am a bit leery of heat lamps in chicken coops unless it is for young who still need supplemental heat. They can start fires and the majority of chickens who died in the winter of '13-14 were in the south and had been given supplemental heat. When storms hit and the utilities went out, they weren't acclimated to the cold and many perished.
    I've come to the conclusion that for adult chickens it's best to let them acclimate. Our winters get pretty cold and I've never had a problem.
    Of course it helps if you chose breeds known for their cold hardiness. You can also help by putting Vaseline on their comb and wattles.
     
  8. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use heat lamps every winter and I've had never had issues with it actually. That's odd. I never knew they could start fires unless something very unusual happened.
     
  9. Chiemi

    Chiemi New Egg

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    They had been laying for a couple of weeks and then after the attack nothing. The lamp would be purely for light so as to extend the daylight for them. I don't live in a climate where cold is a problem. I live in southern Utah where the weather is quite mild in the winter. Slightly colder than an Arizona winter.
     
  10. fairie

    fairie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens are super sensitive normally with out being attacked 1 thing can set them off adn they wont lay for a week. Now with the change of season out of 5 we get 1 egg. So I am going to put hte light on again (just for day light time). But having said that they were all attacked yesterday by a dog and I would not expect an egg out of any of them for a long while. They are really scared and would not come out or the chicken house today until I was there and I tried a few times. Then they were all back in quite quick. They are easily stressed. So I know how they are now and just live with buying eggs from our farmer until they want to play along again. I don't really know how many chickens I would need to have to get 4 eggs steadily every day. There always seems to be 1 that is feeling off or 2 then our egg production drops. It's the fun of learning about them and caring for them.
     

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