Chickens stopped laying after one of them died

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mandypr87, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. Mandypr87

    Mandypr87 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2016
    Ellisville MO
    So here is the situation. We have (had) 5 chickens, 2 EEs, 2 Buff Orpingtons, and 1 Barred Rock. Recently the Barred Rock passed away out of no where. She was healthy and active before, then one morning we found her dead in the coop. Took her in for a necropsy. No trauma, no broken neck, not egg bound, no anything. Fecal was negative. Sent tissue off for a pathology screening just to make sure it wasn't something else but if that's also negative we have no idea what happened. The vet said her intestines looked pretty torn up (which is why we figured the fecal would show something). Anyway, after the death, the other 4 girls have had some issues. Right away, one of the buffs became broody, but she was guarding invisible, imaginary eggs and wouldn't leave the nest. She was even sleeping in the nest and not up on the roost with the others. One night, my husband went out and picked her up and put her up on the roost with the others. That easily broke the broodiness. But, NOW, since the death, my 2 buffs aren't laying anymore, at all. The EEs haven't started laying yet (all 4 were born in April). The buffs however were laying when the barred rock was alive. Now it's like they have no interest in the coop or laying at all. They don't even make nests in the bedding like they used to. Is this normal? Are they grieving or just stressed because of the death? None of them appear to be sick at all. They all look happy and healthy. All are eating and drinking, and eating oyster shell free feeding.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicks are a-hatching Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Chickens get stressed out when a member dies, especially in smaller flocks, I have also seen those close to the member get depressed, so not laying would be normal until they settle back down and work out a new pecking order.

    My Orpingtons often take breaks from laying throughout the season. They will lay consistently for a few months than stop for a month or two before resuming again. I personally haven't had luck with EE producing much. Mine have always been late to start, they quit for months and are quite sporadic. I have 3 new ones this year, we shall see how they do.
  3. What happens when one dies or is removed, is pecking order changes and being Chickens do not do well with change...They are a bit stressed...In time things will be okay....New dynamic will need to be established...Silly Hens....
  4. kgb6days

    kgb6days Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2016
    First, sorry about your chicken. When one of mine died I didn't get hardly any eggs for about a week, then they slowly picked back up as the new pecking order was established. Be patient. Below is the response I got when I was going through this same thing. I did a cut/paste because I couldn't have said it better myself.

    "I'm sorry for your loss![​IMG] Chickens are very social creatures who bond with both their kind as well us, as their caretakers. Lots of times, chickens bond more with another chicken of their same breed. Your leghorn is probably upset with the loss of her buddy. Plus, losing a bird can cause some major changes to take place within the flock pecking order which can also cause egg production to decrease.

    So, in other words, it is very normal for a drop in egg production to occur during a time like this. Make sure your hens are receiving food, water, calcium and maybe even some apple cider vinegar to help keep them healthy.[​IMG] "


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