Chicks Arrive, Hens Stop Laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by HousyRunner, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. HousyRunner

    HousyRunner In the Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2012
    My (three) year-old-plus hens suddenly stopped laying when I moved my six new chicks (not the hens') into the coop.

    The chickens (Rhode Island Reds) all free range and the hens intimidate the chicks. The chicks are now seven weeks old. The hens are generally not aggressive with the chicks, mostly ignoring them, except in the morning the hens chase the chicks out of the coop and will scare them away from the chick feed when they discover the peeps being fed separately and want to eat the chick feed. I suspect the problem (not laying eggs) may stem from the fact that the chicks mostly roost either in the laying box or on the lower roosting bar in front of the three laying boxes. Meanwhile, the hens roost on the higher bar, where the chicks do not, likely because the hens are intimidating them.

    Additionally, I have looked to see if the hens are laying somewhere else, say under our porch or in a bush they like to sit under, but no sign.

    Any insight into what's going on and what I can do?

    Thanks. Johan
     
  2. Ive noticed that when I add to the flock it seems to bring a decline in eggs for a few days till they all get settled and a new pecking order is established, but it usually doesn't last long
     
  3. HousyRunner

    HousyRunner In the Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2012
    Hmmm. Not surprising. But my hens have stopped laying for two weeks now.
     

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