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Could Predator Stress Stop Laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nahnah, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Nahnah

    Nahnah Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2012
    Broadus, Montana
    I started this spring with 5 Bantam Phoenix hens, 1 Bantam Frizzle Hen and 1 Bantam Phoenix Roo, all hatched in February. In August tragedy struck and I lost all but 1 Phoenix hen and the Roo to a large boar coon. I have since changed the coop set up so that it is hopefully predator proof and am considering an LGD to help prevent this from happening again. When this all happened I was getting about 3 to 5 eggs per day, since I lost the other hens, my remaining hen has recovered and is actually more social but has yet to resume laying. She is eating well, they get a combination of layer crumbles and kitchen scraps. The Roo follows her and watches her very close (he is very protective of his remaining girl, you should see him stand off the horses, lol) but doesn't seem to be running her or stressing her anyway.
    My grandmother says the trauma has probably ruined her and she will never lay again. I have heard this from a couple different people. Has anyone else experienced this? And if so are there any tricks that may encourage her to start again? I do have an order in for more chicks to hatch in February again and am hoping that having other hens around will help, are there any opinions on this?
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    I know stress and shock can cause them to stop laying for a period of time, but im not sure if it causes them to stop laying forever.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yes, a predator shock like that can absolutely cause them to quit laying - but not forever. She will lay again when she feels safe again. Just give her time.
  4. Nahnah

    Nahnah Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2012
    Broadus, Montana
    Good to hear I won't give up on her then, at this point she is enough of a pet that I can't get rid of her even if she doesn't lay but I will keep fingers crossed. Hopefully once there are more than two of them she will feel more comfortable.
    The coon apparently had caught her at one point and had bit her face, I thought it had healed completely but I caught her this morning and noticed that her upper beak seems to have sluffed off and is about a 1/4 of an inch shorter than her bottom beak. It doesn't seem to slow her down any eating or drinking but will that grow back like a finger nail or is it as good as its going to get?
    Thanks for the advice.

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