Could they really be that dumb?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bldmtnrider, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. bldmtnrider

    bldmtnrider Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 7, 2011
    I think the answer is an obvious YES, but I figured I would ask here.

    I've got 6 birds and 4 of them (Barred Rocks) just started laying about a week ago. So far I have gotten an egg from each of them, but only one lays consistenly every day. The others are every 2-3 days.

    I suspect this is due to lack of food/water since when I let the out of the run when I get home, they go running for water and then go to town eating my yard. I have food and water for them in the coop, but not the run, which I will be adding tonight.

    The question is, 1) Are chickens that dumb that they don't know to walk inside to get food/water throught the day?, and 2) will that stunt egg production.

  2. Heckel's Hens

    Heckel's Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Southern VA
    I don't think it is due to lack of food and water. Either that or you have REALLY dumb chickens. [​IMG] Can't be dumber than mine, and they go into the coop during the day to eat, if they feel like it. LOL
  3. LeafZoo

    LeafZoo Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2011
    Is it possible that it's too hot in the coop during the day, and that's keeping them away?
  4. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Yes, they possibly could be. Mine KNOW where the gate to the run it, but if I take treats out to them and put the treats in the grass while they are in the run then they will pace up and down the fence until I go around to the gate and call them. I prefer to think of them as having a single-track's not that they forgot where the gate was, they just are so focused on the food that they want to take the most direct path to it, even if it isn't an option.

    How long have you had your birds? If you've just recently aquired them, they may not recognize the coop as "home base" and may not go in during the day because they haven't associated it with food and water yet. Is your coop well ventilated? If it is too hot in there during the day they won't go in. Also, even if they had their heads in the feeder all day long, they'd still make a beeline for the yard because it's "better" than what they've had in the run. My chickens will come running if I put a fresh scoop of feed in their feeders. It's the EXACT same thing that was in there before, but somehow that scoop I just put in is way better than the scoop I put in hours ago [​IMG]

    Inadequate food and water will most certainly slow egg production. Eggs are mostly water, and if a hen isn't getting enough water to keep herself hydrated and make an egg her egg production will drop. However, chances are your hens aren't laying as much as you expected because they just started. It takes a while for them to work the kinks out, so you can't really expect an egg every single day from a bird that just started laying. You also don't say where your birds came from. Hatchery barred rocks are bred for production and most will probably lay an egg a day or an egg every other day until they are 2 or 3 years old, but heritage rocks are true dual purpose birds and will not lay that frequently (although they will lay longer), more along the every 2-3 days that you're seeing.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  5. bldmtnrider

    bldmtnrider Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 7, 2011
    The hens are hatchery birds, nothing special, and have been laying for a few weeks now.

    The more I think about it the more it looks like they were dehydrated and not eating during the day since as soon as I let them out they go looking for water and food, in a big hurry.

    I went ahead and added another feeder and waterer in the run last night. We will see if that has any effect, but so far there has been at least one chicken drinking water every time I looked out there.
  6. bldmtnrider

    bldmtnrider Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 7, 2011
    So here is the update:

    Looks like they really were that dumb. Added food and water to the run and consumption of both have more than doubled. 6 birds went through about a gallon of water in the first 2 days. Egg production went up to a steady 1 egg per day from each Barred Rock (about 1/2 of which are double yolk) and the EE finally kicked off with a little blue egg.
  7. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Quote:[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Poor "bird brain" girls, lol

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