Could this be why they aren't laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kara_leigh, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2011
    Bradleyville, MO
    I have 21 chickens, four different ages/groups that are all mixed together at this point. About a week or so ago my awesome 5 toed Polish Crest cross rooster disappeared. He was the same age as and raised with 3 of my other chickens, who are in my 2nd youngest group. (Only one group is younger than them, the other two groups are older, all but the youngest are laying.) I think he was taken by some sort of predator, although I found no sign of him so I'm not sure what exactly. One of the ladies (my oldest, who is kind of slow) has half of her left wing feathers pulled out, so I'm wondering if something tried to grab her and he tried to protect her and was taken instead.

    Three of my pullets who were raised with him, plus the one who is missing her wing feathers, completely stopped laying immediately after his disappeared. Those four were closest to him (the others didn't start grazing with him until he started mating with them). My other six ladies are still laying completely normal.

    Could they have stopped laying b/c something happened to him, and he is no longer around? Maybe they are upset or traumatized somehow, or they miss him?

    One of them stayed in the nesting box, and tried to sleep in it at night, for two days since he has been gone, but she didn't lay and from what I can tell isn't egg bound. She still act normal, they all do in every way. They don't act sick at all, well except for the one with the missing feathers. She has been moving REALLY slow and almost acts like it hurts to fly or jump, or even run too fast.

    What do you think? Is that why they stopped laying?
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Could well be. And the one with the feathers missing sounds like she has some injury too.
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    It very well could be why they stopped laying.
  4. Lindz

    Lindz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2011
    Eastern Iowa
    I had a similar situation happen to us last Thursday. Something got in and killed one of my male ducks. The big guy. And one of my baby Silkies that was in a cage within the coop with another Silkie baby who made it. Not sure what it was that got them but I got 3 more eggs from my ducks and then nothing. Its Monday will mark 1 week since I got any duck eggs. Im pretty sure thats why because they look sad, and scared. They also look a little ruff. Im just giving them time and lots of water with electrolites in it, make sure they are eating. And Ive been giving them treats to let them know I love them and I feel bad. They will lay when they lay.
  5. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Mine got terrified when I tried to substitute a blanket, instead of their usual tarp, as a sun shade one day. Took a couple of days for egg laying to be normal again. Can't imagine how upsetting actual trauma would be... (as a newbie, I knew chickens would"chicken"....but did not expect incredible sensitivity to everything, especially CHANGE). Hope your gang gets back to normal soon. Perhaps also the season is impacting laying, if you're not adding light?
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Stress of any sort can cause a stop in egg laying. This definately includes the stress incurred from a predator attack. The predator may still be in the area making more attempts that further stress the hens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by