Do young chickens get confused when they stop laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChirpyChicks1, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,712
    83
    158
    Jul 22, 2013
    I have six pullets, 29 weeks old tomorrow. They have all been laying but with the declining sunlight their laying has been less predictable this past month. I've been noticing some odd behavior from one of my red sex links, she was my first layer, started around 17 weeks of age. She seems to not be laying much anymore but anytime she goes into the coop, that I see at least, she gets into a nesting box, pecks around, lays down for a few moments and then gets up and does it all over again in another box but that's all. Yesterday was the first day l got eggs from all six, one of which was very late in the evening after i had locked them up and gave them a little light so they could spend time eating and drinking.

    Tonight I went to the coop to gathered the five eggs that I had taken out of the nests earlier, I ended up putting them in one nesting box while I filled their feeder. As soon as I placed them there this chicken seriously ran over to them and made herself comfy on top. I decided to leave her be in hopes of getting egg #6. When I checked about an hour later she had left the eggs but didn't lay one herself. Am I just reading to much into her behavior or is she confused as to why she's not laying like everyone else?

    She just seems anxious lately but she's acting normal in every other way. Eating and drinking fine, no molt.
     
  2. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,202
    226
    198
    May 23, 2013
    Earth
    It sounds like she might be thinking about going broody? When they are broody, they experience hormonal changes that change their behavior and make them instinctively want to sit on eggs! Cold eggs = bad so she jumps on them. Then she forgets, why am I sitting here again? LOL just an idea! She might be full on broody in a week, never know..
     
  3. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,712
    83
    158
    Jul 22, 2013
    Thanks for your input Farmer Viola :) Can they go broody anytime of year? I haven't thought of it before but it seems silly that she'd want to hatch babies with the weather getting colder.
     
  4. Farmer Viola

    Farmer Viola Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,202
    226
    198
    May 23, 2013
    Earth
    Yes, I think so! How cold is it where you live?

    I have a broody silkie setting on eggs right now :) I did bring her inside though, I wanted to give her a safe, warm place to sit! We live in Oregon, it's getting into freezing temps at night and 50's during the day here, but it didn't deter my girl from brooding
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  5. poultrylubber

    poultrylubber Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have this same problem. My sex-link started at 17 weeks,layed everyday and now she doesn't lay but still goes into the nest box. This also happened with my EE and Marans.
    I don't think your hen is broody. She is a Sex-link and broodiness in hybrids hardly ever happens (but it can). And mine hasn't shown any broody signs.
     
  6. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,712
    83
    158
    Jul 22, 2013
    That's what I've read as well. She is doing better now and has laid a few more eggs, got all six eggs again today [​IMG] (only the 2nd time they all have laid).

    We're in Kansas and over the past month it's gone from below freezing to low 80s, just "love" that [​IMG]. I believe we're barely getting 12hrs of sunlight right now. To be honest I thought they would have all slowed down by now, from everything that I've read I thought they needed 12-14hrs of good light everyday to keep producing at such a good rate.
     
  7. poultrylubber

    poultrylubber Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm in Northern Michigan and the temps right now are between 35-45 during the day. And we only get about 11 hrs. of light [​IMG] . And out of 13 laying bird I get about 6 eggs a day. [​IMG]
     
  8. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,679
    290
    201
    Jun 29, 2012
    Kansas
    When my hens were molting (and thereby not laying eggs), a few of them would still pay the nesting boxes a visit every day. They'd sit there a while, nothing would happen, and finally they'd get up and wander off. I think it's just a habit or routine that they follow even if there's no need to do it, kind of like when I put on pants, even when I don't have to work that day. :)

    As for hens going broody in the winter, they can and will, though red sexlink almost never go broody. It's not impossible, but it's more likely she's just hanging out in the nesting box because it seems like the thing to do.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by