Does chick presence decrease egg laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by disneyguy, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. disneyguy

    disneyguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2014
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    Good morning all!

    I have 6 chickens that should be laying eggs, and were... until one of my hens hatched an egg, and for about 6 weeks, the chick was happy as can be and the flock stopped production. Unfortunately, we chick died a couple of weeks ago, and I still have not seen an egg!

    Is it typical for a flock to cease production because of a new chick? And is there anything I can do (decoy eggs, perhaps) to get them laying again?

    Thanks!
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are your birds? And what are you feeding?
     
  3. disneyguy

    disneyguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    8 months - 1.5 years. They get layered pellets and free range, too.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    So old enough to be affected by the shortening days of fall and winter. With free ranging, they may not be getting enough protein from their layer feed. Most layer feed has just barely enough protein for production, if it's the only thing they have access to.
    Also, the high levels of calcium in layer feed may have been responsible for the death of the chick.
     
  5. disneyguy

    disneyguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2014
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    Oh, thank you for the information! I appreciate it!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    With free ranging they may also be laying out in range area......especially with the appearance of the chick.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

    You could always check butts to see who all is laying:
    Vent Appearance:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying.

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     

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