Drop in Egg Production due to Rooster loss?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SweetSesame, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. SweetSesame

    SweetSesame In the Brooder

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    I have recently re-homed the rooster of my 7 hen flock. He had been an all around miserable jerk to both my family and the hens. Offenses include attacking my mother and little sister on sight, relentlessly chasing hens to mount them, and stripping the backs and heads of almost all of the girls clean of feathers. While egg production hadn't slowed, I worried about the long term health of the hens. Now that he's gone, none of the hens seem to miss him very much. The flock is generally more peaceful, and the girls still go through their daily routine of dust bathing, perusing the garden beds, and preening. It has been a week, and there has been no bullying among the hens. Pecking order has remained exactly the same, and pin feathers are finally remaining in tact! However, egg production has suddenly dropped by almost half. The weather has not changed significantly. Does the loss of a major flock member automatically cause stress for the hens? Is this chicken stockholm syndrome? Has anyone experienced something similar?
     
  2. Chickens don't handle change well.

    Especially if you entered the coop or run in the day time and chased your rooster down to remove him, the hens are feeling stressed and stressed hens lay fewer eggs than non-stressed hens.
     
  3. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

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    Its Not uncommon for hens to slow down for a few days or weeks. Even mine slowed down to about 1/2 in the last week with no change, but if something scares them---they can and will slow down for a few days.

    I was chatting with a person that collected about 15,000 eggs a day, she said if someone dropped a feeder top or sneezed and it scared the flock that eggs could drop to 5,000 to 6,000 a day for a couple days then start climbing back up for the next week if nothing else scares them.
     
    CTKen likes this.
  4. SweetSesame

    SweetSesame In the Brooder

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    That makes sense. I didn't chase him down, but the hens did see me pick him up and carry him away. Is there anything I can do to ease the change? More treats? Or is this a situation where it's best to leave them alone and let them find their groove again?
     
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

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    Time!!
     
    CTKen likes this.
  6. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

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    Agreed. Treats will certainly not help
     
  7. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

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    Very interesting
     
  8. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

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    It was to me-----she collected over 15,000 a day---we chatted every day, then the wind came up and blew a feeder top into the side of the building-----scared the chickens about 1/2 to death----she said eggs over the next 3 days steady dropped to about 5500, then they stayed there a couple days and started increasing back up to over 15,000 in about 1 1/2 weeks. Imagine loosing 50,000+ eggs just because something scared the chickens one day???
     
    CTKen likes this.
  9. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Ohhh! Im going to have my husband read this thread he thinks im full of malarkey about scaring the chickens. Im right! I'm not a chicken coddler it's true!
     
  10. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

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    I figured out why my girls dropped down to 29 a week for 2 weeks, (down from 32/35) allergies, me not the hens. And I was blaming it on the heat or the lower protein feed I started to feed them. I sneeze while in their pen and they make a started noise and look at me. I sneezed this morning checking for eggs and giving them a treat. Ouch!! Well no record egg production this week.:barnie I'll have to wear a clothes pin on my nose, when I'm near the hens, bummer.:( . Thank you for this post, PD.
    GC
     
    PD-Riverman likes this.

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