Effect of removing the rooster from the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by commishT, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. commishT

    commishT New Egg

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    After 18 months with the flock, we recently caught and butchered the rooster, as he had become VERY aggressive, and you could barely enter the chicken house or run without being armed with a plastic baseball bat. Since then (about a month ago), the remaining 9 hens have almost stopped laying. Where we would get 5-7 eggs daily, we now get 1-3. They are in a completely enclosed barn and run, so there are no predators or other environmental changes, other than they no longer have a rooster. These are not our pets - we don't handle them. Could it be that the loss of their masculine protector had a bigger effect on them than we contemplated? We are considering looking for another rooster that is less aggressive, but think that we might get duped by someone that is trying to just unload a problem rooster. We have 3 barred rocks, 4 RIRs and 2 EEs. Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    It is possible you are attributing more weight to the loss of the rooster than is warranted. Given the time of year, it is likely some or all of your hens are in molt and therefore won't lay for several weeks. Especially if they are more than a year old, I would guess that is the reason, since they typically conduct their first molt in the Fall after they season in which they first start to lay, and every fall thereafter. Hens don't need a rooster to lay, and many people have reported their hens were happier when a bad rooster was removed from the flock, so I would lean more towards molt (plus the shorter days) being the reason. You may find that eggs are scant over the winter but as the days get longer and the hens complete their molt, they will get back in the swing of things in the Spring.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree, it's probably not related. If your birds are 18 months or so, they'll be starting a molt and taking a break anyway. My spring '11 girls are slacking way off the last few weeks.
     
  4. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I got rid of my nasty roo last year, I saw an INCREASE in egg production due to the loss of stress. But they were in their first year of laying, so they weren't molting.

    Your girls are also probably slowing down due to reduction in daylight hours. With the molt plus less light, I'm only getting 5 eggs a day for a few days now. I hope they get over the molt quickly!

    Good luck with your chickens.
     

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