Feeder Jammed - Chickens Quit Laying

bvobs

Hatching
Jan 21, 2021
4
1
3
HI! We have 3 healthy happy laying hens (black aussie, easter egger, and wynadotte). They are almost a year old and were laying almost every day, no issues. We have a light in the roost to extend the day and we're in Seattle so it's not too cold here.

Everything was great until something terrible happened. Our rodent-free feeder got jammed and the girls didn't get much if any food for 2 (max 3) days. I had no idea. I checked on them every day, let them out to forage as usual, but then they quit laying and (after checking every inch of the yard for hidden eggs) I finally realized the food wasn't going down. I quickly fixed the problem and they stuffed themselves. I am gutted over this and feel so awful!!! It had never been an issue before and we just weren't aware to check for this problem.

It's now been about 5 days and no one has laid yet. They have a clean coop, plenty of food and fresh water, and baked egg shells to snack on—plus foraging in the yard every afternoon. I'm assuming it's stress or lack of good nutrition (sob) that caused them to stop laying, but is there anything else I can do to encourage them to start again? Other than trashing the feeder out of rage? My poor girls.

Thank you!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
115,441
313,912
1,957
New Jersey
:welcome Sorry for the circumstances. The stress of malnutrition has caused a break in the laying cycle. It may even throw them into an off season molt. Provide feed, water and perhaps a vitamin supplementation. They will lay again, but not until their metabolism is back to normal.
 

bvobs

Hatching
Jan 21, 2021
4
1
3
:welcome Sorry for the circumstances. The stress of malnutrition has caused a break in the laying cycle. It may even throw them into an off season molt. Provide feed, water and perhaps a vitamin supplementation. They will lay again, but not until their metabolism is back to normal.
Thank you!! I'm so devastated over this. I feel like they were trying to tell me and I just thought they were anxious to get out in the rare winter sunny weather.
 

Aapomp831

Crowing
Oct 4, 2017
2,346
3,773
351
Lincolnton, NC
Thank you!! I'm so devastated over this. I feel like they were trying to tell me and I just thought they were anxious to get out in the rare winter sunny weather.
Don’t be devastated... accidents happen. Your chickens will recover and be perfectly fine, and you’ve learned to check your feeder. Don’t beat yourself up - it wasn’t intentional.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
115,441
313,912
1,957
New Jersey
Thank you!! I'm so devastated over this. I feel like they were trying to tell me and I just thought they were anxious to get out in the rare winter sunny weather.

I agree with @Aapomp831 - accidents happen. When they happen a second or third time, then 'we' are to blame. They weren't starving as they managed to find 'stuff' while free ranging - just metabolically stressed a bit.
 

EverV

Songster
Jul 9, 2020
331
1,145
196
NJ
My Coop
My Coop
If it makes you feel any better, this has happened to me before as well (twice :oops:) . Luckily, I noticed within a day or two. Being the amazing layers they are, it didn't put them off laying. The first time was the longest: instead of food, they resorted to devouring grit- we treated them for impacted crop, and, although I'm not sure if they ever had it, they were fine. The second time we noticed fairly quickly and were able to fix the problem. I love our rat proof feeder, but dirt and bedding can really build up under the treadle.
 

EverV

Songster
Jul 9, 2020
331
1,145
196
NJ
My Coop
My Coop
If it makes you feel any better, this has happened to me before as well (twice :oops:) . Luckily, I noticed within a day or two. Being the amazing layers they are, it didn't put them off laying. The first time was the longest: instead of food, they resorted to devouring grit- we treated them for impacted crop, and, although I'm not sure if they ever had it, they were fine. The second time we noticed fairly quickly and were able to fix the problem. I love our rat proof feeder, but dirt and bedding can really build up under the treadle.
ETA: by fairly quickly I mean under a day
 

bvobs

Hatching
Jan 21, 2021
4
1
3
ETA: by fairly quickly I mean under a day
Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone in this mistake! I feel like they are side-eyeing me now like "is she going to stop feeding us again?" We have one of the hanging feeders that blocks the opening if a rodent gets on it. In a year it's never gotten blocked. I barely did anything to unblock it, must have been a chunk of pellets.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom