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Flock dynamics or hot temperatures?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by norlar, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. norlar

    norlar In the Brooder

    Feb 11, 2008
    I have 2 RIR's and 2 Ameraucanas. They all began to lay eggs at 24 weeks of age. They are now about 30 weeks old. They free range for about 3-4 hours a day during the week and longer on weekends. For all other times, they are secure in their run. They eat layer mesh and get lots of treats.
    One of my Ameraucanas, Daisy, stopped laying eggs about a month ago. Two things happened about that time and I don't know which event could have set Daisy back.
    Daisy has been the top chicken since they were babies but about a month ago I saw one of my RIR's peck at her and sent her away from their food. I began to pay close attention to my RIR and yes...she definitely is now Top Chicken. I have to admit...I was having trouble dealing with this shift in ranks because Daisy is my favorite girl!! Since this has happened...I find myself giving Daisy more treats on the side when the other girls aren't looking. [​IMG]
    The other event that has occurred and still is occurring is this hot weather. Here in Central Texas, we have had 100 degree weather for what seems like over a month now...everyday!. I do all I can to keep the girls cool. I have even brought them in the house on occasion for the afternoon hours. And also, on 2 occasions, I brought them in to the house for the night; to give them a break from the heat. At night temps do go down to about 76 or 78.
    My question: Did Daisy stop laying eggs because she was knocked down to the bottom of the totum pole? I have one nest box and it has worked just fine for all 4 girls until Daisy stopped laying. I wonder if my RIR allows her to go into the next box. OR did Daisy stop laying because of the heat. The other girls are laying as usual.

    I have a suggestion for those who are tyring to keep their chickens cool during this heat wave. I have a large cat litter box (now I have 2 of them) filled with sand. I get the sand wet every morning and I have to say...that sand stays wet and COOL even with this heat. Of course the boxes are in the shade which helps keep it cool. But my girls love it and I find all 4 of them sitting in there keeping cool.

    Thanks all,

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