Former house chicken doesn't want to lay anymore - normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by swordgeek, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    Several weeks ago, I had to move my house chicken back outdoors with the rest of the flock. It was a sad day indeed, since we'd had her inside for 6 months and adored her. [​IMG] She has managed to worm her way into the top half of the pecking order - right below the original 3 members (a roo and 2 hens) but above the five pullets. She's pretty forceful with the younger ones, which I like to see, since she was originally separated because the original birds wanted to kill her. Overall, she's settling in, remembering how to be a chicken instead of a person. Some days I think I have more trouble with the adjustment than she does.

    But I suspect she's just not happy out there. Not just because she still shadows me everywhere, and not just because she's always alone out there, while every other bird is hanging with a friend. She just doesn't seem to want to LAY anymore.

    When she lived indoors, she was laying about every other day, which I thought was pretty good for a crevecoeur. Since she was repatriated, she has only laid a few eggs, and none in the last week or so. She's just over two years old now, and didn't even start laying till she was over 10 months old! Is it normal for their egg production to diminish this much after such a traumatic move? Will she ever get back to "normal", or should I resign myself to her being too unhappy to lay? When the trouble started, I even moved her old cage into the coop, in hopes that she would feel more comfortable in her old laying place, but she just dust-bathes in the pine shavings in there! Is there anything I can do to help her along?
  2. knc512

    knc512 In the Brooder

    Jul 26, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    From my knowledge, researching these boards you may only get egg production out of a chicken for 2 years or so. I am by no means an expert this is just what i have read. hope this helps.
  3. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    But she's really only been laying for a little more than a year! She was a late bloomer to begin with, then had some stresses along the way that interrupted her production. I could see her tapering off over time, but just stopping, in her prime? My poor baby!

    This may sound like a really newbie kind of question, but is it healthy for them to stop laying if they're not happy? I don't have a problem with her slacking off. I don't need the eggs that badly, and I have 5 newer ones that will be laying before too long. I just don't want her getting sick from it! If it means moving her back indoors to return her to normal, I'm not opposed to it, though I suspect that won't be necessary.
  4. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chirping

    Jun 19, 2010
    Royse City
    Chickens HATE change. It is normal for them to stop laying until they are ready to begin again. Sometimes it can take a month of so.
  5. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    It's normal, when you make a big change like that, for a hen's regular laying pattern to be disrupted. It could take several weeks for things to get back to normal too....and since she is 2, her laying will decrease slightly......this happens normally as they age, so it seems like she's doing well, really, and pretty soon things might pick up for her......
  6. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    When my house chicken rejoined the flock, she still came to the front door every day to be let in to lay her egg. Then she went broody. Now I have a house chicken and 8 little house chicks!
  7. vonny

    vonny In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2010
    thats cute that she still wants to be let in to lay, in the way of changes, will relocating slow eggs down as well, I inherited some chickens that dont seem to lay!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by