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Help- Why won't my hens leave the coop and why aren't they laying eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jkmcv, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. jkmcv

    jkmcv New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2014
    I have 7 Buckeye chickens, three are 1 1/2 yr old hens, three are 6+month pullets, and one 6+m Rooster. My hens have laid great up until 2 months ago in which they slowed to a stop. They were apparently going thorugh the molt so I understand. My pullets have not laid a egg, so I'm getting concerned. However, their behavior has me more concerned. The older hens do not leave the coop. I have forced them out (which they don't like) because the Rooster attacks them . However, once they are out he leaves them alone. It's almost like he is standing guard. Once I have them out of the coop the older hens seem to dominate the pullets. Even though the pullets will run from them it is not that bad. So, why won't they leave the coop and is any of this behavior related to them not laying eggs? What should I do? I thought about getting rid of the rooster but I'm not sure if he is even the problem. I recently just wormed them all because none of them have been wormed and just incase they were not laying because of a potential infestation. Help, looking for advice.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    A just maturing cockerel can cause a lot of stress for everyone....stress can stop, and/or prevent onset of, laying.
    He's probably trying to mate them and doesn't know how and/or the hens are not accepting him.

    I had this problem this summer with a cockerel when I merged the young flock with the old flock, it worked out within a few weeks

    Either wait it out, the rooster should figure things out eventually and calm down, get rid of the cockerel or maybe just segregate him for a few months.
     
  3. jkmcv

    jkmcv New Egg

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    Dec 3, 2014
    update: I'm really at a loss. I had seperated the rooster and no change in behavior. I now have them all free ranging and the 3 older hens still do not leave the coop unless I chase them out. The rooster tends to remain with the young hens even though he will come running to check things out if I'm chasing the older hens out. This has been this way since Oct when they were going through the molt. Good news, I am getting some eggs now.
     

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