Hen not laying after chicks hatched

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bradshaw-flock, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Bradshaw-flock

    Bradshaw-flock New Egg

    Oct 23, 2016
    A friend of mine recently gave me one of her hens with two chicks at her side. I've had them for about two weeks now, they've settled in nicely and are enjoying free ranging in the backyard. So they free range all day, and I give them about 4 cups a day of hen scratch/feed plus a cup or two of kitchen scraps, mostly fruits and veggies with some form of protein.
    I've been hoping the hen will start to lay soon but as of yet she hasn't
    Is this fairly normal for a hen to stop laying while she has chicks at her side?
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    All hens are different, but mine usually resumed laying at around 6 weeks, when they weaned the chicks. I'd suggest feeding either some layers food, or optional oyster shell as she needs the additional calcium to lay. The chicks should ideally be given starter / chick food.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Howdy Bradshaw-flock, welcome to BYC!

    I have had a Silkie hen who was still mothering her 6-7 weeks olds that started to lay again but a mothering hen will not usually lay until after she has ‘cut the cord’ on the bubs.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!!

    That's a lot of food for 1 hen and 2 chicks.....and its not clear what the protein levels are.

    I would suggest you feed an 'all flock' type chicken ration (~20%) protein to all of them......
    ...and provide oyster shell in a separate container for when the hen starts to lay again.

    How old are the chicks?
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016

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