Hen stopped laying after another one died

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Phoebe13, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Phoebe13

    Phoebe13 New Egg

    Jan 19, 2014
    Reno, Nevada
    Hi All - I'm a new member but I've been reading BYC for about a while now. So much great info- thanks to everyone! We have had a small back yard flock for almost 2 years, and they free range during the day. We had 5 hens, but about 2 months ago there was a raccoon that came out before dusk and killed one hen. Since then, our Ameraucana has stopped laying (no eggs in the nesting boxes and none in the yard - I've looked everywhere). At first I thought it was due to the cold, but it's turning out to be a warm winter (highs in the 50's). I know they lay less in the winter due to less light, but one of the other ones is still laying. She molted in the fall and began laying again after that, so I know that's not the issue. She was always followed around the chicken that died and seemed to be pretty bonded/secure around her. Could the death have anything to do with why she is not laying? We plan on getting 3 more in the spring to beef up the flock a bit. Maybe they feel uncomfortable being down to only 3? Oh and they do eat layer food in addition to scratch, treats, and whatever they find in the yard. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
  2. ChickenRaiser95

    ChickenRaiser95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Snohomish County
    Being stressed could be it, or it is just winter. I have birds that lay normally and some that lay only 1 or 2 eggs per week that should lay 6 or 7 right now
  3. salexander

    salexander New Egg

    Dec 30, 2013
    This exact thing happened to one of my Fleurs after the other one died. They were a bonded pair. 2 Auracanas and 2 small Fleurs. That was Christmas, and she's still not laying. She's also changed a lot. Very different personality. She used to be very sweet and close friends with the big Auracauna, but she has stopped hanging out with them, sits alone in the corner and constantly pecks at them over food, treats and at bedtime. The one who died was the lowest on the pecking order, and this one was #2 on the pecking order. Not sure what happened.

    My two Auracanas stopped laying for a few days after the death but then resumed shortly after. So I presume this little Fleur just got depressed. Very sad.

    Is yours laying yet?

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