Hen stopped laying and avoids the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RyRy2, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. RyRy2

    RyRy2 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2011
    Canastota, NY
    I have 3 groups of chickens. the oldest group is 11-13 months old , have a small coop that they always roost in, the hens have been laying religiously since January, the second group are 17 weeks old now and they have been roosting in my barn while I built a coop addition, the final group is 4- 9 week old chicks that one of my hens hatched out, these have also been roosting in the barn.

    Ozzie, one of my 11 month old hens quit her flock.. first I couldn't find her eggs, but it isn't unusual for them to occasionally hide them from me, so I just assumed she was laying somewhere new, then one night she didn't roost with her flock, she was in the barn rafters by herself, but still joined her group during the day. this went on for a few days and then I noticed she was actively avoiding her flock and instead hanging out with the babies and almost seemed to have adopted them (their mom went back to the flock when they hit 5 weeks). Well we finished the coop this past Sunday and combed the rafters after dark collecting chickens and putting them on the roosts in the new addition. She hasn't laid an egg yet. I'm not sure if she isn't laying because of the stress of the move or if she actually stopped laying a month ago when I stopped being able to find her eggs. she seems healthy, bright and alert, eats, drinks, etc.. just no eggs and wants NOTHING to do with her old group (she was not low chicken and not particularly picked on by the others that I could see)..

    has anyone had a hen act like this? could she have stopped laying because she "adopted" the chicks, or could there be another reason?
     
  2. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    sounds like maybe she's starting to go broody but doesn't have any eggs to sit on so she's doing the next best thing and hanging out with the little chicks. Anyone else have any other ideas?
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Sounds like she's thinking about being broody or wanting to mother the chicks. If she's broody/mothering she won't be laying until she's done with the babies.
     
  4. RyRy2

    RyRy2 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2011
    Canastota, NY
    thanks, that's what I suspected. when we first moved our 2nd group down (they were about 6 wks old) she was just fascinated by them and would stand or pace in front of the stall they were in.. and she did quit her flock right after Pretty (the broody hen) abandoned the chicks and went back to them.. I'll just keep an eye on her and hope once the chicks leave she will settle back in.
     

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