Hens not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lillyandlarry, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. lillyandlarry

    lillyandlarry Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2015
    We currently have a flock of 11 (4 Roos, 7 hens, no fighting, no signs of over-mating). We had a flock of about 19 then we were losing about three a week to a fox a little over a month ago. They stopped laying right before the fox came around. I know half the flock was molting, but the other half were from this years hatch and they had already started laying before the fox... I thought maybe it was stress from either the fox or not being allowed to free range anymore and they would get over it but I have gotten no eggs in over a month. Their food has not been changed and there's no evidence left of egg eaters so I'm out of ideas. The older half of the flock will be going on two years old come spring, and of the 7 hens there are 4 RSL hens, 1 silkie pullet(already started laying), 1 leghorn mix hen, and a Cornish mix hen. What can I do to get these guys laying again?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    The older ones will be molting and recovering. Most won't resume laying until after the winter solstice under increasing daylight. Most of mine won't start until February or March.

    The rest are probably still stressed from the Fox and being confined. Also this time of year production is at it's lowest anyways.

    Did you get rid of the Fox? Is it still coming around which would keep your chickens highly stressed.

    It's not uncommon for hens to start and stop egg production throughout the year. This time of year production will halt for temperature changes and storms.

    Unfortunately you will just have to wait, and try to keep things calm and on a regular schedule and hopefully they will start up again.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
  3. lillyandlarry

    lillyandlarry Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2015
    I completely understand that the molting half of the flock wouldn't be laying... It's more the pullets I was weirded out by. Even in winter when not being let out in previous years we've never had laying rates drop to absolutely nothing. It makes sense if the fox is still coming around that they would be that stressed. Unfortunately we have not gotten rid of it yet because we do not own a trap of any kind and the only person in our house who is "legally" allowed to shoot a gun can't seem to find it when he has one with him. Once the fox is removed how long do you think it will take before they will relax enough to start laying again?
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    From my observations it takes about 2-4 weeks for most hens to resume after being stressed. They need to feel safe enough to reproduce and have their offspring survive, even though most hens don't hatch their eggs, they are still dictated by their instincts.

    Fox can be quite persistent for a while, but will usually move on after not being successful.
     

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