Hens stop laying after a new member joined

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JeyB94, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. JeyB94

    JeyB94 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2019
    Quebec, Canada
    Hi guys! I got a quick question. I got a backyard flock of 3 hens. 2 weeks ago, one of my hen got snapped by a fox. 4 days after, ginger (the middle hen) skipped a laying day (which she never did). That day we put a new pullet in there with them (18 weeks old). It’s been a week and ginger didn’t lay again. My question is: Did she stop because of the newcomer? The pecking order is still ongoing on the new one. Can that stress stop the laying for a while? Or is it because of the stress the fox caused her?

    Oh and there’s is no sign of illness, she’s eating well and drinking well too.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Very likely it's a result of the fox attack and the introduction of the new bird. Chickens hate change. She may also be ready to molt.
    aart likes this.
  3. JeyB94

    JeyB94 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2019
    Quebec, Canada
    How long could it take if the readon is the stress of the attack?
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It's probably more the adding of the new bird.....which could take days to weeks to resolve.
    How did you introduce them?
    How are they getting along?
    How big is your cop and run, in feet by feet?
    Dimensions and pics would help.

    Here's some tips on ....
    Integration Basics:
    It's all about territory and resources(space/food/water).
    Existing birds will almost always attack new ones to defend their resources.
    Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact.

    In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best if mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

    The more space, the better.
    Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no copious blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down and beaten unmercilessly, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide 'out of line of sight'(but not a dead end trap) and/or up and away from any bully birds. Roosts, pallets or boards leaned up against walls or up on concrete blocks, old chairs tables, branches, logs, stumps out in the run can really help. Lots of diversion and places to 'hide' instead of bare wide open run.
    Hcchic likes this.
  5. JeyB94

    JeyB94 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2019
    Quebec, Canada
    Because I didn’t have the resources I just put her in there. It’s been a week now and the two older hens still chase her and peck her to the ground until she escape and get up on a roost I put in the run. There never been blood and she still have all of her feathers. Im just worried if she ever gonna « get into the flock ». I know I should have done the see no touch thing but couldn’t.

    Your answers are appreciated!!

    My coop is 4X4 and the run is 4X10. There’s an outside « freerange » enclosure maybe 8X20
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  6. DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Songster

    Dec 13, 2017
    Mass Hilltowns
    What's the weather been like?

    I'm thinking my girls are thrown off lay due to many days above 90* and humid here.

    I can't say conclusively. We got two new hens, lost a rooster and hen, gained a rooster, all in a month. However, the first week after these changes, everyone was still laying. The new rooster has also been a very sweet gentleman and the girls took to him immediately so...
    Yeah, blaming weather.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: