HENS STOPPED LAYING- PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by allymcshop, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. allymcshop

    allymcshop Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2016
    I introduced the two new ones slowly and one is aggressive. The aggressive one is an Americauna. The other new one is a RIR. Please help. They have gone from laying 4-6 a day to 1-2. It all started two weeks ago when I brought these two new adult ones into the coop.
    Everything was so methodical before the aggressive one arrived. All 6 of the originals perch together at night but the two new ones sleep in one of the nesting boxes. I have had the 6 for 6 months. I am pretty new and learning about chickens and hens.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!
    My first thought was.... 'they're not pez dispensers'.... hahaha! Sorry.
    But seriously, some birds are not prolific and consistent layers and many things can make them stop laying.
    Stress is number one cause for cessation of lay.....and adding new birds is definitely stressful.

    More info is needed to provide a viable answer/solution.
    What is your climate? Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.
    How big is your coop and run(feet by feet)? Pics can help immensely.
    Do you free range?
    How old are all the birds involved?
    How exactly did you introduce the 2 new birds? 2 weeks is not long for an integration.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
  3. allymcshop

    allymcshop Out Of The Brooder

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    First of all, I said I was new to this and I know they are not Pez dispensers. I will try to post pictures later. The hens are all supposed to be around 2 years old. I live in North Central Florida, so it is hot. The hens free range about 8 hours a day and there is a lot of shade on my 15 acre farm. I let the new two hens free range with them for a week or two. We pet and hold them a lot. Not the new ones yet. They have been with us 5 weeks.

    My opinion is that the one aggressive one pecks at them and is probably putting stress on them. They run from her all the time and when they feed, she can't help but give the others a knick or two. My coop is very large. I just had it built by plans found on line. One of mine was in broody but seems to have come out of it. My question is should I take the aggressive on away or will they adjust. The aggressive one came with another RIR and they are very loving to each other. They sleep cuddled tightly together.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Pez thing was a joke......already apologized for.

    As long as there's no copious blood drawn and no one is getting pinned down and beaten unmercilessy, it's best to let them work it out.
    Removing one bird then reintegrating later will only prolong the integration ordeal.
    Multiple feed/water stations are a must for integration.

    Hens may be laying out in range area as it could feel safer since the 'intruders' have arrived.
    You may need to confine them to the coop for awhile to get them back to using the coop nests to lay.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
     
  5. allymcshop

    allymcshop Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the good ideas. I am going to try them and see if it works. No there is no blood, just pecking and bullying. The hens let out a little yelp and it makes me feel guilty for putting this little monster in with them. If I take her out I won't put her back. I will have to find a bigger farm for her.
    But I am going to give it a new try.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Maybe give it time....lots of time.
    Even in a flock raised together there is squawk producing pecks happening.
    I wonder if she was sold because she was aggressive?
     
  7. allymcshop

    allymcshop Out Of The Brooder

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    The hens are all getting along a little better. The original 6 roost on the perch and the two new ones sleep together in the nesting box even though there is another perch not used. WE are now getting 3 or 4 eggs a day out of the 8 hens whereas before we were getting 4 -6 a day from 6. But we are now patient and watching them get along better each day. The most aggressive one has calmed down a bit and is eating with and free ranging with the others some of the time.

    I have to get pictures and post them of the coop and the hens. I want to thank you again for responding and helping. I will get up and running better on this site soon. I get a lot out of these posts when I read them.

    My hens all love a freshly cleaned coop. I spent two hours today completely cleaning it out and putting fresh bedding in.
    Ally
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Glad things are smoothing out.
    Might want to nip that 'sleeping in the nest' thing in the bud now by blocking off nests an hour before roosting time,
    then uncovering them when you lock up after dark or very early in the morning.
    I hate cleaning night poops out of nests...let alone poopy eggs.
     
  9. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    2x bout the nests blocking, bad habit to sleep in the nests, same here I hate having nest poo clean up everyday and cleaning up eggs. I had couple of hens that had that habit last year, after 3 days of training got them weaned.

    Welcome to BYC!
     
  10. allymcshop

    allymcshop Out Of The Brooder

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    It appears the new ones don't know how to fly up to roost. They must not have with previous owner. I opened new nesting boxes because my original six wouldn't lay in the poopy boxes. How can I train the two additions lto roost? The Americauna just keeps looking up but doesn't go up.
     

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