Hens stopped laying when moved... 4 weeks ago!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emmylu62, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. emmylu62

    emmylu62 In the Brooder

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    May 26, 2016
    IMG_7651.JPG Hi All, looking for some advice...

    I moved my birds outside into a chicken tractor with poultry net pen to help protect the area from predators. There are 9 hens that are a year old, 4 sassy araucanas who are 4 months old and 3 Peking ducks.

    There are a few issues...

    1) I was getting 9 eggs a day from my older birds, and now I'm only getting 3. I think that those eggs are laid by the same 3 birds each day. I've looked around the area for a clutch of eggs but I haven't found any. I figured the birds were just stressed from the move and also the introduction to the pullets and ducks, which happened at the same time, but I didn't imagine it would take more than a month to resume laying normally. Is this normal? Can I expect my chickens to start laying normally again at some point or should I move them back to the barn? It stinks to have to buy eggs when we have our own lovely birds.

    2) the pullets will not go into the tractor. They live way underneath at night and hide in a thicket of thistle during the day. The ducks sleep under the tractor too. I half-expected the ducks to sleep underneath but not the pullets. Im worried about the birds' safety and also that when they do start laying I'm going to be wading through thistle to find the eggs (ouch).
    Any ideas how to get them into the coop? It could be a clique/pecking order issue since they're newcomers and just met when I put everyone outside. I can't scatter treats inside because it has a hardware cloth floor. Could a rooster help protect or corral the young birds?

    Thank you!
     
  2. SOHC-FTW

    SOHC-FTW Crowing

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    Any eggs being ate?
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    This is very common. Flick chsnges are a stressor and one of the most common reactions to stressors is interruption of production. It can take several weeks for them to resume
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How big is that tractor, in feet by feet?
    Pic showing the whole thing please?

    They may be hiding a nest and you just haven't found it yet.
    They move may have stopped them laying.....
    .....they may resume laying or molt('tis the season).
     
  5. Abriana

    Abriana Free Ranging

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    Stress can cause reduced or even stopped egg laying-and the stop in production can last for weeks or longer. Patience is key, they will begin again!
     
  6. emmylu62

    emmylu62 In the Brooder

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    May 26, 2016
    Thank you all for your replies! The coop is 4' x 6'. I was wondering if the nesting boxes should be deeper. Here are a couple more pics. @aart
     

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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nests are fine I think, but taking up space in an already small and maybe not well enough ventilated coop. 16 birds in a 4x6(5?) coop is a very tight fit.
    Moving and crowding stress might both be in play.
    It's also molting season, could be part of the no eggs.
    Were the 4mos integrated with the older hens before this move?
    The pullet not being allowed in the crowded coop by the older hens is not too surprising.
     

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