How long to get back to normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Feronea, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Feronea

    Feronea New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 24, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    One of my chickens went broody about a month and a half ago, and another two turned broody shortly after (for some reason if one does, some of my other girls are guaranteed to join in). The frustrating thing is they have their favorite nests so any girls laying that are not broody will squeeze in with the broody girls and just add to their pile meaning when even a few of my hens are broody i get no eggs. They get quite aggressive when in the state and I'd rather not stress them or myself out trying to get them off the nests to mark eggs and pick out any new ones. Usually they'll get sick of waiting around and i can throw remaining eggs that have been contributed by the others into an incubator but they just kept at these eggs up until 2 days ago when they started leaving the nest more often so I grabbed the eggs and put them in the incubator.

    Adding to this, a few weeks ago i had my first attack by a quoll that got into my hen house during the night and killed one of my hens and 6 of my 8 (4 month old) chicks. So naturally that has been a huge stress to them.

    I'm wondering how long it should take for them to start laying again as not a single hen has laid since the quoll attack which is a concern because it won't be long till the cold weather kicks in here and they stop laying again for that reason. I can't eat eggs from the supermarket as they leave me feeling ill (can use them in baking where its a small amount of egg to the meal in general but I'm really missing eggs on toast for breakfast!) so I'm starting to get quite frustrated with this. I've only had the chickens for a little under the year and due to getting them in cold weather it took nearly 4 months for them to start laying after getting them. And they seem to be going broody really regularly (had 3 batches of chicks) so far. So even when they are laying it's mostly a couple of eggs from the few that are not following suit and going broody.

    I have read it can be up to 3 weeks after being broody that they start laying again, but I'm curious how long after a very stressful situation does it tend to take?

    Also is there any tips to get the non broody girls to lay in other nests? I have tried rearranging the nests but it's not working. They have that favorite spot and even with the nest moved they'll sit on the ground in that spot!

    Any help would be appreciated, I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,418
    196
    216
    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Welcome to BYC.
    I move my broody off the production nests so the others don't lay in the broody's nest. You are running into the problems that a staggered laid clutch can do. Putting the broody in her own nest away from the others, either in a completely out of the coop or a pen in the coop will solve that. Moving them at night with the nesting material they are on, I have found to be the best way.

    It varies on how long for them to get over stress and start laying again. Three weeks is a good guess for the time.
     
  3. Feronea

    Feronea New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Feb 24, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    Thank you very much for your response!

    I have tried moving broody hens before but they'll leave their eggs to move back to their favorite spot and start again, waiting for the other hens to lay more there fore them lol. They are very stubborn girls!

    You might be onto something with the pen though, I wonder if i put up partitions around the other nests they'd take to them more readily? it's a certain corner of the coop they seem to love so maybe it's having the walls around them that makes them feel safe?

    Thanks hopefully that means at least a few of them start laying in the next week or two!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by