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I need some information on my hen, help!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by HHouse85, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. HHouse85

    HHouse85 New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2015
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    I am new to owning chickens and need some information on how to care for them. I currently have 5 chickens (3 roosters, 2 hens) of all different breeds. One of my hens started laying eggs within the past 3 weeks, she has been laying 1 egg a day, 7 days a week with a few days off at the end of every week. About 4 days ago she stopped laying completely and has been spending most of her time in the coop. She is usually very sociable and energetic. She does not appear to be sick. I am unsure of what kind of breed she is but have narrowed it down to possibly a Buff Cochin hen. Is this normal for her breed? Could it be the fall weather that has changed her laying schedule? Is there anything that I can do to increase egg production again? Any answers would be appreciated, Thank You.
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  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] It is very likely that your hen has gone broody - she wants to set on and incubate eggs. 3 roosters to two hens is 2 roosters too many. The wear and tear on her feathers is due to over mating from all of your roosters.
     
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  4. HHouse85

    HHouse85 New Egg

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    We purchased these chickens from an auction and were told they were all female, to our surprise a month ago three of them started crowing, lol. We have been looking to rehome two of the loudest roosters but with the current avian flu going around all the local auctions and flee markets are no longer allowed to sell birds until spring. They will have to stay until spring unless I can find a local farm that needs roosters, not for food of course. I hope to get more hens in the spring to replace the roosters. As far as I know she only mates with the Alpha Rooster, she chases off the other two. Should I let her keep the next egg she lays in order to increase egg production? Or is this something she will come out of on her own?
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    She will come out of it on her own AFTER, she hatches the egg ( or any more you add) under her, and teaches the chicks how to be chickens.
     
  6. KYTinpusher

    KYTinpusher Master Enabler

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    While it is possible that she is broody, she could also be hiding out from all the cockerels (young roosters). Three cockerels is WAY TOO MANY for 2 hens. It sounds like they are young and the cockerels are just maturing and their hormones are raging which makes it 10 times worse. If you can not re-home 2 of the cockerels immediately, at least separate them, or their constant attention to yours hens could kill the girls. Hens that are harassed too much will generally not get enough to eat or drink because they are jumped by the boys every time they try. Pick up your hens often so you can gauge their weight. They may not look skinny with all those feathers, but my guess is that they are. And skinny hens don't lay eggs.
     
  7. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the BYC flocK! We are glad you joined us!

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  8. HHouse85

    HHouse85 New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2015
    Sanford, NC
    UPATE: I started a new system this morning to allow my laying hen to recover from being attacked by the roosters. While the other chickens were let out this morning to forage in the yard, my laying hen was allowed to stay in the coop and eat in peace. It took some time for her to feel safe and come down to eat but she did. After having their time in the yard it was her turn to forage, she put up a little fuss and seemed to enjoy screaming at me when I picked her up but now that she is running around the yard she seems to be back to her old self. My Easter Egger rooster and her seem to get along just fine so I plan on letting the two of them stay out in the yard together while the others are in the coop. The Alpha rooster isn't too pleased that his hen is out there with out him but he will be ok. I'm going to stick to this plan until spring when I can swap out my two hormonal roosters for more hens. Thanks for all the info and suggestions they really helped. If this new routine works there will be peace in the hen house again [​IMG]
     
  9. KYTinpusher

    KYTinpusher Master Enabler

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    I am glad you are committed to making your hens comfortable. I am not trying to scold or judge, but rather trying to save you the heartbreak of losing your hens.

    From my experience, separating for only short periods of time may actually make the problem worse. Each of those cockerels will be competing to make sure his own genes are passed on. As soon as you put them together for the night, the fight will be on to mount the poor hens and replace the other cockerel's sperm. I know you want to wait until spring to take them to auction or swap, but that may be too late. I would suggest an ad on Craigslist or in the re-homing section here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/16182/animals-in-need-of-free-re-homing. I know you think of them as pets and can't see them on someone's dinner table now. I can almost guarantee your attitude toward them will change when you find your poor harassed hen lying dead some morning because the cockerels broke her neck fighting over her.
     
  10. HHouse85

    HHouse85 New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2015
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    UPDATE: I have successfully rehomed my two rooster's. Their new owner will be here to pick them up today :( Now my two hens can live in peace with our one remaining, sweet as can be rooster. Thank you all so much for the advice and hopefully my ladies can enjoy their big backyard and lay their eggs in peace now :)
     

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