I should have posted here sooner...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickneggs, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. chickneggs

    chickneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    2
    89
    May 15, 2013
    UpNorth ☀️
    Back in September I added two new girls to my six chickens. That same week, a number of them started molting, one was broody, and the sunlight decreased. Lots to hit in one week. Well, the six eggs I was getting before diminished to two - one was my new chicken (Leg Horn) as well as one of my Orpingtons for the next couple months. Since then I had gotten the red lamp hooked up for extra light, a set of new nesting boxes - needed an extra one for the number of chickens, and they do get out of their coop to free range when possible. They are mighty spoiled. Well, I've gotten all but one to lay and they're not even all laying like they where before. (Two Ameraucanas and one started laying every few days last month, then stopped again.) The one who has not laid since September is at the bottom of the pecking order. She's the second Ameraucana. Not sure why they aren't laying like the winters before. They are two years old, going on three and I've been told my coop is big enough to hold eight. For sure not taking in anymore - at the limit. But I'm not sure what I can do for the last chicken... Or why she's not laying anymore. [Was getting HUGE blue eggs from her! Couldn't shut the egg carton properly...]

    *An extra note: My coop does have mixed breeds, but when I've taken in rescues I've chosen breeds with close colors.

    PECKING ORDER OF COOP... top - bottom
    Ameraucana
    Orpington
    Australorp
    Orpington
    Leg Horn
    Barred Rock
    Orpington
    Ameraucana

    The two new ones are the Leg Horn and Barred Rock.

    PLEASE HELP ME FIND A SOLUTION. I love the bottom Ameraucana just as much as the top and I work with her since she is skittish from being picked on. I'm worried though it's from her being at the bottom - why she's unhappy and not laying. I have one more idea of what I could do - have to wait on the materials - but decided to get some feedback beforehand.





    THANK YOU FOR ANY FEEDBACK!!!
     
  2. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    8
    63
    May 9, 2015
    Hi, don't panic, but seeing that you are claiming they are 2-3years old already, its safe to say those girls want a break because they have fewer eggs in them! The most productive years in a hens life is the first 2, maybe 3 but egg production drops steadly at that age (esp.in Winters). You're blessed to have had such a productive hen laying large blue eggs;) Hopefully she can squeeze a few more for you when she feels better and rested but this is my guess/knowledge. By no means am I an expert though! Maybe she has the flu? Lol. Good luck with everything
     
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If the one bird that's still not laying is bottom of the pecking order then it might take her a while to get started again. It's also very normal for birds this age to stop laying over the winter, this is the natural course of things and gives their bodies a badly needed break from the constant laying. If eggs are your main reason for keeping chickens then by all means add a few hours of artificial light to extend their day. Otherwise I have found my birds do better by allowing them this natural break from laying. They pick up again when the days start to get longer. If your bird otherwise seems well, is active/eating/drinking then I'd just keep an eye on her. Make sure you have enough feeders so she's not getting bullied away from the feed.
     
  4. chickneggs

    chickneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    2
    89
    May 15, 2013
    UpNorth ☀️
    Thank you so much. These are my first chickens and I love them like family. (Started with six back in 2013. Re-homed a bully. Took in one from a neglect case. Then recently took in the last, final two.) I knew one day they would stop laying, but really never paid attention to when that would be... Guess I can admit I took for granted what they were giving me. But I always joked that whether an egg layer or not, they would still have a life with me. Told others their coop would just become the "retirement" coop. [​IMG]

    Oh and sickness wise, I haven't noticed anything. I help out at the local animal shelter and have ties to veterinarian advice. Haven't seen anything that they had mentioned. [​IMG]
     
  5. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    8
    63
    May 9, 2015

    No problem;) That is so amazing! God bless you and your flock.
     
  6. chickneggs

    chickneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    2
    89
    May 15, 2013
    UpNorth ☀️
    **UPDATE**

    I think my lower ameraucana is laying again!! [​IMG]Thank you so much for the comforting feedback! Will not be taking for granted the eggs she gives me any longer... [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Left is my top ameraucana. Right is my bottom. Pretty sure the one is a bit more blue compared to the other... If so, then she's happily laying!! [​IMG]
     
  7. FatChicksDigMe

    FatChicksDigMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    8
    63
    May 9, 2015
    wow!!!! I'm so happy for you! For her age she is extremely productive;) Speaking of surprises, my Easter egger has been going to the neighbors yard to lay her eggs and I accidentally found her stash trying to fix a broken fence between our houses, lol[​IMG]
     
  8. chickneggs

    chickneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    112
    2
    89
    May 15, 2013
    UpNorth ☀️
    Lol! How funny... I had an Orpington do that this fall, laying her eggs secretly under the coop - where the girls go to dust bathe. Never thought anything of it since they all would go under there. Had to grab a rake to get to her eggs. Haha, them chickens... keeping us on our toes!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by