laying less and in different location

goddesses

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 3, 2008
39
0
32
I have 6 1 year old wyandottes that are major layers - 5 to 6 eggs per day. No problems, until....We have slowly introduced 4 new Americana pullets. For the time being they are not sleeping in the coop but after about two weeks in a pen where the two groups could see one another, we are allowing them free range. There is naturally some huffing and puffing, some pecking and chasing by the older girls, but nothing serious. The older ones now dont seem to be laying - I may find one egg in the nest box and another in the garden and that's it. We have increased their corn ration to keep them out of the pullet mix, so their diet has changed in that regard, but am unsure that that is enough to change their laying.

I get that they may be stressed and have stopped or decided to lay eggs where we cant find them, but will this behavior stop? We are adding on to the coop this weekend, adding roosts for the new girls and changing the location and placement (verticle vs horizontal) of the nesting boxes. We will introduce the pullets to the coop (while everyone is sleeping) over the next week.

I'm looking for reassurance that these one year olds will start going back to their old laying habits, sooner than later, once everyone is sleeping together.

One last question, once they are together, what about the feed. The pullets are 12 weeks old and may still need pullett food, which the older hens really love. Since they are free range, do I need to keep separate feed for each and if so, how the heck do I keep one group out of the other's feed?

Many Thanks
 

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