low pecking order and laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LAFreewayChickens, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. I have a breeding pair of Cream Legbars, and I've often kept a Delaware hen with them. However, the Delaware hen is dominant, and the CL hen often stops laying after the Delaware is in the same pen for a while. I just took the Delaware out last week, and indeed, I have two CL eggs so far. (CL's lay blue eggs, so it is easy to tell who is laying).

    Is this common? Everyone has plenty of access to layer pellets and water. Sometimes the bossy Delaware seems to get more than her fair share of greens, but I've made sure there is enough room for both of them to get some of the greens.

    We had some problems with broken eggs a when they were young, that I was concerned was egg eating, but getting them to lay in the boxes, providing oyster shell, and sunflower seeds seem to have solved that problem. If the Delaware is eating eggs, she is only eating the other hen's eggs and she is leaving no traces of broken shells or spilled egg.

    I'd like to be able to hatch eggs from both of them, but the pure CL hatching eggs & chicks are infinitely more valuable, so for now the Delaware is exiled to the main layer coop.

    Any thoughts?

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    It could be the stress of reintroducing the Delaware that causes the legbar to suspend laying. Any change in the flock dynamics can do that. They do lay better when they are comfortable. Did the legbar lay while they were together at any time in the past?
  3. The Legbar has definitely laid while they are together, it seems to happen after they've been together for a while.

    I looked over my records and the Legbar stopped laying at the end of Decemeber, so maybe it is just seasonal. The Del took a break earlier in December I think.

    I'll try putting the Delware in again next week and see what happens.

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