Moved Coop - stopped laying - early molt - pecking order

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JimmyMack, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. JimmyMack

    JimmyMack Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2011
    Hello all. Newbie here. Have had chicks for about 10 months now....all raised from day old chicks. All hens. I live in Northern Michigan and have a small coop for 6 hens....they free range all day. This past week I took the coop into out garage where they have a 6 x 16 run. I made this move because we get a lot of snow, 200 inches plus, and it seems they would just be buried outside in the winter. Besides, I didnt want to have to go open the coop door every morning and night, especially if it was 10 I got lazy and moved them in a garage.

    It's been a week and it seems that the egg laying has dropped off quite a bit. I have two Red Stars that keep laying like nothing has changed. One Buff Orpington is now laying an egg every other day. I am supposing that the shorter daylight hours are contributing to this. But, the three other hens, one Plymouth Rock and two Partiridge Rocks have not layed anything in a week. Did the move cause this change? Too stressful?

    Also, one of the hens seemed have a partial molt the last month or so. Just lost some feather around her neck and tail. Seems to coming back fine. Is that too early for a hen to molt, only 8-9 months old? She was the runt of the flock, but since the molt, it seems the pecking order changed and she is now moved all the way to #2.

    Thanks all. Have a great night.
  2. JenniferNgo

    JenniferNgo Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 16, 2011
    How much and what kind of light are they getting? It is normal for them to slow or stop laying in the winter. When I have to take my birds in (Serama and other bantams that can't handle the cold) I get the reptile imitation sun lights. It doesn't warm them up per say, but it has all the UV rays they need to stay healthy and I make sure it is on for at least 14 hours each day to keep them laying.

    The molt? Don't have any suggestions for you there, it seems they molt when they feel they need a new coat! Maybe she was being picked on? Then went all Rocky Balboa on their butts and they are now leaving her alone.... I've seen that happen! It always seems so inconvenient for them they seem to molt when it starts getting cold out, makes NO sense to me but almost every breed of bird does it. Even my African Parrots and Canaries.

    Good luck with keeping them in the garage, hope it works out for you!

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