New chickens have stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by poundridge-chicken, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. poundridge-chicken

    poundridge-chicken New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jul 27, 2011
    Hello backyard chickens. This is officially my first post!

    I have 4 chickens. 2 of which I've had for over a year, and the other 2 introduced to 'the flock' as of this April. The 2 new chickens had a hard time adjusting and got picked on quite a bit. Things have settled down considerably but it's still clear that they're at the bottom of the pecking order.

    For a while all 4 were regularly laying eggs - the 2 new chickens often times keeping to themselves though.

    Within the past month, they have really been secluding themselves and have all-together STOPPED laying. I added a 30 x 30 foot extension to the coop about 10 days ago - hoping this would help things. They are out and about a bit more - but still no eggs. I understand 10 days is not much time to see results. My guess is that they are stressed out. Bertha (the B*%*$ as i now call her) pecks at them quite a bit! On top of it all...I think they're beginning to molt! This seems to have started well after the egg laying stopped though - so Im not sure it's the culprit.

    Any advice? I've read through a lot of the posts and know food and environment and water all play a big role. I'm pretty sure those food and water are not the problem. Also did a de-wormer about 2 weeks ago (Flubenvet), although they have not been showing an peculiar symptoms.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

    2,939
    840
    251
    Apr 7, 2010
    CO Rockies - 8600ft up
    [​IMG] Officially! It could be a heat thing and/ or they may be getting ready to molt.
     
  3. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

    2,939
    840
    251
    Apr 7, 2010
    CO Rockies - 8600ft up
    Adding more...., I think you are on the right track with the stress being an issue as well. As long as they are eating, drinking and have the oyster shell free choice, I would give them more time.
     
  4. poundridge-chicken

    poundridge-chicken New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jul 27, 2011
    They are eating - but are not quite full size. And of course now that they are starting to molt - they're looking shabby and a bit smaller. I'll give it time though.
     
  5. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

    2,939
    840
    251
    Apr 7, 2010
    CO Rockies - 8600ft up
    Another idea is the nest box area. How many do you have and would the new hens feel safe using them or feel trapped somehow?
     
  6. poundridge-chicken

    poundridge-chicken New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jul 27, 2011
    Hmmm...never thought of that. I have one nesting box. They were all laying for a good 2 months before this started so at one point in time they did feel safe in it. I suppose i could look into making another one as an option...
     
  7. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    627
    14
    141
    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    I saw one website that lists molting as a cause for hens not laying.
     
  8. poundridge-chicken

    poundridge-chicken New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jul 27, 2011
    Thanks, epeloquin. I suspect this a possible reason. But am not convinced [​IMG] The egg-laying stopped well before the feathers started dropping. Watching them every day and how they interact with each-other - Im leaning towards Bertha (the bully) as being the cause of a lot of stress - and resulting in them holding their eggs.

    Other than increasing their space to roam around during the day, I wonder if there's anything I can do to help them get along better?

    Thanks again!

    -R
     
  9. GoldenCometLady

    GoldenCometLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    116
    2
    111
    Apr 15, 2010
    Walker, West Virginia
    HI! I would put the bully in chicken jail for a couple of days.
    Then when you let her out she will be at the bottom of
    the pecking order. If you have a dog cage it works great
    of you can section of a part of the coop where she can't be
    with the other hens.
     
  10. poundridge-chicken

    poundridge-chicken New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jul 27, 2011
    Does that really work!??! I am definitely willing to try it!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by