New hen owner - one death and adults not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by schmapes, May 18, 2017.

  1. schmapes

    schmapes Just Hatched

    May 18, 2017
    Carmel, IN USA
    My Coop
    Hello everyone. I'm cross-posting this from my "new member introduction post", as I hope to get some answers here.

    I have been looking at this site for answers to my questions since I got my hens a month ago and it has been extremely helpful. I already know some things I have done wrong, so i'm hoping to keep learning. We decided to begin with a few adults and a couple of pullets, since we wanted to experience eggs our first season. I purchased from a gentleman in my town who was selling as he said he had too many chickens.

    We purchased three adult hens who, according to the previous owner, are 10 months old and laying. In addition we got two pullets who are three months old.

    One of the adults passed away on Tuesday (two days ago). We thought that everything was going along just fine. I noticed about a week ago that she was distancing herself from the others - but her poop looked fine and she was eating and drinking so I didn't worry too much. Then a couple of days ago she couldn't hop over the little 2x4 that is at the entrance of the coop. I had to lift her out and in. It almost seemed like her wings/legs/feet stopped working. It happened so fast. I isolated her from the others and gave her a safe place by herself. I hand fed her with mash and water with ACV. Gave her some garlic. After about a half a day she just stopped eating and drinking altogether. She died within hours. My children were devastated and it has left me feeling completely inadequate and afraid for the others.

    I read so many things online - thought maybe it was Marek's. I asked the previous owner if he vaccinated them and he said no. I figure if she had it then maybe the others will have it too.

    I've checked them all for mites/lice and they are clear. I've been watching poops and they look fine. Today they all seem fine...scratching/running around like normal. But here is my question: Should I be worried that my hens are not laying? The previous owner said that it could take 6 weeks for the older birds to resume laying due to the stress of moving to a new coop. I was surprised and delighted that one of our girls started laying just a few days after we brought her home. She was laying consistently for two weeks and then just stopped. The other two (one of them the one who passed away on Tuesday) never started laying. I have had them for four weeks now. Should I be concerned?

    Thanks in advance for your help. I probably should have vetted the source of my chickens before I purchased them and I will do so in the future. However, I am determined to take good care of these ladies no matter what.
  2. morganalefae

    morganalefae Head nut at the nut house Premium Member

    May 2, 2017
    Leicestershire UK
    Not sure why one of your girls died it could be loads of things. As for the older one not laying unsure it maybe due to stress some are more easy to stress then others also she maybe older then what the guy told you. As for the young ones you say they are 3 months old so that would put them around what 12 weeks most pullets dont go into lay till at least 16 weeks from what I have read and been told and have of my own, heck some don't lay till they are 26 weeks which I think 2 of mine are going that way. Have you contacted a vet by any chance that works with chickens?
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I would wait it out. It could be that the one that died had something that was exacerbated by the stress of moving. If the others don't show symptoms within a few days, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It can take several weeks to a month or so for chickens to start laying after a move.
    aart likes this.

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