New pullets- older hens stop laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by msazeeta, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. msazeeta

    msazeeta Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been keeping my 2 young pullets (about 2 months) in a separate cage inside the run until after the older hens have each laid for the day, before giving them the run to themselves while the hens get the yard. About 5 days ago I started letting the 2 young pullets free in the yard since they are getting too big for the cage. It has been 5 days with no eggs. One of my hens has laid two soft eggs with very thin shells that cracked, but other than that, nothing. My older 3 hens are only 1 year old by the way. Is this normal? Are they stressed? And how long until my girls start laying again?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    The new chicks are probably causing some stress. Chickens hate any kind of change in their day. Usually it takes about a week after being stressed for laying to halt, so many don't notice it. They should resume, my guess would be up to three weeks, but all hens are different.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They may be laying out in the yard due to the disruption of intruders(the new birds) in the flock.
     
  4. msazeeta

    msazeeta Out Of The Brooder

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    You are absolutely right! I heard one of my girls doing her egg song under a bush this morning and peeked under only to find exactly 5 days worth of eggs not including the soft ones left under the coop. [​IMG]

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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ha! Well, keep an eye on that spot until everyone getting along well enough to lock them all in the coop for a few days.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
     
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  6. msazeeta

    msazeeta Out Of The Brooder

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    Will do! I think they're getting used to the young ones. I haven't seen any more chasing or pecking and it's been about a week. They're not flocking together yet, but that would be expecting a lot I think!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They probably won't flock, or roost, together until the younger ones start laying.....if even then.
     

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