No eggs since last September dog attack...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by enigma9o7, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. enigma9o7

    enigma9o7 In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2016
    San José, California
    As of last October, I had three hens. Star (black sex link), and Jersey (black jersey giant) were laying almost every day and had been raised since chicks together (along with one other that disappeared last summer). The third henr, Mary (Amerricauna) was only a couple months old. They free range all day in an open field behind my fence but they always come back to the coop to lay eggs and around dusk (I cut a small hole in the fence for them), plus whenever they feel like it for water or feed or whatever.

    One day an off-leash dog caused some problems, prolly someone walking their dog on the trail back there. I happened to be home when it happened, as Mary came flying into my back glass sliding door. Normally they don't come into our back yard proper cuz there's six foot high deer netting around their corner, so she musta flown over it or squeezed thru the gate or something. I went outside and there was a dog barking at the hole in the fence. I heard the owner yelling at the dog and assumed they were solving that. I turn around to check on Mary and she had ended up going down the side of the house into the dark garage and hiding under a car, too me a while to find her. I then went out the back fence to check on the two layers, and couldn't find them, which is unusual, they're usually not far. I did see lotsa black feathers. They did come back that night, but Star was hurt, dog bite, so I ended up taking her to the vet and paying for stitches and shoving anti-biotics and painkillers down her throat for a week at the vet's advice. For a few days they stayed mostly in their coop, but eventually returned to normal behavior. Star looked really weird without the feathers (doctor removed even more to do the stitches) but they eventually grew back too. But both hens stopped laying. Then one day around Christmas Star didn't come back at all, after I spent all that money on vet and she finally fully healed. She was my kids (and my) favorite too, as she was very friendly, let anyone pick her up, etc.

    Anyways, the point of this post, is that Jersey hasn't laid since. I don't think she was attacked, just scared. Mary started laying a few weeks ago and lays almost daily, which I believe was within normal range of time to start. But still nothing from Jersey, and we've checked out back just incase she was laying somewhere else .

    So... should I just keep waiting? Or can hens give up laying forever? She'll be a year old in a couple weeks so she should be in her prime... I also read some chickens stop laying in winter, but I'm in a fairly warm climate and I do have a solar powered light in their coop that runs a few hours after dark each evening, but as it's charged during the day by solar, on darker days it doesn't run as long, and on bright sunny days it lasts longer. I'm thinking next winter I'll figure out better lighting if that's what people think caused it, but if that was it, she woulda started laying by now wouldn't she? I dunno....

  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Hens take breaks from laying throughout the season. Certain breeds lay more and more consistently than others, and you will always get your best production during the first season. After that being said Jersey giants are a high production breed so I would expect her to take breaks. She will eventually resume.

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