No laying and strange behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by egay, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. egay

    egay In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2013
    We have a 3+-year-old Barnevelder chicken. She is done molding for the year. She also recently lost her sister chicken to infection.

    A few weeks ago her behavior changed. She will not come down off the roost for long periods of time. She is not nesting so I do not believe she is Broody. We have four other chickens. When she comes down she tends to run away from them or steer clear of them which is a new behavior for her as they have been in a flock together for over a year. She seems extremely anxious. She is eating and drinking but it is only normally when the other chickens are not nearby. Other times she is usually up in the roost if she is not eating. She is not foraging like she used to.

    Interestingly, we are barely getting one egg from her for other chickens. We are afraid that her presence in the croup is making the other chickens lay outside of the box.

    Any thoughts?
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Was she very close to her sister? I know this sounds like a funny question, but I have seen chickens get quite close to flock mates and losing that flock mate can really mess up their place in the flock, pecking order, general "state of mind", egg laying etc.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Loss of bird in a small flock can cause some stress and change in the pecking order.
    If the bird spent lots of time with the one who died, that could compound the change in order for the one that remains.

    If you're in the northern hemisphere, it's still winter and your birds are older so may not have started laying again yet. Might be once the days get longer, egg production increases and more time has passed since the loss things will get better in the new 'normal'.
  4. Urban Flock

    Urban Flock Chirping

    Sep 17, 2014
    Southern Oregon
    X2 to what sumi said. Last year we had two EE's that were close and when one passed the other one was lost without her for a long time. Mostly stayed to herself and would shy away from the others.
  5. egay

    egay In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2013
    Thank you. I think you are right. We watched them all for a while yesterday and the other birds are now bullying her a bit. She is staying to herself. Do you think adding new birds would help? Or would they just create a third pack of birds?

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