No Rooster, hens stop laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by skyva, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. skyva

    skyva New Egg

    Apr 19, 2014
    Hi, I had an unruly rooster. He attacked everyone, and was too much man for my two hens, so I gave him away.

    I was usually getting close to two eggs a day on average from my two x-breed layers, which are 18 months old and seemingly in good condition. I have more chickens but two died from marecks some time ago.

    I am in Melbourne so we are in late spring, when I should be getting more eggs. However I now get less than 1 egg a day, so something is wrong.


    I like to let the girls roam free, so often leave the gate to the run open. Since no rooster, I have had crows raid the coop, but so far I have gotten rid of two crows (well one, as one committed suicide in a water trough), not sure if there are more. Would getting another a rooster stop this? Maybe this is a stress? There may be other raiders like sneaky rats, I wonder if the rooster kept them at bay.

    I introduced two young bantams when I got rid of the rooster. They are quiet and do not interact with the larger birds. Not sure if this could affect things.

    The eggs I get, one a day or less, are rougher than usual, with a light sandpapery texture and sometimes a more pronounced bump on the end. Otherwise they appear fine.

    I have not changed their diet, and they have water.

    If there are no major health issues I might get another two layers and a smaller rooster if it helps keep the girls laying and protects the hens and eggs. Shame, the last rooster was a beast and would attack everything, including the german shepherd. I just could not have him around my kids.

    Any help welcome.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, it may be a number of issues that combine to make up the non-laying.

    If you add some optional oyster shell feed (i.e. in a separate feeder) that should rule out the issue of calcium deficiency.

    I also have an commercial layer and whilst she lays almost every day, I'm actually glad when she does not lay as i reckon daily laying (without broodiness breaks) must put a massive strain on the bird.

    I've only ever had two roos and they were about as effective as a chocolate fire-guard when it came to protecting the flock so a roo does not necessarily mean protection.

    Maybe they are just having a bit of a rest. I read here earlier this morning that the onset of warmer weather can reduce egg production temporarily - maybe thats what it is.

    The new chickens will not be a stress factor i would not imagine as they are subordinate to the hens in question.

    If you do get another roo - the general rule of thumb seems to be 1 roo for 10 hens, so you may wish to bear that in mind.

    Hope that helps a little

  3. PoppyLove

    PoppyLove Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2014
    Victoria, Australia
    Hi, I wouldn't worry too much yet. They may be about to get broody or about to molt. What you described about the eggs texture sounds a lot like one of my hens was laying just before she had a break to molt. I even had an egg layed without a shell (just membrane) some of my hens are just starting to lay after a molt right now. I have around 30 hens of all different ages. Some of the hens started laying at 17 weeks and some took to 30 weeks. I thought I was going mad waiting for them to start laying. some started laying then stopped for a month to jolt. I can't comment whether or not the rooster leaving had anything to do with this. Do you want to get another rooster? I'm in central Victoria. Nice to message someone close :)
  4. PoppyLove

    PoppyLove Out Of The Brooder

    May 21, 2014
    Victoria, Australia
    Jolt was molt sorry
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Chickens are creatures of habit and don't like change. Any change, no matter how small, can disrupt laying. You have upset the flock dynamic by removing the male and adding other birds. It will take a couple of weeks for them to adjust to it.

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