Non-broodies stopped laying when broody hen went broody. Now what?

nicolevg

Chirping
May 30, 2021
44
70
66
Tehachapi, CA
Our Buff Orpington went broody a little over 2 weeks ago. I bought some chicks for her & introduced them last night, but unfortunately she didn't take to them so we'll be raising them on our own with a brooder plate. Ever since the buff went broody, we've been getting a max of 1 egg/day from our other 4 hens (3 Ameraucanas and 1 olive eggers). Pre-broodiness, we were getting minimum 3 eggs from those 4 hens per day. The weather has not changed drastically in temperature since earlier in the summer, and if anything, they're less stressed now since they all have more space from 5 of their original flockmates being picked off by the local bobcat family.

The buff orpington has been separated from the rest of the flock for 3 days (so we could introduce her to the new chicks away from the rest of the hens), and yet there's still no increase in egg production. What gives?! Any ideas? When will egg production most likely pick up? I'm still working on breaking the broodiness from the buff before I reintroduce her back to the flock.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Sep 29, 2014
8,081
24,211
951
New Zealand
Stress is often the biggest factor when you see a drop in production and it can take up to a month for things to get back to normal. How long ago was the bobcat attack?

Or they could have changed where they lay due to Miss Broody taking over the nesting area so check all the corners of the coop and any secret spots they could squeeze into in the run. They will bury eggs if they can so you might have to dig in the coop bedding a bit. Even if she was moved out of the coop they get into the routine of laying somewhere else. Some fake eggs in the nest boxes might lure them back.
 

nicolevg

Chirping
May 30, 2021
44
70
66
Tehachapi, CA
Stress is often the biggest factor when you see a drop in production and it can take up to a month for things to get back to normal. How long ago was the bobcat attack?

Or they could have changed where they lay due to Miss Broody taking over the nesting area so check all the corners of the coop and any secret spots they could squeeze into in the run. They will bury eggs if they can so you might have to dig in the coop bedding a bit. Even if she was moved out of the coop they get into the routine of laying somewhere else. Some fake eggs in the nest boxes might lure them back.
That's a good point. The bobcat attack was a month ago or so. I'm sure it stressed them out, but I didn't notice any significant egg decrease in the week after the attack. I noticed a decrease when the buff went broody and moody. We have 5 nesting boxes, and I transferred her to the one at the furthest end of the coop. So technically, with the way our egg boxes are set up, they could've entered the coop and laid in the box closest to the door without the broody even knowing.

Sometimes in the past they've laid in the corners of the coop opposite the nesting boxes, even sometimes in the dirt in the run. There aren't many nooks and crannies for them to hide their eggs in, and I haven't seen any eggs in the corners or underneath the bedding the whole past several weeks the buff has been broody. I think they're all legitimately not laying. The broody has been separated from the rest of the flock for 4 days, and I've received 3 eggs from 4 hens in those 4 days. The weather has been in the 80s-90s with lows in the 60s-low 70s this whole time... has as it's been since late May.
 

Yardmom

Songster
May 3, 2018
982
1,355
186
Waterford, PA
How old are your hens? Sometimes older hens start there "winter" break in late summer. I have a variety of hens and have noticed my blue eggs are less in late summer. They are sometimes the earlier layers come the next spring.
 

nicolevg

Chirping
May 30, 2021
44
70
66
Tehachapi, CA
How old are your hens? Sometimes older hens start there "winter" break in late summer. I have a variety of hens and have noticed my blue eggs are less in late summer. They are sometimes the earlier layers come the next spring.
All my hens are a year old (-ish. We bought them from a local provider this past April and they were advertised as year-old laying hens). This is their first time going broody.
 

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