Now they're not laying... Hens on strike

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DillardHome, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. DillardHome

    DillardHome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Claxton, GA
    In my previous post (1/12/10) my problem was:

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    I thought I was being nice by letting my chickens free range during the day but now I'm not very happy. About 2 months ago I started letting the flock free range and they loved it. I was also happy because the girls would make a point to go into the coop to lay. The flock would be under the shed and I would see a hen run out from underneath, go into the coop sit awhile and then return to the flock, even if it was raining they would still make a run for the coop and lay an egg. WELL, now I am lucky to find an egg in the coop, I am finding them under the shed, in the horse's hay and even in my son's play jeep in the garage. And who knows where else they may be that I have not found. Today, I decided to not let them out and keep them in the coop. (I guess I feel like it's a punishment). I can't think of any situation that arose to change their habits, nothing out of the ordinary. Any ideas on how I can get them back to their original routine of laying in the coop?

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    I received great advice on keeping them in the coop for a few days and to limit their free ranging. I have had them on lockdown for two days now and well I think now they are on strike. [​IMG] Before - I was getting 2-3 eggs daily prior to the 'lockdown', but now maybe one a day. I have witnessed my roos getting their groove on the hens while in the coop, so I would think that would help if anything getting them to lay in case they are being spiteful.[​IMG] Maybe they are waiting to lay until they are let out again to return to their old nesting areas (i.e. horses hay)?? If that's the case I won't let them back out. I have put fresh hay in the nest boxes and in the corners of the coop. They have plenty of water & food. Any ideas on what their problem is?[​IMG]
     
  2. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I expect that it might be the cold weather.
    Or if they are staying indoors all day, maybe a lack of daylight?

    Perhaps they were getting extra protein from bugs, that they aren't getting now, that's the only other thing I can think of.
     
  3. Ms~Silkie~Girl

    Ms~Silkie~Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they might be molting, or it might just be the cold weather
     
  4. Lensters

    Lensters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2009
    Adair Village, OR
    It wouldn't explain such a sudden halt but if there isn't enough light in the coop they will stop laying.

    I assume that they have food and water in the coop? Last summer I asked my son to change the water in one of my runs. He took the waterer to the hose but must have gotten distracted. The next morning I went out and looked for eggs and only found 2 when I was usually getting 8-10. That's when I noticed the missing waterer. It is pretty hard to make an egg without the materials to build it.
     
  5. australorp_breeder

    australorp_breeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2009
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    lol! Sorry but I just think 'hens on strike' sounds hillarious xD! I hope everything gets fixed!
     
  6. DillardHome

    DillardHome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Claxton, GA
    Quote:The cold weather didn't seem to stop them and their coop is built so they can get light from all sides. [​IMG]

    Maybe the extra protein from the bugs is the culprit.

    Thank you so much for your input [​IMG]
     
  7. DillardHome

    DillardHome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Claxton, GA
    Quote:[​IMG] I thought we could use a chuckle for the day.
     
  8. DillardHome

    DillardHome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Claxton, GA
    Quote:Yep, I check everyday. Fresh water and layer crumbles. I even put whole corn in a pan in there for them. Everything just halted after lockdown. The coop is open[​IMG]


    Thanks for your input [​IMG]
     
  9. Bedste

    Bedste Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cut n Shoot Texas
    Calf Manna for a couple weeks is a high protein boost and worked for mine
     
  10. DillardHome

    DillardHome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2009
    Claxton, GA
    The day after I had them on lockdown, I did let them out in the late afternoon only because I was re-introducing a hen who had been sick and living in the garage (in a pet crate) while we were treating her. I wanted to be sure they were all going to be nice to her before I left them alone overnight locked in a coop. Once I let them all out two of the hens booked it to the horses big roll of hay, and were frantically trying to get into a hole they made in the middle of the roll. I kept trying to chase them away but they were determined to go back. So I waited and watched. Once one of them left I went to the hay and looked inside the hole and there was an egg. The other hen that I did chase back ran under the shed and layed an egg there. So it just seems like they were holding the eggs in until they were let out. And now since I haven't let them out they are refusing to lay?? [​IMG]
     

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