problem with my barred rock hens help please

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickabator, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. chickabator

    chickabator Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    I have 16 barred rock pullets that are 33 weeks old today we have been getting anywhere from 12 to 15 eggs a day then all of a sudden we are down to anywhere from 3 to 7 eggs a day now. they are picking the feathers out of each other. At first we thought it was the roo because he was just too rough on my girls pecking their heads and stuff real bad so we took him out but that has been almost a week ago and still no more eggs, What will make them pick the feathers out of each other and cause them to stop laying? I would appreciate some advice here. they get pleanty of laying pellets, black oil sunflower seeds , greens and oyster shell and grit, I just don't understand and plenty of fresh clean water and vitamins and electrolites also. any help would be greatly appreciated. and also they are not eating the eggs or are any preditors eating them they just are not laying
  2. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Is it possible that they are molting?
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Check them for mites & lice.

    Could it be heat related?
    Don't know where you are but if it is very hot it will stress the hens and they will slow egg production.

    Are they crowded?
  4. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Have you checked them for lice/mites?
  5. chickabator

    chickabator Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    DH checked them and said they did not have either but went ahead and dusted them anyway. the only thing I can see is that about 4 or 5 of them have lost feathers right above their tails but that is where they are picking them off of each other I went to feed them yesterday and one little pullet was bleeding where the others had been plucking her feathers We thought it was from our rooster because he was so rough on them they have claw marks (scratches ) from him on their backs so he is no longer in the pen with them. they have plenty of room and food and water just about anything you can give a chicken. They are big babies wait for me every day when I go out. they follow me everywhere I go outside. I just don't know what is going on with my girls. I have started adding more protein to their diet to see if that will make them quit plucking feathers and eating them I really just don't know what to do.
  6. Eggseronious

    Eggseronious Songster

    Mar 6, 2008
    East Tennessee
    Moulting! [​IMG] They will come back.
  7. spottedtail

    spottedtail Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    I think egg production has suffered because of the stress of picking.
    Chickens are attracted to blood, and once picking begins, it's easily picked up by others in the flock.
    It's good you've removed the rooster, as they are often the start of it.

    They are eating well. A change in diet wouldn't help. This is a behavorial problem, not a feed problem.

    What I've done when picking is first noticed, is to carefully watch for the guilty ones and remove them permanently from the flock. It's very important to catch it quick before it spreads!!
    There are many methods to combat this problem, but in my experience, removal is the only one that consistently works.

    Good luck,
  8. chickabator

    chickabator Songster

    Nov 30, 2007
    they have had a change in their feed but that is because we bought some from the feed store we usually buy from the feed was real dusty and had a moldy smell and some of the pellets were clumpped together so we quit buying from them. They were also use to getting alot of table scraps in the evenings but now they don't get that many, they do get fresh greens and a few scraps but not like they use too. What could I give them to supplement the protein? I give them vitamins electrolites once a week. Someone told me to give them hamburger meat for awhile. I don't know. I am guessing here. Also my dh went and rechecked them and my daughter said that our other (baby) rooster that is in there with them had some black bugs crawling around his vent at the base of his tail, so dh dusted with 7 dust and put some in their dusting bed. I checked him yesterday and did not see any bugs but I did see on a couple of his feathers at the base a little bit of white clumping stuff that looked like it had clumps of wet bug dust on them is this lice eggs or is it the dust? He also has new feathers coming in his tail but he has not lost any of his feathers just a few of my pullets not all of them but about 5 or 6 and they are not completely bald just in the spot on their back above their tails and then 2 of them have lost feathers on their heads that is why I thought it was the rooster, but the ones on their heads are coming back now, but still no eggs.
    Yes it is VERY HOT here, yesterday it was 98 but when egg production started slacking we had a cold snap highs in the 60's and then all of a sudden it is 90's

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