problems with new flock....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by belibutn, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. belibutn

    belibutn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    Hey all.

    A co worker of mine found out he was unable to have chickens where he lived, so he gave me his 13 layers. They are only about 8 months old and have been laying very well for him.

    I moved them into our extra coop, and moved our dominant rooster in with them. The next day I noticed HUGE bare patches on them, backs mostly... all except for 2 of them - the 2 on the top of the pecking order.

    It seems that he had his hens inside a coop all day to keep them out of site of the neighbors, with heat lamps and 14 hour lights on a timer.

    Well, at our place they have a run, fresh air, not heat lamps but sunlight. We starting mixing soybean meal into the layer feed (20% is the meal) so they will get more protien so they can regrow those feathers.

    They stopped laying (except for those 2) and started regrowing the feathers since they need them in the cold weather.

    My question is now how long will it take them to get them in and start laying again. If I knew there was going to be this much of a downtime with them, i would have agreed to a lesser price on them. (we are giving him 1 roaster for each layer in the spring time)


    I feel so bad for them... they are in good hands now, but I almost feel like I saved a bunch of battery hens.
     
  2. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Chances are they would stop laying no matter what conditions they came from because a big change like they're going through is going to stress them out and it will take a while (few days to few weeks) for them to start laying again. If they are bare from molting, then they wouldn't lay either. I'm glad you are going to give them a better life now. How do they seem otherwise?
     
  3. belibutn

    belibutn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    Otherwise, they are doing great. Ruby, the red headed naked neck who likes to sing a lot, has gotten very personable with us. The rest seem right at home too. And a few have even gotten some good flight feathers back - he had clipped them - enough to use the roosts we have in there.
     
  4. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Why did you put you roo with them? That more than likely add to there stress.
     
  5. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Virginia
    Anytime you move hens, they are going to quite laying because of the stress that it puts them under. Yours seem to be going through a considerable amount, considering the circumstances. Think about it. A new home, then new digs, new surroundings, and the outdoors. That is something all in it's own that they've never experienced! You are going to have to give these girls more time to get used to a whole new way of life. Once they start to feel comfortable and adjust, they will start laying again.
     
  6. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mar 25, 2008
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    Quote:I also agree with this. Take the roo out until your hens get more comfortable with their new home.
     
  7. belibutn

    belibutn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
    East TN
    Hmm, good point on the roo.... we moved him in so that it would be easier to mix the flocks later. He was getting very cantankerous when a whole new set of girls next to him and he wanted to claim them.

    he has been doing good for them though. he has taught them where to roost, when to come in and all that. We use the rafters in our coop (short) for roosts. When we first got them they wanted to just curl up on the ground because there were no ladder roosts.


    Thanks for the advice everyone. I will give them more time. Before they started getting the extra protein to regrow the feathers, they had actually did 1 or 2 days of good laying.

    It wasn't really a molt they were going through. they were so bored then pecked all the feathers off of each other.
     
  8. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    The roo could of mated them to the point where he plucks and makes there backs bare. If there backs are still bare you need to put something on them like chicken saddles or bluekote. If they pick it and it bleeds you will have a big mess on your hands.

    Also you never want to add new chickens to old one for at least 30 days to prevent illness from spreading. You do not want the 2 flocks close to eachother at all.
     
  9. colby318

    colby318 got 'dottes?

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    Jul 14, 2008
    Stamping Ground, KY
    I put saddles on any of the hens are a little bare backed. In this cold, it's like putting a blanket on a horse. They seem happier, too. They run around more instead of hanging out in the coop with the heat bulbs.

    Colby in KY

    Good for you for rehoming the ladies!
     

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