RI red not laying, please help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by el Toro, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. el Toro

    el Toro New Egg

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    Jan 19, 2012
    I am a complete rookie to all of this so please forgive my ignorance...

    I took a well built coop as a hand me down from an experienced chicken guy who was moving. So in mid Dec. I went and bought a Rhode Island Red hen. The guy at the feed store said she came in about 3-4 days prior, and was not yet laying. He attributed that to the fact that it had recently got cold (cold for Southern CA anyways) and the days were shorter. I took him for his word. Got the chicken in her new home and my wife and kid affectionatelly named her Noelle. We quickly noticed she was loosing a lot of feathers. Did some research. Not to worry, it seems she was just going through the normal process of molting, which usually occurs with the onset of winter and shorter days. OK, this is all making sense. And apparently it is common for a hen to stop laying while molting.

    Now it appears that she is done molting, or at least is almost done as she is not loosing many feathers anymore, but still, NO EGGS.

    So then I read that sometimes hens are happier with a buddy. OK, maybe that might help her lay, I thought. So back to the store I went a couple days ago and I picked up another hen. Bad idea. Noelle just beat up the new hen. It was ugly. I tried to give them a couple days to get used to each other, but it became apparent that Noelle was gonna kill this new hen if given the chance. So I gave the new one to a guy down the street with hens.

    So that is where I am at now. I want some return out of my investment! Should I give Noelle more time to start laying after molting? Or do I have a hen that is just gong to be unproductive? Should I try to get another hen that she won't fight with? She has a large, clean coop with plenty of feed and clean water. She roams the backyard during the day and stays in the coop at night. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  2. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens do prefer to be with others of the species, which is why when we decided to get a couple of chicks we actually bought 3...just in case.

    It is always difficult to integrate new birds to old, and there should be a quarantine period, too, in case the new bird has some illness or parasite that you don't want your 'old' bird to get.

    I'd suggest you get 2 new birds, then keep them separate from your other one for a month; let them hear each other, but keep them apart. After that time, if you see the new birds are health, let them see each ohter but still keep them from attacking each other. Then one night, put the new birds on the roost after it is dark and your older one is asleep.

    Introducing new birds to others can sometimes be a time-consuming process. Best of luck.
     
  3. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she just molted a month ago, and the days are short, I would say it's much too early for her to begin laying again. I'd give her another 3-6 weeks. It's been over 2 months since mine molted and they are just beginning to lay again. The stress of moving to a new home, adding a new chicken, etc. will also prolong laying. The man at the feed store said that she had not begun laying yet...like she was young and had never laid? Because a chicken who molts is not a young chicken...how old did he say she was?
     
  4. el Toro

    el Toro New Egg

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    Jan 19, 2012
    That is a great question. I have no idea how old she is and the feed store guy didn't say. How can I tell? This is partly what I am trying to determine. How much time do I need to give this thing to start laying again, before coming to the conclusion that she is just not capable for some reason like age, etc?
     
  5. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would give her at least another month. When I moved my pullets just a few feet away into a new coop (same run) they stopped laying for several weeks.
    I have a Wheaten Maran about a year old) that will not live with other chickens (she attacks them), so she lives alone in a tractor all to herself. She seems perfectly happy and content. Talks to me every day and when I'm working nearby I can her her clucking away.
     
  6. ErinG

    ErinG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry - we lost power for 3 days and I wasn't able to get online! I agree with the other poster, give her another month. As far as I know there isn't a way to determine age, but if she molted, she is over a year old most likely. They begin to decline in egg production after the first year, and really slow at 3 years.
     

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