Several chickens have stopped laying - Help! (updated - 1 is dead)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommabird, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. mommabird

    mommabird Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2012
    Freeland, MD
    We have a flock of 10 chickens. Our 5 white leghorns from the 1st "batch" are approximately a year and 3+ months old. They have been laying without problem for about a year. We added 5 new chicks this year (2 RIR, 2 Barred Rock and 1 Easter Egger), The 10 have been merged for about 2 months now and have been doing very well. None of the chickens show any signs (that I can see) of disease, all appear to be eating well and have an ample water supply.

    Our White Leghorns have been great egg producers and even layed throughout the winter months without any intervention from us, we thought for sure they would stop as the days got shorter and temps dropped but the never did. They have been consistently laying about 6 eggs each per week until three days ago. On Thursday we only found 3 eggs, which has happened a few times when two of them happen to have an "off" day at the same time. But then on Friday, we only found 1 white egg and the same thing happened yesterday. We did get our first brown egg though from one of our new additions yesterday.

    I guess my question is this...could the changing behavior of the new chicks as they begin to lay cause stress for the older chickens and cause them to stop laying or could I possibly have another problem on my hands? As I said, I don't believe I see any signs of disease, they all get plenty of water, they appear to be eating their layer feed as usual and the temps have been very pleasant lately - no where near as hot/humid as it has gotten in the past. Is there something I could be missing?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer some advice!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  2. mommabird

    mommabird Out Of The Brooder

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    41
    Apr 6, 2012
    Freeland, MD
    I just went out to check on them again today and found one of our leghorns dead in the coop, she had blood around her vent. I have checked the others and two of the other leghorns now have messy vents and one is very dark and looks a little bloody. Please help! What can I do?!?! What can I do to prevent the others from getting sick???
     
  3. Delight30

    Delight30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would post this under emergency/injury thread... and change title to bloody vent one chicken dead.... I am new to owning chickens, wish I could help.
     
  4. mommabird

    mommabird Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2012
    Freeland, MD
    Thanks, I will try that.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Leghorns are egglaying machines. You certainly could be experiencing some hens with egg bound or internal laying issues, but I wouldn't think all at once. Have you examined their vents to see if any have a prolapsed vent, where they tried to lay an egg and part of the cloaca comes outside the body? Other hens can see that and start pecking it because it is red, then it becomes bloody, and so on. Another scenario is that they are bored and pecking each other. They might need more protein in the diet, more room in their coop, or more activity from boredom. I hope you can figure out what is going on.
     

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