stopped laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jaxchix, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Jaxchix

    Jaxchix New Egg

    Aug 30, 2013
    Hi, we have 6 hens from last year and about 4 weeks ago we introduced this years hens into the coop with them. We have raised them in an adjoining coop so that they would be used to them somewhat. They all seem to have settled in ok and there is no aggression or squawking between anyone. However last years hens, that were producing 5-6 eggs per day are now only giving 1-3 per day. We had some feather loss problems but that seems better since we started giving oyster shell in with their layer feed. We still have one rooster in with them from last year. They also seem to be shaking their heads alot at the moment as well, not sure if this is related or whether all these things are stress related. Should we remove the rooster or separate everyone again - any advice is welcome.... thanks :)
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    I would guess you have a couple of things contributing to the egg slowdown. Anything that upsets chickens can stop them laying, and integrating new birds into the flock is going to be stressful to all involved to some degree. This time of year a lot of chickens are going into molt, and your last years hens would be a prime age to molt anyhow. Many people up the protein level of the feed if the chickens are molting since it does seem to help them recover faster. With the head shaking, I would examine them closely for mites/lice or anything else going on, maybe go ahead and treat if there is any question. Since it has been four weeks, if you want one flock, I would be inclined to just keep the pullets/hens together since they seem to be doing OK since moving them around again is going to be another change. Same thing with the rooster, if you want him in there long term might as well just keep him there if he has been in there a month as long as he is not causing a lot of drama.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Sounds like they are molting. They cannot lay eggs and molt at the same time, as regrowing feathers takes all their protein stores. Once they replace their feathers, then they have to get their body weight back up before they can start laying again. You can help this process by giving them food/treats with extra protein. Mealworms are fantastic protein.
  4. Jaxchix

    Jaxchix New Egg

    Aug 30, 2013
    thankyou for your replies, can certainly try some mealworms (uugghhh!!), they do have some free range room, but not every day, so may need extra protein. Fingers crossed everything settles down. :)

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