Strange problems with behaviour and laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by norwichred, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. norwichred

    norwichred In the Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2012
    I started off with two hybrids, and then when they reached 18 months with me I bought two more hens as I wanted them to eventually take over egg laying duties and I could let the first two have a happy retirement. The guy who sold them to me offered to take them and kill them but I didn't want to do that.

    After the usual week's viciousness and fighting, the two newbies seemed to settle in well and all four were laying happily. This went on for a month or two, and then one hen, not sure which, started laying thin shell eggs which were quite watery whites.

    So one a day was usually smashed in the laying boxes but other than that all was fine.

    I have noticed in the last few days that one of the new chickens is spending all day in the nesting box and won't come out. When I let them out to free range in the garden she comes out but other than that she spends all day in there.

    At the same time, none of my chickens are laying at all. I've gone from four eggs a day, to three, and now no eggs at all for the last four days......

    This is unheard of and I might even have to BUY some supermarket eggs.

    Can anyone give me any idea of what might be going on?

    Thanks I'm advance.
     

  2. Stiggy

    Stiggy Songster

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    Ae you sure she's not broody? Even though its bred out of them they can still sometimes go broody
     
  3. norwichred

    norwichred In the Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2012
    I can't be sure of anything as I'm new to the world of chickens :)
     
  4. norwichred

    norwichred In the Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2012
    I've had a little google about broody hens and not sure she is. Some of her behaviour fits, but if I let them out to free range she runs out to join them. She is also not snappy or pecky. If I open the nesting box she squawks and runs outside.

    She then goes back as soon as I close it again.....
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014

  6. norwichred

    norwichred In the Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2012
    Hi

    I live in the UK - Norwich on the east coast. We are in the middle of a heat wave at the moment and it has been unseasonably hot for nearly a month - talking mid to high twenties centigrade.

    There has been a change of diet. They have free access to layer pellets, and then get fed scraps in the morning from food (usually mash potatoes they love that, and some lettuce). Then they get some corn in the evening.

    However, last time I went to buy feed they were out of layer pellets so they have been on layer mash for the last three weeks - buts it's supposed to be just as good and made by the same company.

    Other that that no change.

    Tomorrow, I'm going to have to buy eggs from a supermarket for the first time in over two years :(
     
  7. norwichred

    norwichred In the Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2012
    Well, I got my first egg this morning for a week.....

    But I've noticed some more strange behaviour. The one that is refusing to remove from the egg box is obviously sleeping there.

    But the other three are now not entering the roosting / nesting box at all. They're even sleeping outside.

    This is getting stranger and stranger.....
     
  8. norwichred

    norwichred In the Brooder

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    Oct 13, 2012
    Another observation. The one that's staying in most of the time has a light pink floppy comb that lays sideways over the head. The others have dark red proud combs that stand tall.
     

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