Stressed Forever?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChixinPdx, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. ChixinPdx

    ChixinPdx New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2015
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi,

    I have 4 chickens between 2-3 years old. The Ameracauna and the Sexlink lay almost every day. But the Welsummer and the Leghorn barely laid any eggs all summer (we're talking maybe 1 egg every 2 to 3 weeks). Last summer, all chickens laid a ton of eggs, no problem. They all eat organic soy and corn free pellets. They have plenty of fresh water, a clean and safe coop and they get to roam around a huge fenced in yard all day eating bugs and whatever fruits and veggies they can get their little claws on. I've read a bunch of threads on here and my best guess is that they stopped laying due to stress. We had an incident months ago where we lost a chicken to a raccoon. This was back in the spring and I think that's when they stopped laying. All the other threads I read about chickens that stopped laying due to stress said they started laying again after a few days but it's been months of this. They don't "seem" stressed. They act like the other 2 chickens. They run up to us when we go outside to give them sunflower seeds and they seem generally ok. I'm just wondering if they've ever going to start laying again or if they're permanently scarred. Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    It is possible, yes, that they are still stressed and a bit freaked out from the attack. It can take their bodies a very long time to get back into the swing of laying even if they aren't showing signs of stress anymore. However, there are other reasons for them to have quit laying too. This time of year, it's VERY common for hens to stop. Are they molting? Do they have lice or mites? Are they getting 16 hours of light a day? Make sure their veggies, fruits and otherwise treats don't take up more than 10% of their daily diet. They might also just be taking a quick break. My hens do that a lot too.

    Good luck!
     
  3. ChixinPdx

    ChixinPdx New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2015
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for the feedback!

    The molting has started but they haven't been laying all summer long. They basically laid a bit in the spring, then the incident with the raccoon happened and they stopped. We get plenty of sunshine here in the summer. No lice, mites or parasites. I let them roam around the yard so I don't know how much fruits they are getting. They basically eat any figs and plums that fall off the trees. Could that affect their laying habits? The other 2 girls eat the same though... The veggies are enclosed so it's whatever I give them, which isn't much...a handful of grape tomatoes every few days. I guess I'll see if anything changes next spring. Hopefully they'll have recovered by then. :(
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    That is strange. Since they roam, could they be hiding their eggs somewhere?
     
  5. ChixinPdx

    ChixinPdx New Egg

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    Oct 10, 2015
    Portland, Oregon
    I keep checking the yard but haven't found any yet. I've only ever found 1 egg in the yard before and I think it's because the henhouse was occupied (they're shy and won't lay together apparently!) Oy!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd keep them confined to coop and run for a few days to a week, to 're-train' them to lay in the coop nests.

    Also might want to calculate their protein levels..maybe a higher protein feed when they are free ranging.
     

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