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Lovesick hens after losing rooster?  RSS feed

victoria wakefield
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So I don't really think our hens are heartbroken, BUT they have been laying considerably less eggs since we lost our rooster. Our coop is in my MIL's yard and when her neighbors complained about his crowing, he had to go. A few days later he was roasted and shredded for some delicious tacos :/.

It's been a little over 3 weeks that the rooster has been gone and we've had about half the usual amount of eggs ever since. I can't find anything online about hens not laying eggs with the loss of a rooster specifically, but I know that traumatic events and disruptions can have that effect on them.

Just hoping someone has experienced this or has some insight. Thanks so much in advance!
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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There could be other factors contributing to the cutback in egg production. Funny that you brought up this topic because I made a post on my blog about this. And I was getting ready to elaborate on it because I've been getting questions. So......

Reasons why my own chickens have reduced egg production because every year at the end of June my hens slow down considerably...
...time of year. After the summer solstice, the day light hours begin to get shorter. I don't provide extra light for them.
...most of my hens are 2 years old and up. Only my younger hens steadily lay eggs after July 1st.
...most of my hens are not heavy egg production breeds. None of the young ones are.
...my hens are not fed strictly a commercial layer feed. In fact, I don't use hardly any commercial feed of any sort.

Other contributing reasons can be...
...change in diet.
...addition of new birds into the flock.
...hens were recently purchased or acquired.
...hens moved to a new pen or having the coop rebuilt or modified.
...new roosts or roosts in a different location.
...change of waterers or feeders.
...change of circumstances outside the pen, such as tree/brush removal, a new dog, heavy equipment use near the pen, etc.
...hens are not commercial breed egglayers.
...hens don't have enough water constantly available.
...food or water ran out.
...diet low in protein and/or calcium.
...too much scratch feed.

There's probably more possible reasons, but these came to mind right away. And removing the rooster might be a contributing factor, though I've never seen that with my own flock. Roosters come and go on my farm on a regular basis and it hasn't effected egg production for me.
Deb Rebel
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Location: Zone 6b
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Possibly there was something the rooster was keeping at bay/away from the flock and now that he's gone it's around more frequently. You don't notice it but the hens do, and the stress is putting them off laying.

Try getting another rooster and trying one of those crowing straps. I have never used one but apparently if properly adjusted it keeps him from making noise all day and night for the sake of the neighbors and he'll still be on the watch. (?)
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 223
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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How's the weather there? We always think of heat when hens stop laying, but we had a lot of rain and strange weather last year that put them off. Then things straightened out, they started laying, then the heat hit. They started laying regularly when fall came, then it was molting time. Quit. Started laying soon after CHRISTmas.
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