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Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts Message Board › since the coyote attack in September....

since the coyote attack in September....

Ron F.
user 11466035
Whittier, CA
Post #: 31
So, since the attack in September, my two remaining hens have not laid any eggs. I'm wondering if its the trauma from the attack, or is it, that their flock is no longer complete. In any case, they are not laying, and I don't know what to do. We didn't DEPEND on the eggs, but IF THIS WAS MY FAMILY'S ONLY MEANS OF FOOD, this would be a fatal blow to our food source. I'm looking to adopt some hens for our 2 hen flock(and a rooster), but another concern is; my existing hens HAD an established flock, would I need get 3 new birds, so a new flock can be established, and thus preventing any bullying? I'm by no means an expert, on the psychology of chickens, so any experienced advice, or comments are surely welcomed. And thank you, you guys are the BEST!!
Laura B.
LauraBonilla
Group Organizer
Norco, CA
Post #: 361
hi Ron,
I would say that bringing two will make it easier for your two existing hens to adapt to the new girls... three may be too much for them to handle... they are like humans, they already have a family and a structure and any new additions are not welcome... so probably two will be a bit easier to handle than 3...

Either way, your two girls are probably going to fight the 'intruders' and become number 1 and number 2... but I would suggest for the sake of these existing girls, that you don't bring girls bigger than them... ideally you can bring some of the same size... From my own experience, it's a lot easier for the flock to deal with newcomers when they are the same size... bigger one will eventually take the highest pecking order (not always, but I've seen it a number of times)... smaller ones suffer too much because they get bullied a lot easier...

Keep us posted! Let us know how it goes,
Ron F.
user 11466035
Whittier, CA
Post #: 32
Thank you Laura, for your insight, I do appreciate it. So any suggestions on what to do about the lack of eggs?
A former member
Post #: 284
lack of eggs?

1) What breed are they? It is possible they stopped due to coyote attack, and continued because of fewer daylight hours. Whether they lay in the winter depends on the breed and, more specific to each bird, the breed's strain, because some continue to lay during the winter, really with egg laying, moulting, brooding and a short life they get little/no rest their entire life.
2) If predators are roaming the area, and they can see them, then it will also cause them not to lay, because they are in constant fear.
Ron F.
user 11466035
Whittier, CA
Post #: 33
Yeah, my girls are australorps, and haven't had a problem laying before....and I'm in Whittier/Norwalk area, so my coyote attack, was a little unexpected, we're not near any trails, or riverbeds, and I don't see any evidence of a regular passage way of travel for predators....no water source, no scat.....we got our girls spring of 2010, so they are not that old....they did slow egg production last year, during winter, but it wasn't a complete strike, and it definately wasn't a solid two months with nothing layed. As for seeing predators, well during the day, they free range in our yard, I'm usually out there working...and they show curiosity in whatever I do in the yard. At night they're locked down in their coop, roosting in the upper area, of the coop, with no vision of anything except the nesting boxes.
A former member
Post #: 33
Coyotes can be any where. I was surprised to learn that there is one about 2 blocks away from me. I am in the middle of the San Fernando Valley...not much in the way of open green space.
A former member
Post #: 287
From the list (link­) Australorp lays 5 eggs per week on average, and from reading online (here­ and here­) they lay in the winter as well, with quantity dependent on how they were bred (hatchery chicks likely laying the most).

Since you are around during daylight and sleeping quarters are hidden/quiet, maybe place the hens inside the nesting box to show that it is safe? Personally as long as they are not egg bound I would let them rest, especially winter time... and add more because you are down to just 2 and it is best to have 3 or more (in case one dies).
Nicole
Nico13
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 3
If your chickens are free ranging, they may have made a nest somewhere hidden in your yard. My chickens do it all the time.
A former member
Post #: 289
If your chickens are free ranging, they may have made a nest somewhere hidden in your yard. My chickens do it all the time.

You are right!
Chris L.
LaLoomis
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 69
I consider eggs to be seasonal. I eat a lot more of them Spring to Fall. Some hens will lay all winter but any major event can knock them off kilter
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