problem chickens

kingofroostAugust 24, 2008

Were to start my chicks are 1yr old started laying on and off, now seems more off than on, july of this year they were putting out 5-8 eggs a day all has stopped since then and only got 4 eggs. I feed pellets, shells ,fresh water every day and no eggs. I clean there nest boxes every day because no matter what I put in there (shavings, shedded paper, straw, broom grass, ect.) they dig it out. I have not seen any snakes, racoons, fox, or eating of eggs by others.Please any help would be helpful.

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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

How many chickens do you have? what are your nesting boxes like? size, height off the ground?

This time of year our chickens slow down dramatically in their egg production. Most of my older girls moult during August and September, and many stop laying during this time. If your chickens are closer to the 18 month age they may be starting to molt. Or the slow down could just be a result of the heat of summer, it which case it should pick up when the weather cools a bit.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 9:01AM
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My box's are 13x13x13 about 2' off ground. I have 14 hens,1 rooster, Buff Orpington,bardrocks, j giant/ cochun mix. It has been hot here in nc but starting to cool off, got three eggs today.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 4:31PM
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If your chickens free range, then they may be laying eggs in well hidden nests outside. You could lock them up for a few days and see if their production goes up. Otherwise, I would agree with the daylight decreasing and possible molting.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:55PM
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Hi kingofroost: my chickens are freerange and occationally I would find eggs hidden out in the woods - I started keeping them in the pen in the morning before letting them freerange and this helped alot. I also switched from a white bulb to a yellow bulb in coop wow! what a difference it made, especially on cloudy days and through the winter when days are shorter I had read that chickens need 16-18 hours of sunlight to be effective egg layers. I never turn the light off. hope this helps


    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 1:31PM
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I have a question for anybody, I have a rooster named Mabel, yes I know! he was named before we knew she was a he. the problem is he chase's my 7yr old son all the way around the house to the back door - he will also trap him up in his tower swingset and circles it and it sounds like he is laughing! I could always video tape and send it in to win $$ with AFVideos/it can get comical/but I don't want my son to get hurt. Mabel is a great protecter of the flock and would hate to make him soup! any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 1:55PM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

Mabel is showing aggresive behavior, despite the fact he hasn't attacked your son, it isn't a good sign. I wouldn't chance an aggressive roo around my 7 year old.

That being said, my 10 year old is now responsible for taking care of the chickens in the morning, we have a semi-aggressive very large roo. I have taught my son to always wear long boots and to carry a stick w/him. They have had a few go arounds and for the most part have worked out an understanding. I keep my chickens in a large fenced yard so my daughter and any neighborhood kids are safe from our roo.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 9:34PM
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sheila, thanks for advice - I was not sure about giving son a stick I did not want him to think it was ok to hurt something but I get your meaning. I was just kidding about video - just trying to relieve my stress about what to do about Mabel. I just do not get why it is just my son, my daughter is 4 and Mabel eats out of her hand. he never bothers me or anybody else

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 12:33AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

What breed is Mable?

You CAN help tame your roo boy and take him down a few pegs WITHOUT hurting him or using a stick. When you whack at him with a stick your are in essence teaching him to fight you--and you want to be above all that, and be like a benevolent God to your roo. YOU, and your family, are at the top of the pecking order ladder, and Mabel (what a great name!) needs to understand that, as well as the other chickens.

Directions on taming roosters (and any other aggressive chickens as well) are here:

This technique WORKS, I've used it many times. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 10:36PM
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I have very gentle roos, but one of them got aggressive with me once in the henhouse when I was having fun outcrowing him. Chickens (both male and female) have a pecking order, and I let him know right up front his place was a peg beneath mine.

Twice I have had to do this to a roo, once to my daughter's big roo when I was tending her flock.........I just happened both times to have a five gallon bucket of water with me. I baptised both of them, and that was that.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 1:05AM
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No, I didn't drown them or even submerge them, I dumped the bucket over them. LOL. I also have just one broody barred rock hen, who is starting the same stuff. She is long in the tooth, but a wonderful brooder, so I am not anxious to be rid of her. She just doesn't want you to take the eggs out from under her. She goes for the eyes. Need I say more? When I gather from under her, I hold her head, like you would a snakes, and take the eggs. She's settled down somewhat since I refused to be submissive to her. That's the whole thing in a nutshell.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 1:10AM
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Oh My Gosh, I'm so glad you responded. Mabel is a White Giant. I just did not want to give my son a stick and say it was OK! after reading your website I have started following the advice. Should I also involve my son in this process alongside me? You see--- my son is adopted, also my daughter. We got her at birth and my son at the age of three, he was severly abused with a baseball bat--enough said? I forgot to say that everytime Mabel chases my son he always runs and is yelling (of course I would too, if something was chasing me!)and yes, my son is doing extremely well,& is a very happy well adjusted little boy!

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 8:45PM
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