Monday, April 20, 2015

My New Hen Isn't Laying Anymore

Let's say you just got some laying hens from a trusted friend. You picked them up and brought them home. You put them in their coop and showed them around. The next day you get eggs! Yay! You get eggs the day after that. YAY, fresh eggs! Then, on the 4th day, you don't get any eggs. This continues for about two weeks. No eggs. What happened? Why aren't my new hens laying?

Shock. Plain and simple. They have been moved to a new place, new surroundings, new feed, new people, new 4-legged critters to deal with.Your new hens are in culture shock. But they were laying right after they arrived, you may say. Yes, I'm sure this is true. Now I'm going to let you in on the reason why.

A hen has egglets or yolk seeds in her ovaries. These egglets slowly mature and when they are large enough, the yolk begins to move down the hen's ovaduct where it gathers the albumin, shell and pigment. It takes 26 hours for a mature yolk to form into an egg. Several of your hen's yolks were ready to move down the oviduct at the time they were moved to their new place. So, your new hen lays what is ready to go in her ovaries, which is about 3-4 days worth of eggs. The shock of a move put the damper on maturation of any more eggs.

Don't worry, this is normal. Your new girls will begin to lay again soon, usually about 2-3 weeks after a move you should be back to full production. In the meantime, let her get to know you by feeding treats and plenty of exploring time outside.

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