chickens stopped layinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
We recently had an invasion of racoons in our hen house, killing 2 hens. Since then our hens will not lay. They refuse to drink out of any water source I provide for them. We have cleaned the old waterers, bought new ones, just put water out in a pan, but they won't even look at it. When the water is spilled on the ground they attack it, eating the mud just to get some of the moisture. I am desperate to get them laying again. Any suggestions?
-- linda nowakowski (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 03, 2001
Hi Linda, Try painting the pans a dark brown or muddy color. Be sure to use Non toxic paint! I would be more concern w/ the water in take than the lay part. Good luck.
-- Debbie T in N.C. (email@example.com), August 03, 2001.
They are probably stressed from the attacks and won't lay again until they feel safe.
If they like greens, can you sprinkle the area where they are 'grazing' or water their greens in a pan? They could get some water that way while they are settling down. Or they might drink water dripping off of bushes if that works for you.
If you can get them to drink by using the darker pans, then put some Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower Remedies) in their drinking water. This will help them with the trauma.
-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (CatFlunky@excite.com), August 03, 2001.
When our hens arent laying or we think they arent drinking enough, we sprinkle Paparica on their food. They even lay in the winter. I agree, they are probably stressed. But the Paparica wont hurt them, and will encourage them to drink which will get them to laying again. Did you catch the racoon, or is it coming in to their water pan at night? I would put out a live trap with marshmellows in it. I have had racoons come in but never had the chickens react like that.
-- the pooles (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 05, 2001.