We got our adult chickens home on Sunday afternoon. 2 roosters and 23 hens (15 of which are laying age, 8 are 16 weeks old).
The place they were evacuated to had a pretty nice set-up. The coop was about the size of ours, but the pen was much smaller and overgrown. I figured they would have a blast scratching and pecking at the weeds. They did do quite a bit of that.
The first week they were there they laid their normal 9-12 eggs a day. But then the second week they brought in a backhoe and it was working right next to the chicken coop. This apparently did not make my ladies happy and they decreased their laying a lot the last few days they were there.
They’ve been home about 36 hours now and haven’t laid even one egg. NOT ONE, from 15 hens. My poor birds! I must say I am somewhat distraught at the fact that something could make 15 hens stop laying all at the same time. They must have been pretty upset to all turn off like this, and it breaks my heart that they had to go through that. I wonder how long it will take for them to start up again?
As soon as they got home they went running around the barnyard to their favorite spots and dust-bathed for a whole hour. Then they started scratching and pecking. They put themselves to bed in the coop with no problems. In the morning they scratched and pecked and wandered as usual. We’ve been giving them scraps, just like normal, and they seem very happy with that.
I hope the comfort of home, all the space, and their “normal” routine will help them settle quickly and they will give us eggs again soon.