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No more eggs....

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

This week, I lost one of my beautiful hens.  Autopsy not back yet.  I've started the flock on antibiotics as per the vet's instructions.  Before my hen died (mottled houdan, 7 months), she had stopped laying eggs about 10 days before she died.  Her death was sudden and surprising to me.  I thought the colder weather and the molting were the reasons for her lack of eggs. 

 

Since Monday, two of my other hens haven't been laying.  I'm watching them closely.  Their comb and waddles are red and they are eating and drinking water.  They both got to free range for a few hours today and were running around looking for bugs.  Neither of them had any interest in laying.  They usually make funny sounds when they are about to lay or seem irritated.  I've been calling it 'fussy hen' syndrome.  After laying, the hen make a noise and the whole flock celebrates.  It's this loud chant they all do at once for about three minutes.  Then I know that an egg has been laid. 

 

Nothing.  Not a sound.  My little silkie did lay one egg a couple of days ago.. she's never been regular.  The two that have stopped.. one is a cochin bantam and the other is a mottled houdan.  The houdan wasn't as regular but an egg every other day.  The cochin was everyday.. on a clock.. by a schedule.. just add two-three hours.  I put some of her eggs from about a month ago back into the coop to see if that would give her the idea.  She has moved them all around the nesting box... but isn't sitting on them.  She won't sleep on the roost and last night she put them in the middle of her little coop and then was sleeping on the edges so as not to sit on them.  She is not broody.  The other one is not broody.  With the houdan, it's almost like she forgot that she is supposed to lay. 

 

I know that we are all grieving the loss of Paris.  The pecking orders have changed and everyone is all out of sorts.  I can't eat the eggs anyways because of the antibiotics, I'm just worried this is a symptom that they are all dying.  I want to know they are going to live.  They never have to give another egg.  They are my buddies. 

post #2 of 4

I'm so sorry to hear about Paris.

 

To my knowledge, cochins and houdans are not good winter layers. Low lighting levels, cold weather, the molt, and the stress of the change in pecking order likely is causing the lack of laying. However, there could be another reason, parasites and disease cause chickens to cease laying as well, so check them for signs of poor droppings or mites.

 

My hens are so loud about egg laying! People call it the Egg Song, but it isn't a song, its just a hen screaming because she laid an egg. Lol. :)

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your kind response.  Happy, the frizzle cochin bantam, will scream like a pterodactyl if I peak over the top of the mini coop when she is laying.  The whole flock seems sad.  It's very odd.  Paris was the life of the party so now it's just so darn quiet.  I just took my rooster out because he wasn't moving around very much. After checking everything, he looked normal.. and a bit peeved.  I think he is sleepy, but my mind keeps trying to process 'what did i miss'.

 

There are no mites that I can find. The vet didn't find any on Paris.  Their droppings were normal until this morning.  I was a bit upset until I realized that I had just started the anti-biotics last night in the water.  I do attribute the new runny droppings to that.  They are still normal in color.. just more runny ((sorry tmi)). 

 

I think the lack of eggs is all the stress or they really are dying of the same virus that kill Paris.  I think the hens knew before me that Paris was sick.  The other mottled houdan felt so light weight a couple of days ago.. but she has been eating up a storm the past couple of days.  I think she was not eating in solidarity of her sick friend.  The whole mess is a bit confusing. 

 

I did receive this from the vet.. they made a footprint out of clay of her little feet and mailed it to me.  The mail lady hand delivered it to me.  It's special because of the five toes... I loved her little mottled houdan five toes. 

 

 

I think it's pretty special that they do this for their clients.. even our little chickens.  Hope you are having a good weekend.

post #4 of 4

That was so nice of the vets to do.

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