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My very young hen stopped laying

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have a RIR who just started to lay eggs.  She is 5 months old right now.  Sunday morning I found her first eggs in the coop.  One was small but nicely formed.  The other did not have a complete shell and the shell was very very thin and flexible.  I did not think anything of it at the time figuring since these were her first eggs they may not be perfect.  Well now it has been over 4 days and she has not produced another egg yet.  Is this normal?  Do I just need to be patient?  I am new to chicken raising but I thought RIR produced a large number of eggs, almost 1 a day.

post #2 of 10

TPOTTER1, DOES SHE HAVE A STEADY SUPPLY OF CALCIUM AVAILABLE TO HER?  IT IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE FOR HENS TO HAVE CALCIUM IN THEIR DAILY DIET TO LAY EGGS..OTHERWISE, THEY CAN BECOME EGG BOUND AND DIE, I AM SPEAKING OF EXPERIENCE.  WE ARE FAIRLY NEW TO CHICKENS (STARTED MAY OF 2008) SOME GUY TOLD US THEY DONT NEED CALCIUM IN WINTER CAUSE THEY DONT LAY...BALONEY!  WE BACKED OFF THE OYSTER SHELLS FROM FALL ON AND I LOST MY DEAR HEN STELLA IN LATE JANUARY AS SHE HAD STARTED TO LAY AGAIN, SHE BECAME EGG BOUND AND WE DID ALL WE COULD, BRINGING HER INSIDE AND ADMINISTERING EVERYTHING NEEDED FOR EGG BOUND HEN, THOUGHT SHE WAS BETTER AND RETURNED HER TO FLOCK...THINK SHE MAY HAVE STILL HAD A HUGE EGG STUCK, SHE DIED A WEEK AND A HALF LATER DURING THE NIGHT.  I AM HEART BROKEN TO SAY THE LEAST AND MISS HER IMMENSLY.  SHE WAS A TINY RIR, SHE WAS THE BRAVEST FRIENDLIEST CHICKEN I HAVE EVER SEEN.  THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE LIKE HER.  KEEP UP THAT CALCIUM SUPPLY.  KEEP US POSTED.  GOOD LUCK:yiipchick

blessed with 1 husband.1- 20 yr old handsome & single son, 3 dogs, 4 cats and 3 hens (names: henny penny, big red, & roadrunner & Mini-P our rooster) plus 10 new hens rescued in February 09! stuck in the nw corner of connecticut..wanting to become west virginians!
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blessed with 1 husband.1- 20 yr old handsome & single son, 3 dogs, 4 cats and 3 hens (names: henny penny, big red, & roadrunner & Mini-P our rooster) plus 10 new hens rescued in February 09! stuck in the nw corner of connecticut..wanting to become west virginians!
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post #3 of 10

It's normal for some young pullets not lay regularly for a few weeks.  Just getting their pipework in good working order. When my pullets first lay ing I switch them to the layer feeds and offer oyster shell out in a dish 24/7.

Patience.

Smith/Giles "project" Lavender Orpingtons, Spring of 2012 Part English "project" Lavenders , Part English BBS Orpingtons, Buff Orpingtons and Bantam Light Brahmas.  Follow me down the yellow brick road!!! 

I'm holding out for the gold star !!!!   

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Smith/Giles "project" Lavender Orpingtons, Spring of 2012 Part English "project" Lavenders , Part English BBS Orpingtons, Buff Orpingtons and Bantam Light Brahmas.  Follow me down the yellow brick road!!! 

I'm holding out for the gold star !!!!   

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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

They free-range and have access to layer feed.  My other RIR (well not a purebred I found out) and Americana are laying just fine.  I have been taking the shells from the eggs we eat and drying them out really well (usually after I bake something in the oven I just throw them in there while the oven cools off) and then crushing them up fine and mixing them in their food.  I will give it some more time.  Just wanted to make sure she is ok.

post #5 of 10

Smiling,  I thought my buff orp. had quit too.  But 5 days later I find a covered  nest with 4 eggs in it.  She had covered the eggs with wood chips.  It did not look different from the area around it no nest.  Little smart aleck.  I put a basket over the spot and the next day she layed in the reg. nest.  It is not unusual though for first time egg layers to have problems.  Watch her, it is the most dangerous time for a hen.  Things can get stuck or just not work right.   Jean

  Love 1 hb,,  my children, many grands, one spoiled rotten cat,  mtns, chicks, crochet, lots of friends. My hens and a few sweet roos      NPIP 55928
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  Love 1 hb,,  my children, many grands, one spoiled rotten cat,  mtns, chicks, crochet, lots of friends. My hens and a few sweet roos      NPIP 55928
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post #6 of 10

Smiling,  I thought my buff orp. had quit too.  But 5 days later I find a covered  nest with 4 eggs in it.  She had covered the eggs with wood chips.  It did not look different from the area around it no nest.  Little smart aleck.  I put a basket over the spot and the next day she layed in the reg. nest.  It is not unusual though for first time egg layers to have problems.  Watch her, it is the most dangerous time for a hen.  Things can get stuck or just not work right.   Jean

  Love 1 hb,,  my children, many grands, one spoiled rotten cat,  mtns, chicks, crochet, lots of friends. My hens and a few sweet roos      NPIP 55928
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  Love 1 hb,,  my children, many grands, one spoiled rotten cat,  mtns, chicks, crochet, lots of friends. My hens and a few sweet roos      NPIP 55928
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post #7 of 10

Even with the layer feed and egg shells I would still put out some oyster shell free choice just to be on the safe side. The thin eggshell is definately an indicator that your bird isn't getting enough calcium and the oyster shell will help. I just put it in a little bowl in one corner of their pen and fill it as needed (they really don't eat a lot of it) If I remember right the last I bought was around ten dollars for a fifty pound bag from Southern States and it has lasted for 2 years . A lack of calcium can really cause problems with chickens so better safe than sorry. Good luck!

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Finally she laid another egg this morning.  Appears that she laid it from her roost.  This one too had an extremely thin shell and was broken when I found it.

I went yesterday and bought the oyster shell and I put a bowl of it out for them this morning.  I hope she is ok.  My other 2 hens are laying just fine and they are on the same diet as this one.

Just a little worried, at least she laid an egg so I guess she is not egg bound.

post #9 of 10

tpotter -

I've got a barred rock who started laying at 6 months on 12/28.  She laid normally for 2 weeks, then laid 2 thin-shelled eggs in mid-January.  Then nothing. 
Nothing...
Nothing...
Nothing...
Nothing...
Nothing...

Finally something...!  She just started laying again around March 1.  She has been laying 51-55g eggs ever since.

I will note that during the no-egg period she developed coccidiosis and got quite skinny.  We treated her for that and she put on some weight before she started to lay again.

One of the toughest parts about being a chicken owner is being patient!  I was getting really fed up with her, and she's the heartiest eater of the flock.

post #10 of 10

I have two 1-yr old Rhode Island Red hens, they both started laying right when expected, around 5 months old.  I have since added a Barred Rock and Americauna, both hatched 3/1/13.  Today is 8/19/13, they're both 22 weeks old. My Americana has not started laying eggs yet. I hear they start later than some breeds?  My Barred Rock started laying eggs in July, when she was around 18 weeks old. She laid 4 small eggs in 4 days, skipped a few days, then a bigger egg, skipped a few days, then laid 3 eggs in 3 days while she was roosting on the top of their smaller coop's pitched roof, so the 3 eggs rolled down and broke.  They have a nice nesting box inside this same coop, and a nest inside the large walk-in shed, and she knows where they both are because she's laid in both spots. After the 3 broken eggs (so she's laid maybe 8 eggs total), she skipped more days, then she laid an egg with no shell, just the rubbery outer membrane, then no more eggs after that. She hasn't laid an egg in at least 2 weeks, maybe 3!  Is that normal? They get good food - poultry lay mash and grains with appropriate protein, oyster shell calcium supplements, fresh water, greens, tomatoes as a snack, figs as a snack from my tree.  And they don't seem stressed, they roam the yard happily all day. I'm not sure why she stopped laying.  Except perhaps that maybe she's not quite full grown?  They're both 22 weeks.

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