Ok ... about Mindy....
Had hoped I would not have to say anything, but ........
Have done some research - and came up with this URL which seems the best of quite a few I investgated : http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/450/several-reasons-why-your-hens-may-stop-laying-eggs/
Mindy - after laying quite a few soft shells, ( she has layed two outside in her run twice ) shoved one with her beak towards the wire run fence, for Miss Ruby dog to grab out and eat ???? ... seems to be perhaps, giving up on laying altogether.
In the past few weeks, she has laid a few good eggs - strong shells, but many soft shells, which she occasionally eats, but also now on occasion, ignores.
She is one weird chook - always has been. Has taken to cluck cluck clucking with an enormous cockerel shriek at the end of it. ( which I took to mean "I have laid an egg " ).
Not so .... she is now 4 days without a good egg, or any egg ... and this from a very prolific layer, is a bit disturbing. While 4 days is probably not much to many people, it seems strange to me as she has been the most productive of chickens .... 6 or 7 out of every 7 days .... was always pleased when she took a day off.
I know that chickens have a 'limit' ... they only produce eggs when they can, and can run out of productivity ( for want of a better word ).
She is fiesty, interesting in everything, stands tall, talks a lot, feeds well ( always a good full crop end of day ) .... walks well, squats for anything that moves, and looks ultra healthy.
Today I bought a bag of calcium powder ( not calcium carbonate - but the type used for horses ) ... which I was assured is ok for chickens. She will get a dessertspoon full of that mixed in with some of my 'special tucker' starting tomorrow - twice a week. Am also aware that bi-carb of soda in drinking water may help - coutesy of a regular poster here - so sorry I cannot find the post or remember who it was who mentioned that.
The worry always is, will an ill-formed egg get stuck in the system ? ... which would / could result in death. There is no sign of a stuck egg ( via palpation ) .... in her nether regions.
All 3 chickens are fed Barastoc Layer pellets ( which should give them all they need ). Works for the two big girls ... but not so much for Mindy who has been several weeks laying soft shells here and there, and 4 days without any laying at all. She does not appear to be broody either.
I had hoped a couple of days back, that I wouldn't have to write this.
The other thing is, since the massive elm tree in the rear property has grown all its' leaves now, there is not much sunshine at all for Mindy to enjoy. The big girls get some sun per day. With that in mind, the long clippers must come out and do something drastic to that tree, and surrounding foliage, to let sunlight in properly for her. More work for my recently retired husband.
Just wondering - if anyone has any further thoughts about this situation ........
Cheers - and thanks in anticipation ...... AB
RodneyRooster ..... you asked in an ovation - how old is Mindy Araucana. ?
Just turned 3 yrs of age. Not old for a chook, but she's laid like there's no tomorrow since she began laying at around 23 weeks of age ( but not when moulting of course ) .... a most prolific producer of good googies.
Tomorrow she begins the calcium mixed with rice / vegies cooked, rolled oats, bran, finely chopped greens, and scratch mix all mixed up together. I serve it as dry as possible.
Always divide it up for her, and then my two big girls. So she will get a level dessertspoon full of calcium ( not carbonate ) ... calcium powder that is used for horses and chickens. Advice given by the stock and produce store owner, as to how much and how often ( twice a week only ).
Can only hope ... meanwhile I will be doing a very careful internal investigation as well ... AND btw - she is still squatting for anything that moves. ????
Palpating her nether regions, this evening, there was nothing untoward in that area. She is happy and into everything, eating well. Soooo interested in her clean coop too.
I have put a dummy egg in her nesting box, to try and stimulate her - she got rid of that, quick smart. Turfed it out of the box.
Thanks for the enquiry and your interest.
Edited by Anniebee - 11/8/15 at 2:11am
Aussie chook enthusiast !!!
Aussie chook enthusiast !!!