1.)Fluffy feathers 2.) Decrease egg production. 3.)Buff Orpington laying in the nesting box. 4.)egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by urarootoo, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. urarootoo

    urarootoo New Egg

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    1.)My chickens male and female are losing feathers just before their tail. They turn white and fluffy then I'm not sure if they are falling out or one of them plucks them out. They are 6mos. old.
    2.)egg production was 11 a day, it dropped to 2, and just today we are back to up at 10. We went on vacation and it has been hot. Caregiver may have something to do with it(?).
    3.)my Buff Orpington has/had stopped laying, however she is sitting on all the eggs. I think she is back into laying, today I noticed her egg color in my collection today.
    4.)I have a Americauna rooster and one female Americauna along with many other breeds. How am I getting 4 blue/green eggs a day. Can the rooster make others lay that color of shell or does the female determine the shell color?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    1. Probably the most common cause of this is rough mating or overmating. Also, check for lice and mites, and observe for feather picking.

    2. Heat can reduce egg production, as can the stress of a different caregiver, or indeed any stress, even things we wouldn't usually consider stressful, like a new object in their coop. It's the time of year that they tend to start laying less.

    3. You might want to check out our Breeds, Genetics and Showing forum to learn more about the genetics of egg color. Sorry, not something I've ever been interested in.
     
  3. Ravenseye

    Ravenseye Out Of The Brooder

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    I would definitely check for lice or other types of bugs. I have a leghorn that's just now starting to grow feather back near her tail. She's been naked from her tail nearly all the way up her belly for a while. I never noticed bugs until one night I went in to the coop and did a count before locking them up. I accidentally knocked over a small can that was on the shelf next to the roost and a whole bunch of little lice went scurrying everywhere. Next day I cleaned the coop good and powdered everything. She recovered well but I kicked myself for not checking sooner.

    Buff's (in my opinion) get broody fairly often and that's what your Buff is doing. There are lots of ways to "break" a broody bird but I usually just wait it out. Funny your Buff is broody now. Mine was nearly all summer and just snapped out of it about two weeks ago. Normally when I checked on eggs I would pick her up out of the nesting box and put her outside the coop. She would eat and drink a little and then head back hoping to find eggs to lay on. It's the third time this bird went broody on me.

    Heat stress can certainly cause a drop in eggs as can any stress. I always expect fluctuations during the year for a variety of reasons but keep an eye out. Again, it won't hurt to make sure the birds aren't infested with something.

    Can't imagine why you're getting more than one green egg if you only have one green egg layer. Rooster won't change the color BUT the green shell color is determined by a gene and it's a dominant gene. So, you may have hens that may not LOOK like an Araucana but might have had an Araucana "father". That might give you green shelled eggs.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    1.Mating? – male and female? Kinky chickens. :oops: I see that and I’m not sure why it happens. I can’t think of anything Flockwatcher didn’t think of. It's something that doesn't concern me if they don't have mites or lice.

    2.Was that a one day drop or over a time period? If over a time period stress can cause a drop in production. That could be caused by heat, running out of water, introducing new birds, or maybe something related to the caregiver. Anything that could cause stress. Maybe even a mini-molt though yours are young for that though stress can cause that too.

    If it was a one day thing or once every few days, something could be getting the eggs or it could just be a coincidence. Snakes will visit once every two to four days, eat a bunch of eggs, then go digest them before they come back for more. The eggs disappear without a trace. That kind of drop would mean a pretty big snake. A five foot black snake takes about 4 at a time from my experience. A canine, (dog, fox, or coyote) will also take them and not leave any evidence. A fox and coyote are more likely to take a chicken instead of being satisfied with the eggs, but they don’t all read the same book. A dog, who knows what they will do? A raccoon will often carry the eggs a short distance to eat them so you can usually find a pile of shells, but maybe they were feeding babies back in a nest. Skunks, possums, and rats normally eat them in the nest and leave a mess. A human will take eggs and not leave any evidence.

    3.I don’t understand that one. Sounds like she’s broody but a broody hen doesn’t lay eggs. Does she spend all night on the nest (then she is broody) or just a long time each day on the nest? I’ve had hens take three hours regularly on the nest to lay an egg. Maybe she was egg bound and thought she was laying. Maybe she was thinking about going broody but changed her mind. I just don’t know.

    4.The female determines the egg shell color. A rooster cannot affect the egg shell color of the hen he is mating with. He does affect the egg shell color of the offspring. How can you get four blue/green eggs a day? You have four hens with the blue egg gene. I don’t know where you got your hens or what breeds you have, but the blue egg gene and the pea comb are often linked. It doesn’t always work but if you have hens with a pea comb (or a wonky partially pea comb) those are your suspects.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013

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