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1 year old Cuckoo Marans has never layed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by asullivanmusic, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. asullivanmusic

    asullivanmusic Hatching

    Mar 15, 2013
    Hey BYC,

    First post here. My girl Caroline is one of 5 hens we got as day old chicks from the feed store last march. 2 silkies, a buff orpington, an ameraucana and a cuckoo marans. All have long since grown and are happy as can be. The other 4 birds began laying last september and layed consistently until november, when they stopped. All 4 have again resumed laying within the last month. We're in north Texas so it's already 70s and 80s here, nice and sunny.

    Let me tell you some details about Caroline, our cuckoo marans:

    Growth: Caroline was a little bit of a late bloomer I think, in that her comb wasn't really full sized until the winter, when everyone had stopped laying. Now, her comb is full and the largest of the bunch. She is also the largest bird. Very plump, nice glossy feathers, behaves like all of the other girls do, minus the egg laying. She is definitely not a rooster though. She has molted a couple times already. She has never gone broody.

    Habitat: She shares a coop with the other 4 girls, and all sleep side by side at night on the rail. Their run is 4ft x 8ft and covered from the harsh sun/rain. I work from home and my office faces the back yard so the girls all have free range of the entire back yard during daylight hours. At night I lock them in their coop and let them out again at dawn. I have checked the yard for other nests,eggs, etc. Nothing.

    Food: Caroline eats everything the other girls do, and drinks the same amount of water. They love all the usual treats. The water is a nipple water system, very clean, with apple cider vinegar added.

    Problems?: She does seem to be a bit different than some of the cuckoo marans I have seen online. She has feathered feet which leads me to believe she isn't from the best breeding (she was a feed store bird from a central TX hatchery). Additionally, the down feathers on her butt are very dense, and her poop always gets stuck on her feathers. We clean her periodically when it seems dense. Earlier today we cleaned off a particularly large clump of poop from her butt feathers. Once we put her back down and she got over her dizziness, she had a very large, diarrhea like poop. Very runny. Since then she seems to be back to normal, however.

    2 weeks ago, I actually caught her in the nesting box! I thought that maybe this was finally her time to shine. I let her be, and saw her come out about an hour later. No egg. No nothing... no juices, no poop, nothing. She repeated the following day with the same results.

    Caroline has never layed an egg. Never squatted (all the other girls will squat for me and let me scratch their backs). She has never done an egg-song and is generally very quiet.

    Any guesses? She isn't a rooster and isn't ill I don't think. I keep hoping that she'll start laying but every day goes by she seems content to do everything the other girls do but lay.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013

  2. WildBilly

    WildBilly Chirping

    Feb 4, 2013
    sometimes breeds take a long time to lay....[​IMG]
  3. monicci

    monicci Hatching

    Apr 19, 2012
    Hi, i cannot help you with that question but i do have one of my own and do not know who to ask. After two years i finally got my chickens.I did it all wrong tho. I initally wanted babies because i have two grandkids and wanted them to grow up tame. my first girl was a rescue, one year old polish tophat whose flockmates kept picking on her. so the poor girl was living in my garage for two weeks till i could get her coop. It came yesterday and is 4x6 with a nice enclosed run underneath. She took a real liking to my husband and started coming to us when we would bring her yogurt. Now i got 5days ago, a year old brahma and speckled sussex who did not know each other, any after couple days they are all friends now and none will come to us. Ill work on that with treats. Question is tonite about 5pm im going to put them in the new coop. any advice on how to proceed. Do i leave water and feeder in the coop or inthe run u derneath or both? I know to keep them penned for a week or two before i let them loose, i just want to make sure they go back to the coop. Any advice greatly appreciated, eventually i want 3 more. thanks
  4. bingrancher

    bingrancher Chirping

    Feb 10, 2012
    Sometimes if a rooster isnt present a hen will take on the role. Wont lay eggs, might attempt to crow but not always. Same thing happened with my current flock. I had a hen that would mount the others and I had 6 hens and never found more then 5 eggs a day. Might be what your maran is doing. As for feathered legs thats how marans were supposed to be from my understanding.
  5. asullivanmusic

    asullivanmusic Hatching

    Mar 15, 2013
    Quote: Thanks for the reply! My marans has never mounted any of the other hens and is definitely the most docile of the group. Never crowed, never shown any other rooster behaviors. We had a silkie rooster until the fall (that surprised us one day) but re-homed him.

    Guess I will have to just wait and see.
  6. chickgarden

    chickgarden Chirping

    Apr 1, 2012
    Well reading your post makes me feel a little better about our one Barnevelders who has never laid an egg. She will be one year old in a few weeks. We have 5 chickens and all the rest laid most of the winter. I also caught her in the nesting box once, but no egg either. She also seemed to be the slowest to develop, and seems to be low chicken in the pecking order, but she still hangs out with the others and they don't bother her. She is definitely the shyest of all. (and we have no rooster)
    It will be interesting to hear if your chicken finally lays an egg.
  7. asullivanmusic

    asullivanmusic Hatching

    Mar 15, 2013
    Keep me updated if yours does.. your hen sounds just like mine.

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