2 of 3 stopped laying and now last layer laid something scarry

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Eggler, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Eggler

    Eggler New Egg

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Please help!

    Bare with me while I give the whole sad story.

    We have three red cross-sex links that are just over two years old and have been champion layers. This spring two of the three gradually stopped laying (one first then the other). It has been three months and I can't get them restarted. It's probably my fault because when the sun started to be out more than twelve hours I shut off their coop light that had been on a timer (6am-9pm) since the fall. Each night around 8:30 when I came in to close up their coop, I found them sitting on top of each other in the nest box as far from the coop door as they could get. At first I thought they were just being territorial since one always would try to sleep in the nest box before. After a couple of weeks (I'm slow, I know) it dawned on me that perhaps they were afraid so I turned the light timer back on. Eventually they stopped piling into the nest box but still no eggs. It's been a couple of months now.

    I have tried a temporary high-protein diet and now black oil sunflower seeds. They are 50/50 free range (getting let out often and a huge penned area otherwise) and are on a diet of layer crumbles with access to crushed oyster shells and scraps.

    Suddenly, my last layer who was laying almost every day laid the most bizarre shell-less egg I have ever seen. See picture below or this link (http://trubrix.com/egg-problem1.jpg). It looks like a yolk-less egg but that huge yellow thing you see in it is hard as a bone. I may have seen a few shell-less eggs over the weeks but I can't be certain since they weren't laid in the nest box. There are no roosters around so the eggs aren't fertile. Outwardly all the chickens appear healthy and happy.

    First, what the heck is that disturbing thing? Second, how can I get by beloved girls back to their normal laying routine?

    I am absolutely desperate!

    Thank you,
    Greg


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  2. redhen689

    redhen689 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2010
    SE PA
    I have no idea what that chicken passed.

    The top 2 reasons that hens stop laying are:

    1) they are broody, they will sit in the nest all day every day, only to get off for a quick bite to eat, something to drink and to pass stool.
    2) they are molting. they will drop lots of feathers and then grow new feathers in, then laying will resume.

    They should start laying again, but production drops and they will lay fewer and fewer eggs as they get older. I have had hens lay until they are 8 or 9 years old, but it does become very sporadic by the time they get that old. Commercial egg farmers generally only keep their hens to about the age that yours are, then they go into the stock pot.
     
  3. Eggler

    Eggler New Egg

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Thank you for the information redhen689. I am so freaked out by what she laid. These are family pets as much as egg producers.

    If the other two are molting or broody, how long should it last? It's been about 2 months or more, perhaps 3. None of them is really staking out the nest box but I suppose they could be brooding somewhere else. They have a large, well grassed (weedy) run when they are not out roaming.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  4. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they are broody somewhere else...either you would see them sitting on some type of nest mostly constantly or if they were hiding to brood , you'd think they disappeared.

    Sorry...I can't help with the thing she laid whatever it is.
     
  5. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Have you checked for mites? Also, are your hens getting oyster shells? Are their combs red , and when were they last dewormed?
     
  6. chicktwins

    chicktwins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of months ago I saw another post about this same type of thing so I know it is a normal occurrence and it does happen. I will try to find the post for you and copy paste the info here if I do. Hopefully someone will come on and post something before I do.
     
  7. redhen689

    redhen689 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure that thing came out of a chicken? It looks like something my dog would have barfed up after eating something her shouldn't have. Just saying...

    I would think that after 2 or 3 months they should be laying again. I know there are things you can do to shorten the molt or the broodiness, but I don't bother, I just let them go through their cycles. If you search for more information on this site, I'm sure there is more information on both topics.
    Both of my hens have been broody for over a month. Two weeks ago I got them some day old chicks to raise, once the chicks become a little more independent, they will start laying again.
     
  8. Eggler

    Eggler New Egg

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Quote:Thank you MiniBeesKnees. I will keep an eye on them to see if they are setting up broody shop somewhere. They can get into some hidden areas but I have checked all over their run for eggs.
     
  9. Eggler

    Eggler New Egg

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    Jul 9, 2011
    Quote:I gave them a once over the other day and looked at their belly (chest?) feathers next to their skin. I didn't see anything odd. Is there an reliable way to look for mites? I have never de-wormed them. Should I do it periodically? Is is something I can get from the local feed store?
     
  10. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2011
    Sacramento County, CA
    The clear stuff looks like it might be albumen...and it looks like there might be some membrane there. Could that be a couple soft-shelled eggs that got hung up in the process? I'd say dog barf, but it doesn't look like bile. [​IMG]
     

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