2 year old hen now barren - is this a new normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kathy S, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. Kathy S

    Kathy S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Back in May we thought our hen was egg bound. I consulted with people on my yahoo group and they took me through the steps of soaking, etc. Her symptoms were that she began to only pass a watery diarrhea, egg came through shell-less and she had no appetite. Each day spent time in the nest box with nothing to show for the effort. She did not strain and did not do the posturing typically seen. After 3 days of multiple warm water soaks and reaching in to feel for an egg, no egg was ever felt or passed. Even spent $120 on a bird (not chicken) vet and basically everything checked out as far as vitals and she sent us home with liquid calcium.
    This hen had just turned two years. She is still a youngster and should be giving me eggs. She is on Layena plus oyster shell and grit made available to her that she ate. We finally gave up on the soaks and heroics and treated her as a normal chicken again. The diarrhea finally stopped and appetite returned. Only once has she passed a shell-less egg again. She did quit the sitting in the box after about a week of that. She is otherwise healthy. I just don't understand why she quit laying before her 2nd birth/hatch day.

    My previous pet hen laid up a storm in her first year and then suddenly right at her 1 year old date began dropping shell-less eggs while asleep on her perch at night. Then without any signs of illness she was dead one day. So I was running scared when this new hen at not quite 2 was having issues. So now a few months later my current hen is just a pet and I assume I'll never see an egg from her again.
    Anyone with any similar experiences or understand why? Just poor genetics for producing eggs?
    Kathy
     
  2. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Has she gone through a molt yet?
     
  3. Kathy S

    Kathy S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She just started that this weekend. Comb was huge, floppy and red a few months ago up through last week, even after the laying stopped. But now it is doing its shrinking and paling in color with the molt. The egg problem was months before the molt though.
     
  4. AmeliaB

    AmeliaB New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2014
    Hi,

    I am going through exactly what you described happened to your previous hen who suddenly died. We have a creamy legbar who laid wonderful eggs very consistently all last summer (our first summer having her) and even throughout the winter. This is the second summer we've had her and she's basically stopped laying. She now passes many soft eggs from the roost at night/in the morning. If we're lucky she lays one normal egg in the nestbox each week. She also appears to have pecked her own feathers out of her back (we only have 2 hens and the other hen doesn't touch her). Its like she never recovered from her first molt, or things got all out of whack.

    Did you ever find out what happened to your other hen? I can only think stress/nutrition problems between the missing feathers and the soft eggs, but she is on a very high quality/high calcium organic locally milled feed, + oyster shells, and free ranges every day. The other hen just went through a molt and went right back to laying normal eggs every day so obviously the environment/diet isn't affecting her negatively at all...and she's almost 5 years old!

    I started adding electrovite to their water just in case there is some sort of vitamin/mineral deficiency.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated as its been almost 3 months of this funny on and off behaviour.

    Thanks!
     
  5. acro1010

    acro1010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard they don't lay during molts. Correct me please so I know for future reference.
     
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    They generally don't lay while molting, protein is being used to grow new feathers, instead of making eggs.

    Hens can develop issues with the ovaries and oviducts that may lead to poor/no production - infecion/ inflammation of the oviduct (salpingitis), internal laying, and many other issues. The affected birds do not nescessarily look sick, although eventually they may become so. Short of an autopsy it may be hard to identify the cause of your hen's problem.

    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/134/salpingitis

    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx

    What breed is she? Some feel that hybrids such as red or black sex-links seem to be more affected.
     
  7. Danniro

    Danniro Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, they don't lay during molts. My 2yo welsummer stopped laying abruptly a week ago and I was worried. Then just yesterday I started noticing a bit of feather loss- she's just molting.
     
  8. Kathy S

    Kathy S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Amelia, you are the first one I have talked to of all the chicken people I know to have the same thing as I did with my previous hen. Must be something internal and specific to her since your other hen is fine and on the same diet and in the same environment. And mine was only 1 year old. But she was an early and prolific layer in that short time. Hope yours straightens out and does ok.
     
  9. Kathy S

    Kathy S Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2012
    North Texas
    Mine that died at one year with the same symptoms as Amelia's was a Golden Laced Wyandotte. My current hen who is two and has stopped laying after that strange experience is a Brown Leghorn. Was supposed to be Americana, then we thought Welsummer as it grew feathers then found out it was a Brown Leghorn. Feed store did a good job there didn't they.
     
  10. AmeliaB

    AmeliaB New Egg

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    Aug 12, 2014
    Our hen with the laying problem is a creamy legbar. She is about 2 years old and was a good layer before she developed her current condition...I hope she gets better but I have a feeling there might be something significant brewing in there that we might have trouble figuring out/treating before its too late. Maybe i'll start giving her plain yogurt everyday with the hopes that the probiotics and extra protein might straighten her out...

    From my experience they definitely don't lay during molts...but I didn't realize molts can last as long as 5 months!
     

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