9-mo old speckled Sussex egg problem - one failed egg then none 1wk+

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Quetuk, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Quetuk

    Quetuk New Egg

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    May 10, 2011
    Hello all - I have three laying hens, all nine months old, who eat layer pellets and free range in the yard. They each average one egg per day. Esther is our speckled Sussex- she is the smallest and lowest in pecking order but generally has been a fine layer, just with a failed egg (small, no shell, etc) here and there.

    A week and a half ago, she had a failed egg that was very small and squishy with no shell. Since then, she has not laid an egg. We have seen her go into the nest several times ( at least for the first couple days of no eggs - haven't been able to watch more recently) but never leaves an egg behind. We have felt her body daily (just with hands around the exterior) and do not feel an egg in there, and her behavior and vent appear normal. It has been warm for our area ( SF bay area, California) lately but not over 90 and usually not even that. She has constant access to water and food, and I recently put out oyster shell but haven't seen any of them eat it. Tried to toss it around like it was a treat too but they saw through that. For the last couple days, I have given them some milk or cottage cheese as a protein supplement in case that is the issue. It seems likely to be a nutritional issue to me - especially with the free ranging, including many fallen plums from our trees, and the warm weather - but I can't say for certain. the other two hens are laying fine and acting normal but they all have slightly different eating habits - roxy loves to go for bugs and Susie eats lots of pellets even when she is allowed to range - so I am tentatively guessing that this accounts for the difference.

    This is my first flock and though I have read a couple books and many blog posts, I am still new to this so would really appreciate any tips, ideas, or advice. Thank you!
     
  2. Quetuk

    Quetuk New Egg

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    May 10, 2011
    Update: I'm afraid her appetite may be diminished too as she is much less interested in the extra food I'm offering than the other two are. But, I can't be certain that she's not just reluctant because the other two are higher up the pecking order.

    Any advice? Is it possible she's egg bound? Would I be able to tell that by feeling her on the outside, or is it better to try to feel in through the vent?

    Thanks for any ideas you can give!
     

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