A Pretend-Egg-Laying Chicken ~ Unusual?

Faybeau

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 23, 2014
14
1
47
We have a large, gentle Buff Orpington Chicken (about 9 pounds) that is 1.5 years old. Her strange behavior: she regularly climbs into one of the nesting boxes, 'sits' intently for an hour, gets off the nest and makes a Huge Fuss as though she has laid the biggest egg ever! NEVER is there an egg to show for her efforts!
Last April, she was our only chicken that tried (repeatedly) to go broody. Her broodiness included the inclination to hatch Golf Balls that I'd put in nests to 'direct' the young pullets (she managed repeatedly to move most of the golf balls into ONE nest from neighboring nests ~ an amazing feat). Once I figured out what was going on, I removed all the golf balls and stayed on-top of removing any fresh eggs daily. Finally, I was able to break her on-going brooding attempts, following which she laid 5 eggs over a two week period and then all her egg laying stopped.
Other than this strange behavior, she seems to be a beautiful, normal & healthy chicken; we refer to her as "The Great Pretender"!
Has anyone ever had a Egg-Laying-Faker? If so, can you shed any light on WHAT is going on with this behavior? I would think that if she can't lay eggs, she'd give-up and stop going through The Motions (????).
 

Frizzlett98

Songster
5 Years
Jun 22, 2014
613
20
126
Southwest Virginia
She seems like a funny girl. If she wants to go broody SO bad she might want to sit instead of laying. I had 2 Sebright hens who, in the middle of her laying - not after, did the egg song. It was strange to me, then about 5 minutes later, the egg was laid. I have a RSL that started laying yesterday and I haven't heard the egg song after either of the eggs. Chickens are just funny individuals. I think your problem is that she just wants to be a mommy.
 

ChirpyChicks1

Songster
6 Years
Jul 22, 2013
1,900
331
236
Kansas
Yep! I have 5 1.5 year old hens and two of them have been doing this. One did it over the summer and now is back to fairly normal laying and another hen started last month or so. She will still for hours and hours multiple times a day and doesn't lay. She doesnt always do her egg song but the first hen did, and loudly too.

I attempted to ask about this on this forum as well and didnt get any helpful info, glad to know another chicken farmer is experiencing it as well, I totally knew I wasn't crazy!
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jcmason

Hatching
5 Years
Jul 13, 2014
7
0
9
I meant could an egg be stuck (egg-bound)? I'm really not very experienced yet, but I've read about this and thought the symptoms sounded like this might be the case. Although I think if it's not corrected it could turn into a serious problem.
:)
 

Faybeau

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 23, 2014
14
1
47
Thank you for your thoughts; even if she never lays an egg, I suspect that she will go back to intense Brooding Behaviour again in the Spring. Right now, she isn't trying to sit on other chickens eggs, as she had been early in the season. Just so odd that she insists on The Behavior of going through All The Motions, :)
 

Faybeau

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 23, 2014
14
1
47
I don't believe she is egg bound or she would have had symptoms and most likely be DEAD by now :) .... Other than pretending to lay an egg once a day, she is otherwise very happy and healthy. Thank you for the thought .... If she seemed listless or somehow seemed unwell, I'd take her to our vet. So Far, she is just happy as a clam, has a great appetite and is quite healthy looking!
Thank you for your thoughts and for taking the time to try and help me figure this out!
 

Faybeau

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 23, 2014
14
1
47
It is helpful to know that someone else is having a similar experience with TWO chickens that pretend to lay eggs. How long has this Behaviour been going on? Our Buff has been playing this game for 4 months without a single egg produced in that time. I've come to the conclusion she is a DUD (for unknown reasons). She is a sweet hen, notparticularly interested in The Pecking Order, as some hens are. Perhaps she will be interested in hatching a few eggs of the other chickens next spring??? We Shall see ....
 

lauraschicks

Songster
6 Years
Jul 30, 2014
173
31
114
I hope you find out the answer. It's an interesting dilemma that I would like to know the answer to as well, though I have never had a hen do that personally. Maybe she has a hormone problem.
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Faybeau

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 23, 2014
14
1
47
Perhaps she does have a 'hormone' issue, but one would think she would act accordingly and stop the Faux-Egg-Laying-Cackling Behavior if her hormones are 'off' .... ?
Certainly, as one other contributor said, she is "a funny girl". Hard to figure out; no easy answers!
I'm interested to see if she goes Broody in the Spring, as she did this past year. While she might not be able to lay eggs, perhaps this doesn't preclude her from being a good mother (who knows?). Certainly, she is a very easy-going, gentle girl.
 

MANNA-PRO

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