Another scared Newbie Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Deweberbr, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. Deweberbr

    Deweberbr In the Brooder

    May 25, 2016
    Hi all.. I am a "scared that I'm doing something wrong" newbie... I have had my chickens for a little while and while 1 started laying the other still hasn't (one is a Delaware and the other a Golden Laced Wyandotte both 9months old) Recently within the last month we have introduced 2 laying Rhode Island Reds to our home and I have a few questions.
    1- The 2 Reds tend to pick on my GLW and I think she is the one who hasn't started laying yet. Should I be worried? Not sure if the stress is getting to her and maybe why the other problems I'm about to list are happening.

    2-I have recently noticed a LOT of very runny liquid poop in the coop/run, is this something to be concerned with? I obviously can't pinpoint which one it's coming from but don't know if I should be concerned that one is possibly sick? Could it be from the Reds that were already laying when they came to us (maybe because we fed them the start and grow when they were probably used to getting Layers feed)

    3- A lot of feathers are appearing in the coop and run. I know molting is a thing but thought my hens might be too young. although I don't know how old the reds are but I know they aren't more than a year and a half probably.

    4-Today I went to gather eggs and all I had was a VERY TINY egg (dark in color like the ones the Reds usually lay) but tremendously smaller (shown in picture) Could this be another sign that one is not well?

    5- My eggs are always speckled, and some have blood spots in them. I have read that it could be a sign of too much calcium or they could be sick?
    [​IMG] The first and largest egg is from the Reds, the middle is the newest darkest smallest ever gotten, and the lightest in color is from one of the chickens I've had the longest either the Delaware or the GLW.

    - I have the 4 hens total, feed is the start and grow medicated, and I have a container of Oyster shell available to them all as well. There is always a supply of water available and I clean the coop and run (sand floor) daily if not multiple times daily. They get very limited treats maybe like a hand full thrown in every couple days. I'm just not sure what is going on.

    I must sound like I prob shouldn't even have chickens since I really don't know much but I'm trying to raise a good healthy flock and treat them right. Any help or tips and advice is appreciated!! Thanks in Advance
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016

  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    1- Pecking order is what it is. Just part of chickens being chickens. I do suggest that with your chosen breeds, you have at least 5 sq ft of coop space and at least 12 sq ft of run space. Wyandottes tend to need a bit more elbow room. Different breeds mature at different rates, however, any source of stress (like adding new flock members) can slow down the onset of laying.

    2- The runny poo is likely from the new birds getting used to the coccidia of the soil in their new home. It's not because of the change in feed.

    3- None of your birds are too young to be affected by the changing light levels of the seasons. I've got a few 8 month olds doing some light molting right now due to the shorter days.

    4- No need to worry over the occasional small/large/shell-less/soft-shelled egg.

    5- Again, no need to worry. It's all completely normal.

    I would get them off the medicated feed though. It can cause thiamine deficiencies if feed exclusively, long term. Unmedicated chick starter or flock raiser would be a better choice.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Rickovo

    Rickovo In the Brooder

    The small egg looks suspiciously like a first attempt. Congratulations! I would think that a good quality normal layers feed would be right for them all now.
    Not sure what folks use as a wormer where you are. Here it's Flubenvet which has the advantage of not requiring egg withdrawal (you can eat the eggs while treating.) If you haven’t wormed them and have introduced new flock members (and they are all POL or older) then now would be a good time.
    1 person likes this.
  4. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Songster

    Mar 19, 2016
    34.560847, -81.154203
    My Coop
    +1 on the small egg. The First Egg usually is smaller, sometimes very much so (they get larger as the hen 'get's the hang of it'). As it is a significantly different color it may very well be your late hen's. Nut that's just a guess, I'm not familiar with the breed or their egg color.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto All Dat^^^^
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by