Broody not broody? Laying not laying? Molting? So many questions :P

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by boersmamrs, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. boersmamrs

    boersmamrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    201
    6
    63
    Sep 25, 2014
    So, sugar is supposed to be around 20-24 weeks. She is a black australorp. She has been laying for about a month now..since we got her. (From what turned out to be not such a reputable farmer..but that's besides the point) Lately her feathers have been looking pretty ragged and she stopped laying. Its been over a week since we have seen an egg from her. Now, she is showcasing some broody characteristics but then it's like she just shuts it off. She spends a good portion of the day sitting on a fake egg in the coop and then the other half running around with the rest of the flock, but if I move towards the coop she is right there checking me out. Today, I found a pretty small egg.. which could have been hers but I am just not sure.. after going that long without laying wouldn't the egg be bigger? Also, darker in color maybe? We have two girls that are laying (Sugar and our other black australorp hen) and two other pullets that haven't laid yet. I am wondering one of the other girls laid this tiny egg... when a hen goes broody she can't lay eggs, right? She almost looks like she is in molt.. but they aren't supposed to go through their first molt after a year of age at least? Makes me wonder if the farmer mislead me on her age.. which is not surprising after all that I went through initially with these chickens. Any and all advice on all matters would be appreciated. I can post pictures of her tomorrow. Her feathers and her doing her "broody thing". If it would help. And.... go! [​IMG]
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Usua;l;y, but not always, they stop laying when they go broody -- but a broody stays on the nest 24/7 except for a brief outing once a day. It is possible she is "half broody," that is, her hormones are in flux, but she may be sitting on the nest for other reasons as well, including the general discomfort our "out of sorts" state that often seems to go with being in a molt.. The odd egg could have come from anyone. She could be in a partial or light molt. Molts vary a lot. sometimes you can barely tell just from loking at the chicken, and sometimes they look half bare. But it's pretty consistent to see a lot of feathers lying around if one is molting. No, the egg wouldn't be likely to be either bigger or darker, just because she hadn't layed an egg in a while. I tend to agree, too, that this Australorp is a lot older than you were told. My guess would be that the small egg came from one of the pullets who hasn't layed yet.
     
  3. boersmamrs

    boersmamrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    201
    6
    63
    Sep 25, 2014
    What does a light molt look like? She is my sweetest and most friendly lady. However she hasn't been letting me pet her this past week. She still comes running, if she's not on the nest, and follows me around.Does molting make them....sensitive?
     
  4. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,406
    125
    176
    Jul 29, 2013
    Wisconsin
    Some birds you can barely tell when they are molting, others go bald. They are really sensitive when they are molting, I have an egger in a rough looking molt right now that won't let me near her. Usually she's underfoot wanting attention. Now she's crabby and hates everyone and everything. As soon as her molt is done, she will be back to her normal sweet self. Hubby declared her possessed this morning.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yes, I agree, this sounds exactly like molt.
     
  6. boersmamrs

    boersmamrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    201
    6
    63
    Sep 25, 2014
    Well, alright. I was kind of worried about the ragged feathers so I was checking her and the others for pests, looking at poop lol. The eat very well so its not a nutritonal thing. Thank you guys! I also think my little grey pullet was the one who laid the adorable egg, which is very exciting!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by