Buff orp stopped laying - over 4 weeks now

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kellers86, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Kellers86

    Kellers86 In the Brooder

    8
    9
    19
    Jul 18, 2017
    Hi there, this is my first time posting, but I've used lots of advice from the forums so far - so firstly, thank you for that!

    So, we got our first chickens on 9th June aged 37 weeks - 2 Brahmas and 2 Buff Orps. At the time we got them, 1 of the Brahmas was laying, and 1 of the BOs was laying - June Carter-Cash (excuse the name). It's been a bit dramatic since then!

    June was laying really lovely eggs throughout the first week, until 17th June. We then had a really hot weekend, so when she didn't lay for a couple of days, I thought it must be to do with the heat. She also came with a lice infestation (all treated now), and was regrowing a few feathers. So I also thought her protein reserves were being used for that!

    Not long after, we noticed that June and Elvis (our other Brahma who wasn't yet laying) were snicking and sneezing, so we took them to the vet and they've been on antibiotics since. The sneezing is certainly a lot better - however, hasn't completely gone yet.

    During that time, Elvis has started laying - so they both apparently have the same mild infection, but Elvis is laying and June isn't (even though we know she can!). Her feathers are now nicely grown back on her bottom too, so she appears to be done with that - and it's no longer sweltering hot here.

    The other thing is that she goes into the nest box nearly every day, sits in the nest just like she's laying (no straining or panting), and sings the egg song afterward - but no egg!

    Otherwise, she's eating and drinking fine, feels in good condition, is perky, friendly and up to her usual chicken habits! Any advice? She's on the same diet as all the others (layer pellets and everything she picks up while free ranging). She also has ACV in her water once a month for a week at a time.

    My worry is that she's sick, or that she'll never lay again! I'd never get rid of her, but I feel sorry for her that she's in the box every day with nothing to show for it! Thanks in advance!
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  2. biophiliac

    biophiliac Traveler in BYCLand

    6,185
    23,635
    972
    Apr 22, 2016
    DeForest, WI
    I don't really know but could be related to her re-growing feathers. Someone will probably be by with a better answer for you:D
    @KikisGirls , could June have a laying problem that needs attention? Would you try to feel for a 'stuck' egg?
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  3. Kellers86

    Kellers86 In the Brooder

    8
    9
    19
    Jul 18, 2017
    Thanks for your reply - I'm kind of hoping it is just the feather thing...!
     
  4. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Partially Enlightened

    74,964
    340,432
    1,952
    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Hi there!
    Stress can cause them to slow down too.
    Going to the doctor...being handled for daily medicines...etc...

    You mention she is hanging out in the nest box...could she possible be broody?
    Maybe not full on broody, but slightly broody..like she isn't sure?

    If she is eating and drinking well and walking around well then I would guess she probably is not egg bound, but still could be..
    You could try this to feel for an egg..awesome instructions are here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/egg-binding-symptoms-treatment-and-prevention.66978/
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  5. biophiliac

    biophiliac Traveler in BYCLand

    6,185
    23,635
    972
    Apr 22, 2016
    DeForest, WI
    Clearly you are observant with your birds. IMO that is the most important thing in keeping them as healthy as you can[birds often try to pretend nothing is wrong when they are unwell :(] I would continue to keep an eye on her. Do you handle her to check her general condition[weight]. Check for a full crop at night and and empty crop first thing in the morning, etc. There is tons of good info in the article section too!:D
     
    Kellers86 and KikisGirls like this.
  6. biophiliac

    biophiliac Traveler in BYCLand

    6,185
    23,635
    972
    Apr 22, 2016
    DeForest, WI
    Wow Kiki! we were typing at the same time, you're faster!:lol:
     
    KikisGirls likes this.
  7. Sounds like she just needs to get some stability in her life. She's been through a lot lately. When my birds get stressed, I give them extra treats such as red grapes, chopped raw corn-on-cob, or air-popped popcorn. The way I approach them is that I come out with a large feed bowl and shout, "Look what I've got!" They all know that catch phrase. No matter where they are, they all come running to greet me, and I spend some time talking to them and handing out treats. I think it's good therapy for them (and for me!).

    BTW, welcome to BYC! :welcome
     
    Kellers86 and biophiliac like this.
  8. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Partially Enlightened

    74,964
    340,432
    1,952
    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    biophiliac likes this.
  9. Kellers86

    Kellers86 In the Brooder

    8
    9
    19
    Jul 18, 2017
    Thanks for the tips - I will certainly try feeling for an egg (just need to get some gloves first!).

    In terms of potential broodiness, I don't think it's that - she only goes in once a day for 10 mins, acts like she's laid and comes out again, and luckily doesn't exhibit any other characteristics to suggest she's broody (we've already had one go that way, so I now know the signs!). Yesterday, she didn't go in the nest at all - kind of like a normal day off - so all her behaviour is suggesting a 'normal' hen, just without the eggs!

    You're right she may be stressed, even though all the rest of her behaviour is normal. It could well be that she's still getting over her trip to the vet a few weeks ago, regrowing the feathers etc, but she'll come round eventually. I think I'm also beginning to obsess slightly...!

    Will definitely check for an egg though - thanks for the brilliant link!
     
  10. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Partially Enlightened

    74,964
    340,432
    1,952
    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Grab the gloves and grease!
    Good luck...
    Keep us updated!
     
    Kellers86 likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: