Can chickens be depressed? And Calcium deposits in eggs.

ChickenMom04

Chirping
Oct 17, 2020
58
36
66
We have had a flock of 8 older chickens and 3 younger ones (under a year) for a while now. Recently we saw an ad giving away one female EE hen, and figured we’d take her since we are planning on getting more hens next year anyway. The woman who owned her has 2 young sons and 4 chickens who are basically the family pets. Where they are moving, they can only have 3 hens. They had a nice setup and the chickens seemed healthy and pampered, and pretty friendly. We took the one hen from her and transported her home in a towel on my lap to minimize stress as much as we could. (We tried the dog kennel approach but she seemed very nervous) we have two separate pens that separate our younger and older hens because we have a rooster and we don’t want him to be aggressive before they are ready. So we figured we would put our new hen in the pen with the younger chickens so she could get used to the new environment before adding the stress of the pecking order and rooster. I’ve noticed that she likes to hang out alone, and is weary of being handled even though she was raised with children. She isn’t as vocal as she was before we took her home, and I’m wondering if she is overwhelmed. We also have a nipple waterer which takes some getting used to, and we touch her beak to it daily to see if she learns it. I think this also stresses her out, especially since we have to handle her so much in order to teach her. How can I help her? I feel bad since we took her from an area she was so familiar in.
also, she has weak eggs with calcium deposits. She lays one a day and her owner says she’s been laying them for a while. We sell our eggs, so is there any way to fix this? When she steps on her eggs they crack, which also leads to ants.
Any help? Thanks!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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Moving is very stressful and she's coming in alone, so wouldn't be a surprised if she seems a little anxious or stressed.

As far as the eggshell issue, do you know what she was fed by previous owner? What is she currently eating and does she have access to a source of calcium?

You could try this to see if it helps with her issue, in case she isn't taking in enough calcium on her own: 2-3x a week serve a small bowl (like 1 Tbsp is fine) of wet or fermented feed with oyster shell mixed in. If she does not like chunks of oyster shell, crush it up or use the powdery remnants from bottom of the bag. Should only take her minutes to eat and after that she's free to go.

Assuming her issue is simply insufficient calcium intake, you should see results in a week or two, and you can try reducing it to 1-2x a week and should hopefully continue getting good results. If you still have the same issue, then you might need to try pills of calcium citrate instead for a faster, bigger calcium boost.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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We also have a nipple waterer which takes some getting used to, and we touch her beak to it daily to see if she learns it.
Make sure she has an open waterer until she gets acclimated to the nipples.
You don't want to add dehydration to her stress factors.
Are nipples Vertical or Horizontal?

How hot is it where you are?
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1627210276640.png
 

Katanahamon

Songster
Jun 25, 2021
590
1,392
186
We have had a flock of 8 older chickens and 3 younger ones (under a year) for a while now. Recently we saw an ad giving away one female EE hen, and figured we’d take her since we are planning on getting more hens next year anyway. The woman who owned her has 2 young sons and 4 chickens who are basically the family pets. Where they are moving, they can only have 3 hens. They had a nice setup and the chickens seemed healthy and pampered, and pretty friendly. We took the one hen from her and transported her home in a towel on my lap to minimize stress as much as we could. (We tried the dog kennel approach but she seemed very nervous) we have two separate pens that separate our younger and older hens because we have a rooster and we don’t want him to be aggressive before they are ready. So we figured we would put our new hen in the pen with the younger chickens so she could get used to the new environment before adding the stress of the pecking order and rooster. I’ve noticed that she likes to hang out alone, and is weary of being handled even though she was raised with children. She isn’t as vocal as she was before we took her home, and I’m wondering if she is overwhelmed. We also have a nipple waterer which takes some getting used to, and we touch her beak to it daily to see if she learns it. I think this also stresses her out, especially since we have to handle her so much in order to teach her. How can I help her? I feel bad since we took her from an area she was so familiar in.
also, she has weak eggs with calcium deposits. She lays one a day and her owner says she’s been laying them for a while. We sell our eggs, so is there any way to fix this? When she steps on her eggs they crack, which also leads to ants.
Any help? Thanks!
So..you got a new hen and didn’t quarantine her?
 

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