Chickens maybe started laying, and then stopped?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rachelrenee1, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. rachelrenee1

    rachelrenee1 Chirping

    Apr 30, 2014
    Ok I am sure someone has had this issue, but I am struggling to search it properly. So I am sorry if this is a question asked often.

    I have 5 hens, all about 20-22 ish weeks old. 2 Buff Orpingtons that are not really showing many egg laying signs. No worries, they are known to be later layers. 2 Barred Rocks, one who is laying lovely eggs regularly and has for about a week and a half. The other has all the lovely readiness signs. Red, large wattles and combs, submissive squat, more vocal, etc. And it SEEMED that she had laid a few "starter eggs." You know, the thinner, rubbery shelled eggs that new layers often start with. About 2 (a few days between each. Maybe 3 or so days.) They were brownish. I know they were not from the other barred rock, because she laid on time both days in her typical spot at her typical time and I saw her do it. And then we have an Amerecauna, and she has a few signs of being ready and we found a greenish "starter" egg about 5 days ago, but since nothing.

    Is this normal? Can they start with some early, thin-shelled eggs and then stop? They were all in the nest boxes. But I keep scouring the yard in all their usual haunts and all of the out-of-the-way areas too, but see no signs of further eggs.

    What could be happening? Has this happened to others?
  2. JeanR

    JeanR Songster

    Jul 6, 2009
    It is never a good sign to have a pullet lay more than one, 2 at the most, soft shelled eggs when beginning their laying life. The Shell Gland is not mature or operating normally--and should be normal in about a week if the first eggs arrived without finished shells. It is not "unusual", but is not "common". I have pullets every year and have not had a soft shelled eggs for years--but indeed have had them. It is much more likely for an old hen to have her Shell Gland malfunction, and sometimes just a calcium boost will fix it in a short time--but more then one or 2 soft shells is never a good sign for continued laying.

    Most pullets, well grown, with good Starter feed, have enough calcium and other minerals to produce good shells for a long time, even without Oyster Shell. Pullet eggs usually have very hard shells. Until eggs become a drain on their own bones and system, without Oyster Shell, the usual is fewer eggs, but complete ones, rather than soft shells.

    Your pullet can, if you are not now offering Oyster Shell free choice, be offered this to perhaps get normal eggs formed--but not to worry. Mother Nature calls the shots--and we can only do so much! With the bill;ions and billions of chickens laying eggs all over the world, it is a wonder that more glitches do not accur! It is not surprising, but we wonder: "why my pullet? Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014

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