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Concerned -- 2 Days Soft Egg Broken Under Roost Hen Acting Off

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KimPahl, May 10, 2016.

  1. KimPahl

    KimPahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2015
    Jefferson, NC
    Hi. We've had our chickens for almost a year and no issues at all. They are a little over 1 year old and laying fine until the last 2 days. In the last 2 days my leghorn has laid 2 eggs under the roost (while roosting?? odd) that were both broken and both appeared to have soft shells. There was a bunch of other wetness around the area that I assume is the rest of the egg. I've researched lash eggs and they don't look anything like what I saw. The picture here isn't mine but one I found online that looks similar to what I found except the yolk was not as intact.

    I wouldn't be as concerned about it except today I didn't see her w/ the rest of the chickens so I went looking for her (they free range). It's not completely abnormal for her to go off on her own a bit, but she never leaves them for long. I found her down in the barn in the nesting box. (I found her doing this a couple of days ago also and there were already 3 eggs in the box -- we have 3 hens. I know she's not broody b/c leghorns tend not to be.)

    Anyway, my dog came in the barn and she got out of the nesting box. I picked her up and she didn't fuss much which in itself is kind of odd. I checked her vent and she had some goo on her feathers that I assume is the left over from the messy egg she laid. Cleaned that up a bit. I brought her up to the other chickens and I've been watching her. She's very thirsty. I threw out some hulled sunflower seeds and she didn't care. This is odd because she's a pig generally. I have several watering areas for them around the property. One area by our deck she just stood there drinking and then would close her eyes like she's taking a nap and then drink more. The other chickens were napping under a tree. She didn't want to be with them.

    There really haven't been any changes lately. The ONLY new thing is I have 7, 5 week old chicks that have been out in a tractor on sunny days. They just met the adult chickens the other day. Our leghorn was quite nasty with one of them pecking it even behind chicken wire. I was going to put the chicks in the coop this week. That is the only change lately. Could she be stressed? They aren't out there every day.

    I'm concerned for her. And I'm concerned about hawks b/c she's white and stands out like a sore thumb and isn't staying w/ the others. Any suggestions of what I should do? Thank you!


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  2. HappyClucker7

    HappyClucker7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2016
    Hi there! I'm not quite sure why she's drinking so much and not staying with the others, but the soft egg could be, because she is not getting enough calsium. You could grind egg shells very fine, and mix it with her feed. The other things could be stress, but I'm not positive. Hope you find an answer![​IMG]
     
  3. KimPahl

    KimPahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2015
    Jefferson, NC
    Thank you for your response.

    Yes, we grind their egg shells up and they have free choice of those and right now they are mixed up w/ oyster shells until those are gone.

    I looked out a while ago to find her just standing alone under our deck. I brought her in and just gave her a bath b/c her behind was nasty and smelly with all that extra egg goo on it! Vent looks good and clean otherwise. She didn't put up a fight. She's not herself for sure. Just standing around and not interested in foraging, eating or anything. Just drinking. I'm wondering if I should separate her from the others.
     
  4. StacyS791

    StacyS791 Just Hatched

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    Apr 18, 2016
    I had the same thing this morning!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd just keep an eye on her...she could be ill or just stressed, thus the softshell and excessive drinking.
    Did the temps rise suddenly?
    Could she have had a scare/predator event?

    Softshell eggs often get eaten by the flock, thus the wet spot/broken yolk you found.
    You could put her in a wire dog crate, out near the other birds but protected from the weather, to observe her intakes and outputs.
    Chances are her poops are loose due to the extra water she's drinking.
     
  6. 3Chickenlover3

    3Chickenlover3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
    I have a leg horn with the same problem! Eventually she was in a lot of pain and not laying eggs for about 2 months, that's when I notice! I gave her a baby aspirin and had to massage her butt with Vaseline . She's doing better
     
  7. KimPahl

    KimPahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2015
    Jefferson, NC
    Thank you. I really don't think it was any type of stress. We don't have problems with predators that I'm aware of at all. The weather has not had a sharp change either. The other chickens are fine. I put her in my tractor I built for my chicks to observe her while I worked in my garden. She did eat some food and was scratching around in it. I also gave her some crushed egg shell which she ate for awhile. She was in the tractor for about 2 hrs. The other chickens came over to investigate so I thought I'd let her out and see what she did. She followed them for a short while and then lied down in the grass which is where she is now. Alone side of our fence just lying there! I need to get put her back in the tractor before she becomes dinner for something!

    I checked her vent to see if she was egg bound and didn't feel anything. The couple of times I saw her poop it was kind of watery. I just don't know what to do.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Just be patient and observe her closely for a few days.
    Check her body all over for anything odd and/or pests.
    Make sure she's eating a well balanced feed and nothing else.
     
  9. KimPahl

    KimPahl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2015
    Jefferson, NC
    Thanks, I will. She is basically just hanging by herself and mostly lying down in odd places. Then she'll get up peck around a bit and lie back down. I did check her pretty good today. I will do another once over tomorrow. Thank you for your response. It's good to be able to talk to people when you are clueless and concerned. [​IMG]
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    No problem.
    IMO, if there's nothing apparent wrong with her, and none of the other birds appear ill, then there's not much you can do.
    Maybe give her some electrolytes or vitamins...other folks might throw in other meds/remedies, but I keep it pretty simple.
    Posting in the illness/disease forum might get you more options.
     

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