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Crushed egg in nesting box today after hen not laying for several months. Should I be worried?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Aussie-Chookmum, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. I have 4 hens. Two are 3.5 years old (Leghorn and Rhode Island Red) and two are just 20 weeks. Both the older hens moulted late last year/early this year and went off the lay.
    The leghorn started laying again about a month ago and the Rhode Island Red started squatting and checking out nest boxes earlier this week. I noticed yesterday that my RIR was spending a lot of time in the nesting box and when I checked on her I could see that she was straining but no egg was produced.
    This morning both the older hens were taking turns in the same nesting box and when I checked it after the RIR left it there was an egg, still very warm. It looked about the same size and colour that my Leghorn lays.
    We went out today and when I came back this afternoon and checked the nesting boxes there were the remains of a crushed egg in the box that the RIR was straining in yesterday. The shell fragments are pretty much the same colour as the Leghorn's eggs but the RIR's eggs were also a similar colour when she was laying last year.

    I'm worried that the RIR may have broken the egg inside while she was trying to lay. I didn't see blood or detritus around her vent and she seems fine, foraging as usual. What is everyone's advice?
    Kris5902 likes this.
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Do you have photos of the RIR and Leghorn?

    If the RIR is acting normal - active, eating/drinking - you see no discharge, etc. then likely the egg got broken after she laid it. Most of the time if an egg broke while still inside the vent, the hen will be acting sick/droopy.

    Coming back into lay, sometimes egg shells can be weak. Could be her age too.
    I would just keep an eye on her. See that she's eating her normal feed, has access to oyster shell, etc.
    Kris5902, BY Bob and Aussie-Chookmum like this.
  3. Thank you for your advice Wyorp Rock

    They are both checking out the nesting boxes this morning.
    I took these pics a few minutes ago.

    Deana, RIR

    Tsuki, Leghorn IMG20190722111154.jpg

    This was what Deana's droppings looked like this morning. They are on hemp straw which has absorbed some of the wetness and looked a bit more pinky, peachy in colour in real life.

    There were no egg shell fragments in them as far as I could tell after dissolving them in water.
    Kris5902, BY Bob and Wyorp Rock like this.
  4. I checked the RIR's vent this afternoon. I could feel an egg about a finger length in up to my second knuckle. It was very thin and cracked when lightly pressed,
    I have lubricated her vent and as much of the egg as I could reach with petroleum jelly (vaseline). She has had a warm soak for 20 minutes and a dose of calcium supplement.
    She is currently in her coop for the night. Her crop was feeling empty when I put her away so although she has been foraging around the yard, I don't think she has been eating the layer pellets.
    I will see how she is in the morning
    Kris5902, BY Bob and Ribh like this.
  5. FishMtFarm

    FishMtFarm Emu whisperer

    Jan 2, 2017
    Lake Pleasant, NY
    I take a leur slip syringe and put KY in it. Insert as far as the tip will go and just squirt a bunch in there. I had a serama retain an egg and they are tiny so I did that. Within a few hour she got the egg out. Lots and lots of lube.
    Kris5902, BY Bob and Aussie-Chookmum like this.
  6. Thank you. I will try that tomorrow if its still not out. :)
    Kris5902 and FishMtFarm like this.
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    How is she this morning?
    Aussie-Chookmum, Ribh and Kris5902 like this.
  8. BY Bob

    BY Bob Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres

    Jan 1, 2016
    Hershey, PA
    One of the things that can help when looking at droppings is to take a piece of cardboard and tape some white paper to it. Place it under her after she has roosted and in the morning you have an easy way to see any odd color like yellow or orange.
  9. I was out all day yesterday and when I came home there was an egg in the nesting box! The lubricant must have helped. Thanks @FishMtFarm !


    Tsuki's egg on the right for comparison....no wonder Deana was having trouble!
    FishMtFarm, Kris5902, Ribh and 2 others like this.
  10. Future_Homesteader

    Future_Homesteader Chirping

    Feb 25, 2019
    Brisbane Australia
    Goodness what a whopper!
    Kris5902, Ribh and Aussie-Chookmum like this.

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