Did I get chicken punked?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Skooni, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. Skooni

    Skooni New Egg

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    Help! We rescued a baby chick 22 weeks ago, have learned about chicken care off the internet and felt we were ready for it all.

    Now my pullet has laid 10 of her first eggs and each one has been a bigger production, taken longer and required more intervention from me. I see they are slightly bigger each day, which I guess is expected. I got her oyster shell from Scratch n' Peck and put it between her water and grit but she just won't eat it so I've been sprinkling calcium citrate on her food and treats. Three times now I've had to give her a warm bath - which she hates, massage, and extra calcium citrate to get that egg out. This is after three or four hours of struggles.

    Today when she started carrying on in her run, I just let her go thinking maybe she's figured out when she does this she gets to come in the house and hang out with mom. After four hours I gave in, and brought her in for a warm epsom soak and more calcium.
    She ran around to all the areas where she's laid eggs before, getting under towels I have laid out for her and furniture for two hours but no egg. Then she went under the towel for 20 minutes, stayed very quiet like she does when she's actually laying and emerged. I breathed a sigh of relief and went to collect the egg - NOTHING THERE!! I've torn the place apart looking for this egg. No egg. (This must be how the Easter Egg hunt began!)

    In the meantime, she's fine now, eating, drinking, pooping and pecking around. Crop is good, comb is red. Is she smart enough to fake distress or can their bodies just reabsorb and egg that is stuck in the oviduct? Could she be in trouble without showing signs of it?

    Did I get chicken punked?!

    She looks like a Dutch Wellsummer but is probably mixed with other breeds as she came from wild stock.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Why are you intervening? First time layers and even some seasoned layers can take hours to lay an egg. Why do you think there's a problem? Calcium should never be forced, they will eat it as needed.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    They don't necessarily lay every single day. I would just let her be and do her chicken thing.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I do think you're overthinking things [​IMG]

    first, calcium won't help her lay an egg. It is used in the formation of the egg shell, and that's it. It doesn't help pass the egg out, or anything like that. Plus, a new layer has an abundance of calcium stored in her body already, so she may not need any extra right now. Let her chose when to have some and she'll take care of herself.

    New layers like to freak out their owners, I think. Her behavior sounds perfectly normal to me. New layers hang out in the nesting box for hours. They can fuss and carry on, in and out, back and forth, drive you nuts. It's all okay. Their bodies are doing weird things and they're only chickens, they don't really understand what's going on.

    I'd just leave her be. Let her stay in the coop or wherever you want her to lay and she'll figure it out.

    Chickens don't have the kind of intelligence to manipulate a human like you're saying, but they are powerful creatures of habit. If she gets in the habit of coming in the house to lay, that's what will drive her. Leave her outside and she'll get the hang of things. She's very hormonal right now! But that will even out over the next month or so.
     
  5. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OMG. Way, way, way overboard.

    Just provide her food, some crushed eggshells or oyster shells and clean water. And a secure coop and run.
    She will lay when she is good and ready.

    Does she have any flock mates? Chickens are social animals, she needs to have at least 2 or 3 flock mates.
     
  6. Skooni

    Skooni New Egg

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    Thanks to you all for the reassurance! I will take your advice and just let her do her thing. I think I read too much about stuck eggs and had no idea it could take so long. The wild birds here seem to cluck about it for a few minutes, then go on about their business, but I bet they are experienced layers.

    What signs would cause you to worry and take action?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Your hen will be hunched up and miserable looking if she had a stuck egg, something I have never seen in any of my birds, and I don't think is as common as it's discussed on this site.

    Egg laying is similar to giving birth, so sometimes it takes a while especially in young layers before things get stretched out.
     
  8. bantamrooster

    bantamrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh my. Thank you for the laughs. Im rolling over here.
    Really, dont feel bad for worrying just ease up. Youre probably stressing her out which sure isnt helping.
    Chickens have been getting through this for a long time without us.
     
  9. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had chickens or known people with chickens all my life and never had a hen or heard of a friend or acquaintance with a hen with a "stuck egg".
    It's not something you need to worry about.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm also in the camp of.....I don't really know. I've had hens for 20 years, lots and lots of birds. Never had an issue.

    I would think she'd be hunched, not want to move, swollen abdomen. If she's acting edgy or moving around a lot, that's just new layer nerves.
     

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