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Do they ever act like they laid an egg, but didn't?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emilysteng, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. emilysteng

    emilysteng Songster

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    May 21, 2010
    Hawaii
    Hi everyone,

    My semi wild hen, Casino, for the last two mornings, has done her usual egg laying behavior, but didn't lay any eggs. Should I be worried? Let me elaborate. For those you who haven't ever read my previous posts, Casino is a "feral" chicken here in hawaii at the plant nursery where I work, who befriended us about a year ago. She started laying eggs early this year and after observing her behavior, I can tell when she is about to lay one. Sometimes she lays in some hidden nest, but we usually find them. Anyways, yesterday morning she started her egg behavior, looking around for somewhere to lay. She decided the delivery van we were loading up would be a good spot, right in the trays of plants we had loaded up. We had to take her out of there numerous times. I kept putting her in a box she had laid in before, and she finally decided to stay in there. I thought, well, she'll lay in there. But a few hours later when I came back she was out of the box and - no egg!! I thought this was little strange but thought oh well.

    But then this morning the same thing happened again. She gets really agitated when she is about to lay and was looking around again, wanting to do it in the van again. She finally decided on that same box again and stayed in there for awhile. When she came out she had calmed down - but no egg again!! Usually right after she lays an egg she gets out of whatever box or nest she was in and starts throwing leaves and other debris on her back. Here's a video of her doing that a few months back



    She did that today when she came out of her box also. What worried me today - besides there being no egg - is afterwards she seemed a little - dare I say it? - sad? It was a rather hot day and she went into the mist and stood there for a good 20 or 30 minutes, then stood around and preened a little. I went to lunch and later in the afternoon she had disappeared.

    Do chickens act like they lay an egg when they haven't? Should I be worried? She seemed fine otherwise. It seems like the egg laying urge passes.

    Thanks so much.

    Emily
     

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I wonder if she could be egg bound?

    Can you catch her?
     
  3. emilysteng

    emilysteng Songster

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    May 21, 2010
    Hawaii
    Hi there Mahonri,

    Yes, I could probably catch her. Is there anything I can do? I have read a little about the egg bound issue. I could possibly feel if there is an egg in there? Have you ever known chickens to do this but not be egg bound?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I've seen them get to their spot and not lay an egg.

    I've also seen "egg eaters" lay their egg, and then turn around and eat it.

    Sounds like you are doing your homework, I would feel to see if she is egg bound first.
     
  5. emilysteng

    emilysteng Songster

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    Hawaii
    Hmm, I don't think she's an egg eater. At least today, we were all around when she was in her box acting like she was laying. And there would be the shell anyways right? I like to think the chickens around here are pretty "natural" since they're wild. Of course, I have no idea. Maybe natural wild chickens eat their eggs sometimes too.

    So I just feel her on her underside? Is it really obvious?
     
  6. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Yeah, you'll know....
     
  7. emilysteng

    emilysteng Songster

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    May 21, 2010
    Hawaii
    Guess I will try to catch her tomorrow. It's easiest first thing in the morning when she's really hungry..... I just hope she doesn't do another disappearing act like she did a month back! Then I'll really be worried. Why do these animals make me worry so much!! [​IMG]
     

  8. emilysteng

    emilysteng Songster

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    Well this morning she didn't want to come down from the bushes for some reason. But after lunch she had come down and I was able to catch her. I didn't feel anything strange so hopefully that means she isn't egg bound. I don't really know much, I've never tried to feel for an egg bound bird before so I hope I'm right. Anyways, she hung around the entire afternoon, ate some scratch, and a whole bunch of geckos. No egg laying behavior today. Who knows?
     
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe she's thinking about going broody? If she's not eggbound, that would be my other thought.
     
  10. emilysteng

    emilysteng Songster

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    May 21, 2010
    Hawaii
    Well, every time she lays a batch of eggs she sits on them. From my reading here on the forum, most backyard chickens don't do that? Only when they go "broody"? I think the "wild" chickens here always sit on their eggs when they lay. She has been on a one batch a month schedule it seems.
     

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