Does it get easier??


Jul 29, 2016
In a matter of 4 days I have found out the chickens have mites, one chicken was severely attacked by most likely a dog, and now I have a chicken laying eggs with no shell.

This is my first time raising chickens. I have six BO pullets and one BSL which are about 20 weeks old. Only the BSL is laying. She has laid 3 small intact eggs. Yesterday she laid an egg with no shell, not even with a membrane. Is this something to worry about or is it normal in the beginning?

I am currently trying to nurse the injured chicken back to health. I am keeping her in a dog crate with food and water inside the run. She has small wound on her back and a puncture wound on her breast. I am treating it with vetericyn and Neosporin. She seem to be doing ok. She is only eating cooked eggs. I left some tuna in the crate but she wasn't a fan. When I went to add food this morning she snuck out of the crate and seem to enjoy foraging in the run until 2 other chickens started to bully her! Back in the crate she goes until she heals. But now I'm worried I'm going to have a hard time re-introducing her to the flock.

And now the mites. I am on my way out to clean out the coop and run. I will be painting any unfinished wood in there. I didn't know to do that until the coop was built and the chickens were in it :( I will try dusting the chickens with permethrin dust and also spraying the run and coop with permethrin spray. I picked up ivermectin but not sure on the dosage to use. I also have sevin dust which I picked up to use as a last ditch effort if they are still around in a couple of weeks. I know there is some controversy with the sevin dust so I would rather not have to use it.

Any advice or encouragement would be great! I have loved raise if these chickens so far but I'm going to go crazy if all this keeps up! The mites are the icing on the cake!
The shell -less eggs are not a problem and will self correct, she may not lay at all for a day or two, and then start in again. The three you got, were probably in the tract before the move. The move and new coop was stress- full, and it sounds as if she is a pullet and these are her first eggs, so they will be small for a bit, and there are apt to be some faults in eggs until her body gets it figured out.

I don't have my coop painted on the inside. But I have never had mites. So can offer no advice, except do not double dip in different treatments trying to get over it faster. Follow the directions on the bottle or on here.

As for the injured chicken, I do not separate my birds, as I think it causes more problems than it solves. However, do make sure you have some hideouts, a pallet leaned against a wall, with two exits to prevent it forming a trap, a roost in the run, a pallet up on blocks so that a bird can get under it or on top of it. And perhaps a 3-4 footwall set up in a corner or the middle of the run so that a feed and water dish can be placed out of site of the whole run.

Mrs K
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The soft eggs are probably from stress, and a dog attack and a hen removed are stress, so that should straighten out after a bit.

Chickens heal up pretty good most times without too much intervention, so if your hen is that perky she should be fine. I would house her in a pen within the coop or run, so she's never removed. Let her out daily to see how it's going and do as you did and remove her if the bullying gets too bad, some squabbling and pecking is normal and can be mostly noise.

How big is your set up? The bigger the better, it really cuts down on health problems and behavior problems can be zero if they are given enough room and range to forage through. A smaller set up can be a nightmare. Chickens don't do well with confinement. If that's your only choice you have to work harder to keep them entertained and busy and make your run as large as possible.

Most every chicken will have some mites, dust bathing is the main way they control the population. If they get out of control it usually means there's something wrong with the bird or the set up, and sometimes it just happens.

I like using a pyrethrin based powder to dust any birds that need it as well as putting some in the bottom of the nestboxes if necessary due to broody hens and to sprinkle it in all the cracks in the coop. Also provide a nice dust bathing area for your birds to remove their own parasites.

Chicken keeping has a sharp learning curve, but once you find your ways and rhythms it's quite easy. I made plenty of mistakes and had lots of trouble when I started, we all do I think. So don't get too discouraged and keep learning and eventually you will wonder why it seemed so hard.
Good to hear the egg situation should sort itself out!

The coop is 4x8 and is 3 feet off the ground. It is inside the run which is 10x20 dog kennel fencing. Up until the attack, they had been free ranging in our yard which is about 5 acres, a lot of grass and trees for cover.

I have the injured chicken separated in the run. I did let her out in the run yesterday while the other chickens were out in the yard. She did ok. She isn't eating or drinking much. I have been giving her water with a syringe. But I think she's doing ok, just still scared. The wounds don't look any worse so that's always good.

I think I may have over reacted with the mites. There was never really an infestation. I only saw a few here and there. But I treated them anyways. Hopefully it's controlled. I kind of assumed it was going to happen at some point after reading other people's posts. But it definitely isn't that bad.

I think my mind is eased after completely cleaning out the coop yesterday and knowing the eggs should improve.

Thank you for the responses!

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