EEs a year old and have never laid an egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by suburbanhomesteader, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have two EEs who are a year old this month. One of them laid a soft-shelled egg in January, and then again one in Feb. The other laid about 20 eggs over a one month period in January; then she stopped. I think they are sisters.

    My other girls (barred rock and two production reds) have each consistently laid 5-6 eggs a week since last fall. Those eggs are so thick they are hard to crack (so I know enough calcium is available). However, as we get closer to the molt, their eggs are getting paler and paler.

    Are these two issues normal; is it normal to have hens that just don't lay? Is it normal for eggs to become paler as hens age (the same thing happened to my "trial hens", which were game hens, so perhaps that is normal).

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It is normal for the eggs to get lighter in color along with the lightening of their legs.

    As for your poor layers, are they maybe hiding eggs? Some birds do make poor layers, but maybe these are poor layers and being kept from the feed or eating not enough of the layer feed too which makes the issue worse? Or maybe they are laying brown egg?
     
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    EEs will start laying in feb an stop laying in nov.then in feb theyll start laying again.thats what my EEs always did in winter.do you let them frere rang in your yard.if so im betting they are hiding their eggs somewhere.
     
  4. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hmmm...interesting.

    The two EEs are definitely at the bottom of the pecking order, although I put two feeders, placed 30 feet apart, into their 500 square foot chunnel so they should have access to food and oyster shell without being bothered. Maybe they just don't feel safe, though. The EE I lost to my own dog (I had not done a good job locking the coop door and out all my chickens burst, just as I was letting the dogs out of the house; stupid me) had been laying 3-4 sage green eggs a week. The January layer was laying a turquoise-colored egg; not quite green, not quite blue, and she only laid two eggs after the other EE was killed. At first I thought she was in mourning, but it's been almost 6 weeks, I think.

    The coop and chunnel don't really have any hiding places, and even the two soft eggs were laid near the nesting box, so I don't think that's an issue.

    They free range for about an hour before dark almost every day, but I've never seen any sign of them thinking about stopping to lay an egg; they are on the hunt the whole time.

    It's good to know that the eggs fade. The layers' legs turned from yellow to white when they started to lay eggs, so I'm not sure what it would look like if they faded.

    Thanks for your help. I should probably put the EEs in the stew pot, but I just don't have the heart to do it right now. One of them is such a beautiful golden color that I love watching her in the light of the setting sun. Maybe when the chicks start laying it will be easier....
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by