Egg laying mystery

Jonessa

Songster
Apr 20, 2017
122
76
116
Vancouver Island
I need some help solving an egg mystery...

My Silver Salmon Marans seems to not be laying, and I can't figure out what is going on. Here is her history:
Day 1, March 21 - she laid her very first egg, in the nesting box like a good girl!
Day 2 - she spent time in the nesting box, then came out singing her egg song loud and clear - but no egg. Maybe what I thought was her egg song was actually alarm, maybe something scared her?
Day 3 - We noticed in the afternoon that she was lacklustre, spending lots of time just standing instead of actively pecking like the rest of the flock, and her stance was wider than usual. I guessed she might be egg bound. I grabbed some lube and a glove and was walking toward her when she half-squatted in the garden bed and laid her egg. I went over to get it, and noticed that the egg was very rough and whitish, and stuck to it was the broken membrane of another egg. Immediately after laying the egg, she returned to her normal self. That night on the roost she passed the rest of the membrane, and the yolk and white. I'm guessing that the egg from day 2 got stalled of some reason, and day 3's egg didn't make it to the shell gland.
Day 4 - no egg... and no egg since! She seems healthy - eating, drinking, pooping, no external parasites. Her abdomen feels normal. They free range during the day over the backyard of our half-acre property, and I wondered if maybe she'd decided to lay somewhere in the yard - but I looked around pretty thoroughly today as I was hiding Easter eggs for the kids, and couldn't find anything.

So I'm wondering if there's something else I should be investigating? I could try locking her up for a day or two, but that would be stressful for her. Is it possible that something inside was damaged with the egg mishap of days 2 and 3, and now she just won't lay anymore?
 

Jonessa

Songster
Apr 20, 2017
122
76
116
Vancouver Island
still too early to know.. Marans in general are NOT good layers, so 2 to 3 eggs a week should probably be considered normal.

Do make sure that she has access to lots of oyster shell. Low calcium can cause egg laying trouble.

That's interesting - I had heard the opposite! :) At any rate, it's been 8 days since I've seen an egg. They have free access to oyster shell, although I haven't seen her use it. I've taken her over the the feeder to make sure she knows it's there, and I'm sure she sees the others use it.
 

chonsey

Crowing
Oct 17, 2015
593
953
277
État du grand lac
That's interesting - I had heard the opposite! :) At any rate, it's been 8 days since I've seen an egg. They have free access to oyster shell, although I haven't seen her use it. I've taken her over the the feeder to make sure she knows it's there, and I'm sure she sees the others use it.
I'm in Michigan, it snowed today! And it's been hit or miss for my hens. They just started laying a couple of months ago. Today, very cold - and I got the most eggs ever! It was clear blue skies & sunny after a snow squall!
 
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Killer Tomato

Songster
Mar 2, 2017
498
1,291
247
Willamette Pass, Oregon
She's pretty new to this laying stuff, so sometimes it takes them a while to get everything rolling through the chute properly, as evidenced by the "stuck" 2nd/3rd eggs.

My new layers sometimes plop eggs out in the wrong spot at the beginning (middle of the sidewalk, the lawn, the roost, the open garage). I figure that they are still recognizing their body's signs, and are either taken by surprise of the whole process, don't quite know where to go, or don't have enough clout to get to the favorite nesting box.

Give her some more time, and try not to stress as long as she's doing all the normal chicken things (eat, drink, poop). Keep searching around the yard, as she might be plopping them in where ever!
 

Jonessa

Songster
Apr 20, 2017
122
76
116
Vancouver Island
Do you free range?
Yes, they free range for part of most days, over our 1/3 acre backyard. I wondered if she might be laying somewhere else, but so far I haven't been able to find anything - I've checked inside the cedar hedges, inside plant pots, in the wood pile, in the garden beds, etc.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,136
138,447
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, they free range for part of most days, over our 1/3 acre backyard. I wondered if she might be laying somewhere else, but so far I haven't been able to find anything - I've checked inside the cedar hedges, inside plant pots, in the wood pile, in the garden beds, etc.
Might need to do some 'training'.

Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
 

Jonessa

Songster
Apr 20, 2017
122
76
116
Vancouver Island
I ended up leaving everyone in the run for the last few days, because it was too hard to only lock up the one girl. After 4 days of being locked up and still no egg from her, finally today she laid! In the nesting box, and a nice dark colour to boot - yippee!! So maybe her system just needed to work out some kinks, who knows? Hopefully she'll continue to lay regularly now.
 

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