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Egg laying question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lsuchey, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. lsuchey

    lsuchey Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2013
    Santee, Ca
    I've looked through all questions couldn't find one that addresses the issue I'm having so I'm starting a new thread. Hope all you experts out there can help me. I have 4 hens, 2 Brahmas and 2 Orpingtons. All are about 6 months old. About three weeks ago, 3 of my hens laid their first softshell eggs, which they all ate immediately. Since that time I have not seen any eggs at all nor have I heard they're laying song. Is this normal behavior? This is a new batch of chickens for me and they are not behaving at all like my previous ones. They preferred to sit on the ground at night, and I'm working on getting them to roost by placing them on the roost bar after dark…any thoughts on these behaviors would help me a lot and would be very much appreciated.
     
  2. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not that unusual for them to eat their first, soft-shelled eggs. This may or may not lead to chronic egg eating behavior. Is there anywhere else they could be laying eggs? If so, they may be laying eggs where you're not finding them. If possible, confine them to the coop and run for a week to be sure they're laying in the nest boxes.

    If they are eating eggs, it can be from a nutritional deficiency. Too little protein in diet (making them crave protein) and/or too little calcium (leading to soft-shelled eggs which are more likely to be broken and eaten). Make sure they have a nutritionally complete feed with 16-18% protein and approx. 4% calcium. Also, provide crushed oyster shell in a separate hopper so it's available to them 24/7.

    If possible, check the coop multiple times a day to see if any hens are in the nest boxes and to collect any eggs before they are eaten. Are you finding any evidence of eaten eggs? Any wet spots where egg material leaked onto the nest box bedding or coop bedding? If they are indeed eating eggs, check out other threads like "how to stop egg eating."

    The lack of an egg song is not that unusual for pullets. Some of mine made very little noise the first month or so of egg laying.
     
  3. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you know for a fact that all 3 hens are laying? Sounds 1 hen is an early layer and laid 3 rubber eggs while her egg factory is starting up.
     
  4. lsuchey

    lsuchey Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2013
    Santee, Ca
    I actually saw each egg as it was being laid and tried to stop them from eating it... But the chickens were a heck of a lot faster than me, haha. They are confined to a coop and enclosed run area so it's pretty easy for me to look for wet spots... Which are none. They are getting the oyster shells and laying pellets along w scratch and worms, but I'm not sure of the pellet make up so I'll need to check into that. I appreciated all feedback!
     
  5. lsuchey

    lsuchey Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2013
    Santee, Ca
    Wouldn't you know it... Of course, went out this afternoon and found my first egg... About a 1/4 of the size I would expect but it's a hard shelled beauty. I hope they get bigger over time or I'll need to get 10 more hens to make an omelet thanks again for you help!
     
  6. BSL Egger

    BSL Egger Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Awesome. If that one hen keeps eating hers then put blinders on her and fill the egg with mustard. That's would I did and it worked.
     
  7. lsuchey

    lsuchey Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2013
    Santee, Ca
    Thank you all for sharing your expertise and ideas. Blessings!
     
  8. WildfireSmitty

    WildfireSmitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bet her next egg will be enormous.
     
  9. BSL Egger

    BSL Egger Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2015
    Her eggs might be small for a little while. They don't take too long to get to the large either. One day will be 1.2 oz, next 1.45 oz, next is 1.7 and so on
     

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