French black copper marans quit laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stormrobin, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. stormrobin

    stormrobin Songster

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    i have a French black copper marans hen that was laying quite well as daylight hours were getting longer and now she isn’t laying at all. This has been going on for about week and a half two weeks. Is this normal? I’ve checked all over the coop and all around the run. No eggs to be found. She is almost a year old, id say 10-11 months-ish.
     
  2. orrpeople

    orrpeople Grading essays - be back soon!

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    That's a little long, unless she's having an off season molt, or she's broody (doesn't sound like that though). How is her over all health? Eating, drinking, pooping normally?
    Sounds like she doesn't free range, which greatly reduces the "hidden eggs" possibility. My Marans are not fabulous layers, but don't usually take extended breaks during the more productive time of year. :)
     
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  3. orrpeople

    orrpeople Grading essays - be back soon!

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    Also, during their laying cycle, Marans eggs can lighten up in color - do you have other brown layers with whom her eggs could be mistaken?
     
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  4. stormrobin

    stormrobin Songster

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    Hers by far have been way darker but yes most of my birds are brown layers. Barred rocks, road island red, light Brahma, silver laced wyandotte, black australorp. Her health seems good. Eats, drinks, i I haven’t seen any strange poo in the coop or run, but I can try hanging around to see if I can catch her poop. She’s early to bed but has always been that way. She’s still on of the first to meet me at the gate. I don’t notice any feathers missing, but I’ve heard some can be sneaky. And no not free range, worry too much about predators and dogs.
     
  5. orrpeople

    orrpeople Grading essays - be back soon!

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    I'd just watch her for a bit longer. Worst case scenario is that cessation of laying may indicate illness. Best case scenario is that she's still laying, but her eggs have been mistaken for someone else's. Do take a look at her poop and her overall demeanor (eating, drinking, socializing) to see if anything else has changed. :)
     
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  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    My BCMs had a sneaky spell last summer where they started hiding eggs after 6 months of laying in the nest boxes. Mine do free range and I didn't find some of them until the depths of winter when the vegetation had died back, so they can be creative. Check under the coop if you haven't already. That said, hens do sometimes take time out for any number of reasons. It may be that there is a predator lurking around outside at night that is stressing her or she may be having a mini moult. What is has her shell quality been like? If she was laying thin shelled eggs they could be getting broken and eaten. How has your weather been? Sometimes poor weather or dull conditions can affect them or very windy weather. Or she could be coming down with a virus or having problems with internal parasites or suffering a reproductive malfunction or her eggs may have become paler.... usually the shape will stay the same.

    If it is any consolation my egg production was just picking up until a couple of weeks ago and has now slumped and several of my girls have not laid for at least 10 days. My ladies are 3+ years though so more sporadic laying is inevitable.
    If she looks healthy, all you can do is monitor her for any signs of weakness/illness, maybe examine her on a night when she is roosting for any abdominal swelling and compare to hens that are laying, by cupping your hand between their legs and feeling the breast bone to assess body condition and perhaps have a faecal sample tested for worm eggs. Here in the UK it costs about £10 for mail order service for a poultry worm egg count and you often get next day results. Vets usually charge more if you can find one to do it. It is cheaper to use a lab that deals with livestock samples rather than a small or exotic pet service.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
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  7. stormrobin

    stormrobin Songster

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    Weather has been sporadic. Some really nice days some not so much. I’ll check around some more for eggs. My blue Andalusian did the same thing but that was back in mid January. I’ll wait just a bit longer see if she starts up just she seems healthy. Thank you. :)
     

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