Going throughthe motions but no egg.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by First Lady, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. First Lady

    First Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    Yesterday when I opened the pen to let the girls out to free range, my only layer, Hattie, stayed right near the pen door. The other three girls ran to their favorite spot under the apple trees to scratch around. We figured maybe it was egg laying time, so just watched, and sure enough, Hattie went up into the coop and into the nest box. We've seen her normal egg laying routine, and this was no different. She fixed the flakes to her liking, moved the golf ball underneath her, her comb went pale, she began to pant and pulse and sang the song. I checked on her a couple of times and she was doing all the usual things.

    I noticed something odd looking on the ground of the pen, underneath a roost bar. It was an empty egg shell, broken but not in pieces, much lighter in color than the eggs I've been getting, and not as thick as a regular egg shell. No evidence of the contents to be found. Does this mean I'm going to have a bunch of egg eaters now?

    About half an hour later Hattie came out of the coop and had some crumble, then joined the other girls for some scratching around time.

    I went to the nest box expecting to find an egg but there was nothing.

    Hattie is a 26 week old Buckeye who has been laying like a pro from her very first egg. We were there to witness the first one, and her behavior yesterday was exactly like the other two times we've been out with them and she has laid an egg.

    I'm scratching my head because she seems fine in every way except that she went through all the motions but never laid an egg. The day before she had laid a gigantic egg. Is she just making up for the huge one? But why go through the motions if she wasn't going to lay? And it's very possible one of the other girls laid the soft-shelled egg in the pen, but I just don't know. Hattie has always laid her eggs in a nest box, or at least tried to (one managed to be just outside the nest box).

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. First Lady

    First Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Just an update, yesterday I caught them eating a shellless (shell less?) or soft shell egg. The membrane was there, they had emptied the contents, but there was no yolk. Again, it was on the ground of the pen, not in the nest box. I have not gotten a regular egg since the gigantic monster egg from Hattie a couple of days ago. Is she perhaps laying these soft shelled and shellless eggs to allow for a little respite after passing a watermelon?[​IMG]

    Still no egg today, either.

    I'm still confused about why she did the whole egg laying ritual without laying an egg if she had dropped the soft shell egg before.

    If anyone has any insight, I'd be very appreciative of a response.[​IMG]
     
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is Hattie getting supplementary calcium?

    She is still pretty young and sometimes it can take a while for the egg works to settle in. It's not unusual to get some shell less eggs or double yolk eggs during this time. Once in a while there will be a genetic issue that causes these glitches on an ongoing basis.

    I have one that will lay a thin shelled or no shell egg every once in a while, even after being a year old. And, yes, the others will eat it. Fortunately, they only eat these eggs that are easy to get at and leave the hard shell eggs alone.
     
  4. mtnhens4

    mtnhens4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 30 wk. old BO that (as far as I know) has never laid an egg but everyday she goes to the nesting box, gets comfortable, stays for an hour maybe and then comes out singing at the top of her lungs but THERE"S NO EGG:he
    Maybe your hen just goes through the motions out of habit, since she's laid an egg a day for a while? I think that mine has just watched her flock-mates and is so embarassed that she just pretends to lay an egg, after all "Who's going to know? except the crazy lady who steals all of the eggs". LOL
     
  5. First Lady

    First Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Thanks for the responses, Yay Chicks and mtnhens!

    As of today, I have added oyster shell in the offerings, and they have all been getting egg shells fed back to them for a while, ground of course. Their favorite treat is raisins which do have some calcium, but I'm sure it doesn't really count as a supplement.

    I am hopeful that mine will also only eat these easy to get eggs and leave the good ones for us! And your explanation, mtnhens, for why she still went through the motions makes a lot of sense.

    Thank you both![​IMG]
     
  6. First Lady

    First Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, this morning when DH went out to let the girls out of the coop, there was an egg. It's another gigantic egg, sandy/gritty in texture, and one end is dented in but is not broken. It's like maybe it was still a little soft when she laid it and the end buckled, and then it hardened that way. And it was not in the nest box, just out in the flake in the coop.

    Why is she laying these enormous eggs? And is it painful? Is this why she took a couple of days off? Is there a way to keep them from being so huge?

    Too many questions in one post.[​IMG]
     
  7. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC First Lady! [​IMG]

    All kinds of strange eggs happen for pullets- sort of "working out the equipment" - although as I mentioned on UTT-I have one hen who occasionally lays a whopper egg and another who lays an occasional no shell egg- even though they've been at it for three years. Right now they are molting- so I'm getting no eggs [​IMG]
    Here is a photo of the giant egg in a carton next to three large eggs and me holding it
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. KandiandJerry

    KandiandJerry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good Night...that has to hurt....[​IMG]
     
  9. First Lady

    First Lady Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] Good grief, c4c, that is a real whopper! Did you put an ice pack in her nest box?

    Hattie has finally given us a couple of good eggs, regular sized and hard shelled.

    Here are some pics of my giant double-yolker (which was delicious, BTW). The smaller one is one of the regular eggs my good Hattie lays, still nothing to sneeze at.

    All clickies cluckies.[​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. chick4chix

    chick4chix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WOW! Your Hattie is no slouch in the giant egg department! Those are gorgeous whoppers! [​IMG]
    Ruby who lays the goose egg- is my best layer- she lays about 5 jumbo eggs a week (sometimes more) and lays the longest before molting and starts back up the soonest after. When she resumes laying after the molt, she will lay one or two of the whopper double yolkers then goes back to her normal jumbo egg. It will be interesting to see if Hattie is similar.
     

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