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Having a hard time laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by caseybean025, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. caseybean025

    caseybean025 Just Hatched

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    Ok... so I have a EE/cochin mix (bantam) who just began laying in the last couple of weeks. The concern that I have is that when she's in the nest box laying, she's usually in there for several hours. My other two that have been laying for over a month have never taken even close to that long to lay. Is this normal? Is it a new layer issue that will sort itself out eventually? She's not egg bound and does lay an egg almost daily. She just seems to have a hard time getting it out. When looking in at her, she appears to be having "contractions" or straining since I can see her butt area and tail moving in that way. If this isn't normal or something that will work itself out with age, is there anything I can do to help her? I'm worried that she's going to give herself a prolapse (I've checked and so far everything looks good still) or become egg bound at some point. Her eggs are actually quite small, so it's not an abnormally large egg problem, but they do seem to be quite round and fat most of the time. Thanks in advance for the help! I'm new at this whole chicken thing and get nervous easily.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There are some layers who have this difficulty at the beginning of an egg laying cycle. I have a seven-year old Cochin who takes days to launch her first egg every spring.

    Try inserting a heating pad on the lowest setting under the nest material in the nesting box. This will relax your girl and hopefully help her get those eggs going.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  3. caseybean025

    caseybean025 Just Hatched

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    Sep 6, 2016
    Wisconsin
    Thank you! Definitely eases my mind to know that it's somewhat of a normal thing. Will definitely try the heating pad trick tomorrow! I actually have some heat "blocks" that don't require being plugged in, so maybe that will work well for her.
     
  4. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 2 year old hen that always takes a long time in the nest box. She can be in there easily 2 hours, and she's not broody. I think she just likes the whole nesting thing.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Unless she's standing and really straining(body position would show this) I would not worry about it.
    The vent will 'contract' and move for many reasons.

    As long as she is on a good chicken ration so she's getting all the vitamins/minerals/amino acids to support nutrient uptake,
    she may be just be a 'lounger', I have several birds that seem to spend a long time in the nest, often just lounging.

    Just keep an eye on her...
     
  6. caseybean025

    caseybean025 Just Hatched

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    Sep 6, 2016
    Wisconsin
    Thanks everyone! This has definitely eased my mind. She definitely isn't standing and straining. When I peek in there, she's usually laying down all fluffed up (sometimes on the eggs someone else had already laid). As far as food, I've been feeding them Purina layer pellets and giving them plenty of oyster shell. I've also been giving them treats of some mashed sweet potato (just plain with no brown sugar or anything added), various mixed leafy greens, and sometimes mealworms and small amounts of scratch on the really cold days to get them out and moving around.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Hopefully you are not mixing the oyster shells into the feed...but providing them in a separate container.
    Sometimes too many other foods make them not eat enough ration, shorting them on protein and vitamins/minerals/amino acids.
    Can be good to go back to only ration and plain water for a couple weeks to see if that helps.
     
  8. caseybean025

    caseybean025 Just Hatched

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    Sep 6, 2016
    Wisconsin
    I was previously mixing the oyster shell in with the feed, but had read on here not to do that. I've since been putting it in a separate small dish that they can get some from if they need it. Same with the insoluble grit. I'll try not giving them treats for a bit, although I don't give them treats very often. Just very small amounts maybe 2-3 times a week at the most. And I had listed my feed wrong. It's not purina. It's nutrena nature wise layer pellets. Don't know why I always think purina. Lol.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  9. caseybean025

    caseybean025 Just Hatched

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    Sep 6, 2016
    Wisconsin
    Just to post an update, I think my issue is that she's half way wanting to go broody. The other day I went to collect the eggs and she had 3 under her that she wasn't giving up. This is how I found out that chickens can apparently growl... So far, she hasn't stayed broody for more than a day, which isn't surprising to me since she just started laying in the last few weeks.
     

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