hen hasn't laid in a while...

Chickianado

Hatching
Nov 28, 2020
4
2
5
I am wondering if I should be worried about one of my hens - it is our first year with chickens. This hen lays blue eggs, so its easy to identify which are hers, and we haven't had one in at least 4 days. We live in the north and the days are short, so that is one factor, and she's not the most prolific layer of the flock to begin with, but I've heard hens can get egg-bound and this can be dangerous. She's behaving normally as far as we can tell - just no pretty blue egg. Should we be worried?
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
13,978
18,929
782
California's Redwood Coast
Should we be worried?
Hi there, welcome to BYC! :frow

You already hit most clues head on.. daylight, not prolific (every other day is norm for blue eggs) genetics.

Beyond hidden nest or egg thieves.. if nothing else has changed then it does NOT sound like cause for concern as described. Egg binding is usually fatal inside of 48 hours and does not allow for normal type behavior due to discomfort and toxicity. Without passing waste they also cannot take in feed for energy.

Internal laying or other reproductive disorder IS possible but that's not what this breed is known for and not truly what I suspect.

Sometimes they will have mini molts.. just enough to stop production but not enough to look like a pillow exploded or actually see bald spots and not dependent upon age as far as I can tell but perhaps a multiplicity of reasons, mostly genetic and influenced by many factors. Sometimes you can find pin feathers with inspection.

Parasites can impact production SOME.. usually by less than 10% which would be negligible and rarely noticed by home keepers. Inspection monthly is always a good idea.. and preferably after dark using a flashlight as that's the easiest way to see things including some that don;t live on the bird but come out to feed on them at roost.

Funny on me.. I didn't see chick IA nado.. chick eee uh nah doe.. like aficionado.. clever. :thumbsup

I saw chick NADO.. chick nay doe,, like sharknado! :lol:

And uhm I'm so good at chicken math.. it felt like a weather prediction.. that I think already took place at my house! :eek:

If your ladies behavior changes to things like.. not eating or drinking, not leaving the nest box, or hunched stance with tail pumping, not accepting favorite treats, staying on roost in daytime.. anything that seems off compared to normal.. then quick action is key, starting with checking crop function. It's good to stay aware of things though and egg laying is one of those things that can be a key indicator.. one reasons why I keep track of who lays, how often, where, etc.. and one reason why O love having different colored eggs. Sounds like you're on top of it, so keep up the good eye and never be afraid to ask! :highfive:
 

Chickianado

Hatching
Nov 28, 2020
4
2
5
So now the same hen has pin feathers - she was obviously not egg bound because it sounds like that would be become fatal within days, and she's still happily pecking about the yard, not laying eggs. She was hatched in April, would it be normal for a chicken to molt in the winter? It's pretty cold outside...I looked for mites/lice and couldn't definitively find anything, but she's got these pin feathers on her head and neck as well as around her vent. I really appreciate the expertise you more experienced chicken-keepers are willing to share - has anyone seen this before?
IMG_2934.jpg
IMG_2937.jpg
 

Sally PB

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
1,805
4,197
233
Belding, MI
My chickens were hatched late March and the pullets are going through a partial molt right now. Same place yours is, neck and head area. I wasn't expecting this either. No eggs since mid-November. Sigh.
 

Joev1973

Songster
May 1, 2019
350
543
166
Hohenwald Tennessee
My Coop
Im in South Tennessee. 2 weeks ago I was getting 30 eggs per day. White brown blue green. Last week started finding 6 or 7. Last 3 days found 3 then 2 then 1. Winter solstice? Anyhow your bird is probably ok. Merry Christmas
 

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