Hen laying but sitting in box for 6+ hours per day

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flopschocolate, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. flopschocolate

    flopschocolate Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2011
    Albuquerque
    Hi! I have a ~9 month old Delaware hen (Bessie) who has been laying since April. She lays pretty regularly though her eggs are a bit small compared to her sister (Gertrude) which is the same age and breed. My main concern is that she often spends a majority of the day sitting in the box trying to lay. Also her comb is a bit shriveled and very pale compared to the other Delaware. She doesn't seem broody to me and never has a problem with me taking the eggs. She will just sit in the box for 6+ hours and makes a lot of noise when she lays. Once she has laid she will leave the box and roam with the rest of the flock. Anyone experienced a hen like this? Could it be some kind of vitamin/nutrient deficiency? Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Kitty Cat

    Kitty Cat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Campos De La Gracia
    It sounds like a deficiency to me. If she isn't acting broody there's no reason why she should sit for so long. Her pale comb certainly is a sign that something isn't quite right with her. Try getting some vitamins and see how she does. If her eggshells are soft then it could be calcium problems but being so young she shouldn't have that problem, however there's a first for everything. You could try electrolytes as well.

    Good Luck!!
     
  3. flopschocolate

    flopschocolate Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2011
    Albuquerque
    Any ideas on what the deficiency might be? She eats the same as my other hens who aren't having any problems... They eat a 22% layer feed, oyster shells and bugs from the garden (whatever bugs there may be in the desert that's been on fire lately...) scraps from my kitchen/garden and occasionally some pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
     
  4. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
    Georgia
    Have you looked at her vent area to make sure there are no tears or problems that would be causing her pain?
     
  5. flopschocolate

    flopschocolate Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 7, 2011
    Albuquerque
    I haven't seen anything but I'll take a look in the morning. What should I do if i find a tear or some other source of pain? I've had her 4 months and she's always sat in the box a lot longer than the others. Seems to me like she has issues passing her eggs. Maybe I should lube her vent?
     

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