Hen newly laying, sorta

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PeckingAround, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. PeckingAround

    PeckingAround Just Hatched

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    Jun 16, 2016
    West Texas
    My Coop
    I have two production reds and two leg horns and a rhode island red rooster. They are all around the same age, 17-18 weeks. The leg horns might be a week or two older, not really sure.

    One production red started laying about three weeks ago. She started out laying the soft eggs, which I know is not unusual. She would lay them in the roosting area, or on the ground, one time she actually laid it in the nesting box. However they were never a daily lay. Her first egg she went 2-3 days without laying, then laid an egg two days in a row. Her first hard egg was laid in the roosting area and broke, then the next day another soft. Finally got a normal egg and it was half eaten. I suspect that she might have laid more soft eggs before we checked them in the morning and they got eat maybe? After the normal eaten egg she didn't have an egg for a few days, laid another soft, then nothing for about 4 days now. We suspect the other production red may have laid a soft egg because there were two early one morning.

    But we are concerned that the days there are no eggs they have eaten it completely. We have laid a fake wood egg in there to try and trick them, check the nesting area early in the morning and before noon and before bed. We have odd work schedules so sometimes it gets checked more than that.

    We do not totally free range because we live way out in the country with way to many predators, including our dogs. We do however let them out (dogs not out at the same time LOL) for several hours twice a day when we are home, and for several hours (2-3) on busy work days (this is only twice a week when our work schedules over lap). We have found no evidence of egg laying outside of the nesting area either. They pretty much stay around the house and inside the yard.

    Does anyone have any advice? Could we have all egg eaters and just not find any residual evidence of it? Or is it normal for early layers to be so sporadic? Oh and we give them oyster shell, plenty of feed in the coop, plus all the goodies they get when they are out of the coop. The first chickens we had were leg horns and other than a few soft eggs at first they laid every day and were very predictable. Unfortunately they both died of different circumstances.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    In my experience, hens always eat soft shelled eggs, but it does not mean that they are "egg eaters" as no "normal" eggs are ever eaten. Sporadic laying is perfectly normal for new layers and it should sort itself out.

    CT
     
  3. Chickenmanjim7

    Chickenmanjim7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2015
    Aberdeen, Washington
    and there is usually some kind of mess left behind after eating an egg. Check under the bedding in the nesting box. There usually is some sign of it.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto Dat^^^


    It might be a good idea to keep them totally confined until they are well in the habit of laying in the coop nests.
    Chickens like consistency, good habits can be 'trained'.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, it usually happens with freshly laying hens. give them a few months and everything will sort its self out.
    Sometimes a spook in the night will cause the egg to fall out before the shell is fully made.
    Any fox around at night? Easy way to know is put flour out around the outside of the coop to see what tracks are there in the morning.
     
  6. PeckingAround

    PeckingAround Just Hatched

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    Jun 16, 2016
    West Texas
    My Coop
    Thanks all! I was just concerned because the one hard egg I found was half eaten. I just checked the nesting boxes and looked through the nesting material and the bottom of the box, no yolk/egg whites or broken shells. I was just getting concerned at the lack of eggs after so many days. Last years leg horns only missed a few days before their production kicked into high gear. I'm learning so much with these ladies.

    Even though we live out in the middle of the country we have the chickens in a small coop (big enough for 6 chickens) in the yard. It is butted up against the house, the coop itself has cinder blocks buried at the bottom to prevent anything digging in. The yard is a 4 and half foot privacy fence with a concrete sealed bottom. While we do have foxes and coyotes in the area we haven't seen any evidence of them around the house, or inside the yard. We have plans to build a much larger coop behind the house at a later date. We just wanted to start out small and make sure we could figure out what we were doing.

    We do have two dachshunds but the chickens don't seem to care about them, they just stare back and talk to me, no upset clucking. I take that back they are upset at me and wanting out, they tell me so lol. When I let the chickens out the dogs are not allowed out with them. The dogs don't bother the coop usually unless we are by it, they will sit and stare, every once in a while I have to tell one to get off the fencing. Now when we first put the coop up the dogs were really at it, but they have calmed since then. That was a 4 months ago. Technically the coop was up a year ago, but 4 months ago was when the yard fence was complete and the dogs now have full access to the whole yard.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Sounds like you have it covered!

    Enjoy the chickens.
     
  8. PeckingAround

    PeckingAround Just Hatched

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    0
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    Jun 16, 2016
    West Texas
    My Coop
    Looks like I should have just been more patient. A nice pretty brown egg was here this afternoon. Left alone, neatly laid next to the fake egg.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016

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