Hen not laying, but going through the motions.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mamasunseri, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. mamasunseri

    mamasunseri Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Hello,

    Has anyone ever heard of a hen going through the motions of laying an egg, but not laying one?

    I have a RIR of undetermined age. She laid daily when we got her last year. This summer, around June (I live in CA), she began to lay eggs that were sort of lopsided, and some had wrinkles in the shell at the small end of the egg. Then she laid a soft egg and I figured she'd gone into a molt because then I saw some red feathers around. However, her molt was very light, not like I've seen in my other chicken who loses a majority of her feathers. So she stopped laying, but that was months ago. Since then, she goes into the nest and scratches around in there, going through the motions of laying, but comes out having laid nothing. She's very healthy, shiny and youthful looking, receives a diet of laying crumbles and always has fresh water. They are free range most of the time. I don't know if they've been stressed lately. I did move their coop, but she'd stopped laying a long time before that.

    If she were old, wouldn't she taper off laying eggs instead of stopping so suddenly? If she were egg-bound, wouldn't she appear sick? If she's an internal layer, are there any signs?

    I appreciate any input.

    I read this article: http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20763/pnw565.pdf to find answers, but didn't see anything.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  2. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Oct 8, 2010
    mn
    I wish I could help, I have two hens doing this. They are just over 2 yrs old and were good layers until the heat stress. They'll go into the nest box for several minutes or half hour or so and come out singing the song and I'll go check and nothing. This has been going on for a few weeks now. Mine were heat stressed but now look totally recovered and very healthy. They have been doing the squat for about 2 months. Besides the heat stress they are now in a new coop, much bigger and nicer and have AC when it's needed. The new coop could have caused stress but they should be over it by now. They have free range time every day.
    Good luck finding an answer.
     
  3. mamasunseri

    mamasunseri Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2010
    Napa, CA
    Interesting. Mine will squat too. The one thing we might have in common is stress, I guess. I'm hoping the situation will right itself come spring!
     

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