Hen started laying eggs again?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Timberlane, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Timberlane

    Timberlane In the Brooder

    May 11, 2011
    One of my hens is older (more than 3 but could be as old as 5) and she has lived with me for about 6-7 weeks now. I got her because she was supposedly not laying anymore. That was the case for most of the time I have had her. Just today I found a pile of eggs in what I assume is her adopted nest box. There are seven whole one and 2 or 3 broken ones. Is it possible that she just started laying again? Has anyone else seen this? I am 90% positive they are hers. She is the only one that travels that far from the coop and my other two, which are white rocks, are only 14 weeks old. She free ranges during the day and some days I don't let them out of the coop and there has never been an egg in the coop. I am new to chickens, so this is a big mystery to me!

    p.s. Can I eat them if I just found them today? It has been up into the low 80's here during the day and I have no idea how long they have been there...Maybe I'll just hard boil them and feed them to the dogs. I'd hate to waste them, she worked so hard making those eggs!
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I wouldn't eat them because though they won't have chicks or anything in there, they could be bad since you don't know how old they are. Yes, it could very well be her. She may have either started laying again or never really stopped. Often, they don't lay as well and people say they "quit laying" but really they just aren't laying every day.
  3. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg Premium Member Project Manager

    Mar 31, 2011
    Wodland, CA
    My Coop

    You can eat them! Eggs last a long time if they are not processed to remove the protection. Seven eggs could be 14 days old from an older chicken.

    Growing up in the country in the 60's and 70's, we often had chickens lay outside of the run and coop.

    Here's what you do:

    Smell the egg before cracking it open--if it smells sulfurish toss it
    crack each egg into a separate bowl. If it looks good it is fine. If you ever watch Paula Dean cook, she does this with her eggs.

    In Europe they do not refrigerate their eggs.

    Back Yard chicken eggs are a terrible thing to waste.

    Enjoy the new older chicken.

  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    In Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, Gail Damerow says 'it's easy to determine an eggs age by placing it in water'.

    She goes on to have a drawing of a pan filled with water:

    Egg flat on the bottom is fresh.
    Tipped up is 1-week old.
    Standing with end down but still submerged, stale at 2-3 weeks old.
    Floating = very old.

    This is because the air cell grows as the egg ages.

    I wonder if you are providing better care and nutrition than the previous owner and thus the hen can start laying again.
  5. Timberlane

    Timberlane In the Brooder

    May 11, 2011
    Well the nutrition is the same, but she is not longer being picked on by other chickens and harassed by roosters. She also gets to free range for about 10-12 hours each day, so I guess her food source is a little better. I think she is just happy!

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