Hen woke up in middle of the night, laid a soft shelled egg, and started eating it.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PrettyPeachy12, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. PrettyPeachy12

    PrettyPeachy12 Hatching

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    Jun 19, 2018
    I've had my hen for over a year and she has never done anything like this. I'm worried this will be a habit and the noise to my neighbors will be the reason why I won't be able to keep my hen.

    I heard her call at midnight and found that she desperately wanted out, which is something she usually does in the morning when the sun comes up. She very specifically walked up to a table, jumped on top of it, and laid a soft-shelled egg. I moved her back into her usual coop area but she insisted to come back out. I let her out and she went back to the table where her egg was and started to eat the egg. She refuses to leave the table and is sleeping there.

    Very confused and unsure what to do about waking up in middle of the night and the egg eating. The only thing I can think of that might've awoken her is that a family member moved back in and now occupies a room with bright lights but no blinds, which pretty much brightens up my backyard, but I've used that room in the past at night and it was fine.
     
  2. Belgianchickies

    Belgianchickies In the Brooder

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    Happened to me before, a few times with different chickens and everything went back to normal in a day or two.
    Not exactly sure why it happens(in the middle of the night) but I think it will be fine, sometimes they just fail an egg.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  3. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Songster

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    This is very strange. Hens usually lay during daylight hours and if it is a soft shelled egg it's odd that she felt the need to come out of her coop in the night to lay it. Has she ever laid on that table before?
    First off you need to consider why she laid the soft shelled egg. Newly laying pullets can have issues with egg quality as well as hens going into or through a moult. Otherwise soft shells are usually due to a lack of calcium or illness. Sometimes if they are going broody and their body is going to stop egg production they can lay a soft shell or no shell egg.
    Has she laid this type of egg before?

    The good news is that hens rarely lay these eggs regularly and also hens egg laying cycles are longer than 24 hours so a hen should lay slightly later every day. This means that she shouldn't ccontinue to lay in the middle of the night for more than a few days so I wouldn't be too quick to consider rehoming her because of this.
     
    azygous and Belgianchickies like this.
  4. chuckachucka

    chuckachucka Songster

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    Just re read your post and is it possible she is broody? Hens do return to their 'nest' sometimes even if that nest is actually a table and if they find a soft egg they will eat it because it doesn't register as an egg in their minds. However they will usually leave the nest again.
     
    Belgianchickies likes this.
  5. PrettyPeachy12

    PrettyPeachy12 Hatching

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    Jun 19, 2018
    Thanks everyone! She calmed down and I moved her back to her usually sleeping area, where she stayed for the rest of the night.

    It's about 12 hours later, she tried to lay another egg, sang her egg song, but no egg. Will update for future readers.
     
    chuckachucka likes this.
  6. Belgianchickies

    Belgianchickies In the Brooder

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    Next egg will be fine, I'm 90% sure:cool:
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  7. PrettyPeachy12

    PrettyPeachy12 Hatching

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    Update: Her cycle seems to have returned to normal but have not laid eggs ever since, ~48 hours ago.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  8. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

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    is she your only bird?
     
  9. PrettyPeachy12

    PrettyPeachy12 Hatching

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    Yes, she's my only bird

    Update 2: On Thursday she laid an egg and it seemed like her cycle went back to normal, however, at night she was back up on the table with a piece of soft eggshell coming out of her vert. I helped remove the shell and she discharged what looked like clear egg whites. She also continues to roost at the table I mentioned on the initial post.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  10. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

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    that is part of you problem they are extremely social birds
    they can die of loneliness
     
    Belgianchickies likes this.

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