How long is a hen considered a "new" layer?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by horsewishr, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    My 10-month-old RIR is turning into a very unpredictable layer. Tonight, when I went to lock up the coop, she was sitting in the nest (which none of my girls has EVER done at night), and had just layed a warm, rubber-shelled egg. What's up with THAT? Shouldn't she know better than that by now? I'm sure the egg would have been just fine if she'd held onto it 'til morning.

    Her eggs are every shape, color, and size. She was my most regular layer for the first several months, but now she's the worst. It makes me wonder if there's something wrong with her.

    Edited to add: I forgot to mention that, a few days ago, she layed a double-shelled egg (with the outside shell being rubbery).

    Anybody have an opinion on what's going on with her?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2008
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    It depends on a number of possible issues. Are you providing additional light to meet the 14 hours required for optimal laying? Are you providing oyster shells free choice? Do you provide layer feed for the girls? Have your pullets had a first molt? It is possible she has reached the end of her first clutch also. Just some thoughts....

  3. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    The egg laying process is a complicated chain of events that occurs inside the chicken's reproductive tract. After the bare yolk is dropped into that egg factory all the various parts are added. Thick albumen (white), thin albumen, inner shell membrane, outer shell, pigment (color) and then finally the finished egg is dropped.

    They do a pretty good job of keeping everything in the proper order but there is a lot going on in there and sometimes during the trip things don't go exactly as they are supposed to. That's when we get double yolks, blood spots, soft shells, missing outer shells, odd shapes, huge eggs, tiny eggs, etc. With most hens if something goes wrong their next eggs will be perfectly normal.

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