I have question that is bothering me however I need to give some background

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dwells, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Dwells

    Dwells Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So at the start of this year I decided I wanted to start raising a couple chickens. My family is all involved. We hoped for fresh eggs and a great life lesson for my kids. I started by getting 3 Delaware and one Buckeye hen ( I wanted all Delaware) when they were hatched. Unfortunately two of the Delawares turned out to be roosters which i am not allowed. The place where I got them offered me a Wyandotte then gave an additional California White. As luck would have it the Wyandotte which turned out to be the most popular among my kids and wife, it too turned out to be a roo. When I get a rooster, I take it to a feed store that always takes in the roo's. I did not want to do the Craigslist thing as I did not want the roos to end up in a cock fighting situation, this might make me weird but so be it. One day when I took the gorgeous Wyandotte in they traded it for an older Easter egg-er which someone dropped of the day before, She is a cool tan and brown and when i got her home I noticed she was injured. Serious wounds to her lower back near the tail feathers with feathers missing. I kept her separate from the other 3 and hoped for the best. I treated her wounds kept an eye on her and she is now completely healed and seems very happy.
    Now the question I have is if she is passed her laying years. No one knew her age and her nails were overgrown. She gets her nails clipped until they are back to normal. She is older for sure but not sure how many years. I have had her for about 2 months and nothing yet. I have included a couple pics. One of her back where her injuries were, the new feathers cover the old wound site and the other is of her as good as I could get.
    I am new to raising my own chickens but I have been around my uncles as a kid. I am learning this as I go. Out of the other chickens my Delaware started laying 5 days ago and so far is one egg per day. I know the Delawares mature faster and may be why she is the first to lay. the others haven't started yet but they were hatched on may first this year and should start soon.
    I and the family are excited about having brown, white and what ever color the Easter egg-er lays if she is not past her laying years.
    As long winded as I am here my question is if the injured americuana is not laying due to the injuries which are healed now, or if she is past her laying years?
    If she is, she is going to just be a pet chicken living out her years. I am hoping I could get a ray of hope she is still laying capable. I have seen the blue and green eggs from these chickens and would love for my kids to see it too.
    Any and all answers are greatly appreciated. I prefaced the photos by stating she is currently in a very large dog kennel at the moment until I can introduce her to the others.
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  2. auburn

    auburn Out Of The Brooder

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    Welcome to the site! First of all I'm sorry about your rooster problems, it's disappointing to become attached to a bird and then not be able to keep it. I'm glad you have somewhere you can take them, though. I'm too worry about where my roosters end up. Though I think I might rather them get eaten then end up in cock fighting.

    As for your hen, if she seems healthy and normal, I'd say it's an age thing. Hard to tell by looking. She's very pretty, though! Good luck on your chicken experiences! [​IMG]
     
  3. BorneHomestead

    BorneHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found this info on this website, http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/livestocksystems/di1182.html

    It is relatively easy to determine whether or not a hen is in production. Check the condition of the comb, pubic bones, abdomen, and vent. If a hen is laying, her comb and wattles should be large, red, soft, and waxy; the pubic bones should be flexible and wide apart; the abdomen should be full, soft, and pliable; and the vent should be large, moist, and free of pigment. A good layer should have more than two fingers spread between the pubic bones and three or more fingers spread between the pubic bones and the tip of the keel.
    When a hen is out of production, her comb and wattles may be small, pale, and shriveled; the pubic bones are rigid and close together; the abdomen is hard and tight; and the vent is small, dry, and pigmented. Do not confuse a fatty abdomen with one that is soft and pliable due to laying condition.
     
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    She doesn't strike me as looking like a particularly old bird. In fact she looks much like most if the pullets you see on here wanting sexing so maybe she just hasn't reached laying age yet. Mind you take that with a grain of salt as my disclaimer is I know nothing about Easter eggers. lol

    Mind you looking again they aren't the longer rooster neck feathers starting to show there in that second photo are they??
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  5. Dwells

    Dwells Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and thanks for the reply. To me she does look like she is around 3-4 years old. I too spotted the feathers around the neck and that was my first thought too, but so far not signs of spur buds or trying to crow so I think i am good there. Her nails were bad. very long and overgrown. I hade to clip them back a few times to where she seems more comfortable now. It may seem a bit much but a happy chicken is a producing chicken. Thanks again for the answer.
     
  6. Dwells

    Dwells Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great information, thanks for the advise. I will check that link and go from there. This is an awesome site.
     
  7. Dwells

    Dwells Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply. I seem to think it may be an age thing. She is an awesome looking bird and the family loves her. So if she doesn't start to lay she will have to be happy as a pet chicken. I haven't been doing this for even year and in this time I have had problems with breeders, too many roosters when i purchased hens and one injured rooster that i managed to bring back to health. In this short 5 months and all the problems I am just as excited today as I was when I purchased my first birds.
    It was funny because my kids kept asking (wife too) when the hens wold start laying and I told them what I had read which was 5-6 months. 5 days ago my kids went out to clean the coupe when I heard a huge ruckus outside when all three kids ran in holding 2 brown eggs from the coupe. they were both in one roosting box and since then it has been one per day. Hoping the others start soon.
    Thanks again for all the helpful advice.
     
  8. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    My silkie has very long overgrown nails on her fith toes that dont touch the ground and she is only just 12 months old so that wont nescessarily add up to older birds. Im dreading the thought they keep growing in the curve they are on and they hit her leg as they are black toenails and I cant see where to cut if needed.

    Well she has been under a lot of stress the poor thing, being attacked by a rooster by the sounds of it them shipped to a store and then to you and then having to find her little niche in a new flock. Hopefully she relaxes enough soon to give you some eggs but it sounds like she has finally found a good home at least :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  9. Dwells

    Dwells Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hanks again. I am actually relieved to hear that the nails would not necessarily be an indication on age. I feel you frustration with trying to cut black nails, very tricky. My guess is a run in with a rooster as well, but she is doing great now so I feel you are right. Once she relaxes she will produce eggs again.
    I don't know if this will help with your chickens nails but I have found that looking at the underside of the nail you can see where the nail is hollow which can be cut easily. It is going to be very tough to know where the quick is since it extends as the nail grows. Wish I had some better advise for you there.
    I am wroking on looking at other characteristics of the hen to see if I can tell she is still producing so far 2 things i checked look promising. It is work raising chickens as I am sure you know but it has been an great stress reducer and bonding element for my family. Everyone should raise chickens.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've had hatchery Easter eggers 7 years old who still laid eggs. Not many, mind you, maybe 3 a week, and they took nice long breaks for the winter, but they still laid. I'm thinking the injury may have quit her laying, and with the time of year she may just not start up again until after Easter.

    Oh, and the bird is definitely female. Those neck feathers have that weird coloring that makes them look long and pointy and fools folks into thinking they have a rooster, but the feather itself is rounded. That's a hen color all the way.
     

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