If a Hen Falls

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ClareScifi, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    while descending from a high perch in the morning hours, say 6 a.m., and an egg cracks inside her, how will she lay that egg? Will it tend to just fall out of her later in the day, instead of being laid in a regular fashion? I mean, would she be less likely to use a nesting box to lay it because it is loosened up somehow by the fall?

    Has anyone ever had this happen?

    If she lays it and it is cracked on one side but not leaking yolk, is there a chance she will be okay and not get an infection? Even if there is one teeny bit of shell missing?

    Has anyone ever had this happen to a hen?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    A lot depends on when in the egg forming process was. If the shell has only just started to form it as the shell finishes forming it heals over the crack. Latter and most likely the hens body cushions the impact and the egg is only cracked and is laid normally. Not sure in the impact is great enough to break the membrane that whether it would be expelled quickly or not
    .
    If its not leaking there should be no further problems. If a piece of shell missing, I'd put her on watch but not overly worry, that piece could be anywhere.

    I think I got a healed over egg once, don't know why though. Have a hen fall, or just curious?
     
  3. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    Thanks, Den in Penn. Yes, this happened to my sweet girl this morning.

    I always help her down. Am waiting till my handyman gets back next week to redesign the coop. The step I built to help them up and down from their 4' high shelf where they love to sleep at night doesn't work. They use it to go up but not to go down, and it was going down I built it for, to help prevent bumblefoot. Instead, they just fly over it going down.

    Alas, my big girl always slept in the nesting box until we built the step. Then she discovered she loved the shelf. How I wish we'd never built the step. She gets up to the shelf but can't get down, so I've been getting up early and going out and lifting her down manually. She was always last. The lighter girls fly off first. I was waiting for them to come down this morning, when I hear this thud onto the pine shavings, and it was the fat girl, trying her wings. I couldn't believe it. If I'd only been watching more closely I could have saved her that fall, but I stand outside trying to see where their feet land. One girl landed on a wooden piece and I was afraid it could cause bumblefoot.

    My fat girl picked herself up and seemed fine. She seemed to have hit her breast, so I didn't think the egg would be broken. She had good energy and ate well this morning, but at about 1 or so I went out to the run and found her egg in the middle of it. Very unusual. And with the cracked side. There were like puzzle pieces of the shell broken/smashed, but not off the egg, and no yolk leaking. Only one eensy piece of shell was missing.

    It is possible that she could have laid the egg on the potting bench and it rolled off, but she's never done this before. Unless it just fell out when she was up there? I did have a hen drop an egg early one morning.

    A few weeks ago she did lay an egg in her nesting box that attached itself to her tailfeathers via poop, I think, and she carried it a good distance that way, into the greenhouse run, without it falling off her. When it finally fell off her, though, it didn't break. She has strong shells on her eggs and eats a lot of laying mash. That may be her salvation, I hope. So for this one to be broken, something must have happened...

    I suppose it could have fallen out of her and another chicken could have stepped on it, but not likely. I think it must have cracked inside her when she fell, and for some reason that trauma caused the egg to be expelled several hours later.

    I'm worried that the rough side of the egg with the cracked shell bits could have scraped her internally coming out, even if those shell bits didn't come off or get stuck inside her. Could the egg have abrazed her innards, I wonder?
     
  4. ChickNhood

    ChickNhood Chirping

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    I imagine she will be fine but would definately redisng as you mentioned... I wouldnt be too concerned though cause my girl have taken some hard falll and have all been a ok...laid cracked eggs and alll(the dogs loves em to...she dont care if a shell is broke ;-) )
     
  5. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    I'm going to get up super early tomorrow to help her down from the perch. I was so shocked she would try to jump off it like that. She's never done that before, but always waited for me to assist her.

    Today all the chickens were slow to rise. The rooster came out 15 minutes later than usual, and the first girl dilly-dallied before jumping down.

    I guess poor Esther got impatient with them, wanting her laying mash and decided to go for it.

    Really? Your girls have laid cracked eggs? What do they look like ChicknHood? Do they just have a line crack, or are some of the shell pieces actually smashed?
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    How did you determine unlaid egg is cracked?
     
  7. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    Centrarchid,

    I found the egg cracked in the run. She is my only dark brown egg layer, so I knew it was hers. The chickens have never cracked each others eggs before. It is highly unusual for an egg to be laid in the run when they have access to their nesting boxes. So putting 2 and 2 together-- her hard fall this morning and the cracked egg I found, that is my best guess. I didn't actually see her lay the egg.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Does she have something wrong with her wings?
     
  9. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    Her wings seem fine. She and the rooster are taking a dust bath together right now. Thanks for asking. She's just fat. Always has been, always will be. I fed her too much scratch and rice when she was little. I didn't realize it was bad for chickens. I was new to chicken ownership at the time. That's why she had trouble getting down from the 4' perch. Her size.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Could you put her on a restricted ration for a bit to bring weight down? With games my grandmother used to keep in henhouse for eggs, we used hog feed which caused what we called "lard butt syndrome". We did not have total loss of flight but eggs did seem to be cracked a lot. If memory serves shells were also a bit brittle. Heavy hens do not live as long as those near or even slightly below the optimal weight for egg laying.
     

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