if I don't get eggs every day does that mean something's wrong with my hens?

jsmith2952

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2013
115
7
121
Ontario, Canada
Hi all,

I have 3 red star chickens--about 22 weeks now. All three have been laying for the past few weeks. Yesterday, I only got two eggs. I wasn't too worried as I had read somewhere that chickens lays on average every 25 hours or so. Today, though, same thing, only two eggs! Now, all three seem to be in good health, foraging my backyard as usual, getting into mischief, as usual. And for the life of me I can't figure out who's laying and who's not, since their eggs all look pretty much the same. Is there cause for concern yet? I'm a brand new chicken owner and have "googled" myself into a panic, thinking that they have everything from avian pox to other things I can't even pronounce!

And as a side question: What is a drooping comb? Two of my red stars' combs are quite large and sort of flop over on the top a bit. The third one had a really tiny comb so it just sticks straight up. When I googled the term, I didn't really get a definitive answer.

Also, while I'm asking a ton of behavior/egg questions: why do my chickens prefer to drink dirty old water from puddles than drink the nice clean stuff in their coop?

Thanks in advance!
 

sagr75

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 13, 2013
31
1
36
central Louisiana
I have nine red sex links, I think maybe the same type of chickens just a different name. They have been laying for about four or five weeks. Now I have been getting eight eggs a day for the last nine days, I am sure not complaining but like you it seems strange that it is always eight and never nine. So I can't answer your question as I am kind of the same way, but there is nothing I would do any different with one even if she was not laying my wife would fry me instead of the chicken.Besides we think we are very lucky with The eight a day. Sorry not much help.
 

jsmith2952

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2013
115
7
121
Ontario, Canada
@sagr74--yes, they're sex links. i think the name is pretty interchangeable. i would be thrilled with two eggs everyday and feel much like you do about not particularly caring if they all lay all the time. I'm more concerned that there could be something wrong and i want to make sure that if there is I catch it as soon as possible.
My husband did mention in passing tonight that if I didn't have something to worry about i wouldn't know what to do with myself...

thanks for your info though. knowing i'm not the only one sometimes helps too! :)
 

sbhkma

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
921
605
211
Texas-Just a little bit South of Weird
I have 5 hens. I get 3-4 eggs a day on average. Earlier this week I got 2 eggs 2 days in a row. It happens. They're not the most prolific egg layers, which was intentional-it's just the two of us and they're more for bug control and entertainment than eggs. If you look at the average yearly production, you'll see its very typical to miss a day or two a week for many breeds. As long as they're looking happy and healthy, it's all good. Of course, unless they're free ranging and found a better place to lay so you can play the Easter Egg Hunt!
 

jsmith2952

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2013
115
7
121
Ontario, Canada
@sbhkma--that's good to know. I'll have to take a look around and see if one of them has found a little cozy spot to play hide and seek with me...I just worry because it was so consistently everyday for the last 3 weeks or so (which sounds so dumb when i read it back, like 3 weeks is sooo long!!) My egg farmer friend (who gave us our girls) also told me not to worry, that I was out-ratioing him for egg production anyway. But, I just wanted to be sure that I wasn't missing a sign because I'm a newbie.

Thanks for the advice!
 

sagr75

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 13, 2013
31
1
36
central Louisiana
Just wanted you to know that the last two days that mine are nine for nine.
wee.gif
D.gif
 

RedPulletMama

Chirping
6 Years
Jul 9, 2013
188
13
73
I have red sex links also and they will typically lay for 7-9 days straight without taking a day off. They do have to have a day off every once in a while lol. Since you don't know who is laying, you don't know who is taking the day off (so to speak). If your chickens haven't been laying that long, it will take them time to get the hang of things. No cause for concern...

It is perfectly normal for them to have big combs that kinda flop over to one side also. Some of them do and some don't. That's just the way it goes. Good luck with your chickens :)
 

sbhkma

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
921
605
211
Texas-Just a little bit South of Weird
That's awesome! I got 27 eggs this week from my 5 gals. Only once have I gotten 5 for 5 but that's fine with me. Don't be worried if you suddenly see a day or two of 3 or 4 eggs, especially as the days shorten. If they look active happy and healthy, it's all good.
 

sbhkma

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
921
605
211
Texas-Just a little bit South of Weird
What is a drooping comb? Two of my red stars' combs are quite large and sort of flop over on the top a bit. The third one had a really tiny comb so it just sticks straight up. When I googled the term, I didn't really get a definitive answer.

Also, while I'm asking a ton of behavior/egg questions: why do my chickens prefer to drink dirty old water from puddles than drink the nice clean stuff in their coop?

Thanks in advance!
I have a couple of gals whose combs flop over a bit too-not the whole comb, but the back part toward the back of their head. It slightly flops to one side. Makes them look goofy but the color is good and they're eating & drinking just fine, as well as laying eggs. There's no black or pale markings on their combs. They just look like they spent too much time at the bar last night
D.gif


As for the drinking thing..do you have any additives to their water? Is the water warm/tepid or cool? If they're free ranging, I notice mine prefer to not go in the coop to drink. My gals drink from a dog bowl I placed under the evap pipe for my A/C. (So does one of the local roadrunners.) It's cooler water than their coop water, plus they like hanging out outside and ONLY go in to lay. They also like drinking water from my hands when I cup them and pour water from my water bottle. They are so spoiled.

Edited to include a photo of Groucho & her flopped over comb-she regularly gives me double-yolk eggs once a week, plus regular eggs 4 or 5 other times a week:
 
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gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
433
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
You have nothing to worry about. It is an exceptional layer which lays daily for any great length of time; very normal to take a day off now and again. With your three, the "schedule" of off days is probably cycling amongst the three of 'em.

Other things affect laying, such as excessive heat, and you may not get ANY eggs when your girls go through their first major molt. (Feathers are mostly protein, so re-growing them takes away from building eggs. I always up their protein when they molt, so some of mine will still lay some eggs while they are molting. Mostly not, though. I boost the protein to help them get through molt less painfully.)

As others have mentioned, puddles are possibly cooler than that in waterers.

And drooping combs which are still nice and red are simply Chicken Fashion Statements. :p
 
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