It's a mystery to me - BEAUTIFUL egg one day, then......

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bmichlig, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. bmichlig

    bmichlig New Egg

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    Jul 13, 2007
    Bigfork, Mt
    nothing for a day or two, followed by two paper thin shelled eggs, both broken.

    We've got 3 and a half hens (the half has a twisted beak and is abotu half the size of her sisters, despite twice daily feedings of rice, avocado, bread, cottage cheese, tofu, salad, cooked carrots, bulgur wheat, meusli, oatmeal, applesauce, meal worms and crickets, both free range and from the bait shop...you get the picture.) The first to lay was Trixie on August 28 or so. Beautiful eggs right out of the chute, so to speak. Celadon green, as big as mediums from the grocery (they're Araucanas). Strong shells

    She's gotten very good at laying in the next box. But the schedule seems unpredictable.

    And then she'll take a hiatus, and the follow up is to lay 2 eggs with aforementioned paper thin shells.

    Could it be that someone else is laying these?

    And how do you get hens to eat grit and oyster shell? kWe put both out, but have NEVER seen anyone even peck at the stuff. I put it in dishes, scatter it on the ground, pour it in piles around their run, etc.

    I've taken to sprinkling a tiny bit of oyster shell on the elaborate breakfast and dinner these girls get. Oh - they also get layer's crumble as their primary feed, plus scratch as snacks/dessert.

    At this rate our eggs are running $18 a dozen. Now, I didn't get into this solely because I thought I'd save a bundle on grocery store eggs, but this is getting, well, odd.

    When I tell my rancher friends about our girls, they just shake their heads and say it's time to get the fryer going.

    I say NEVER.

    But still - I've had a single 2 egg omelet, DH has had same, and we have given a whopping 4 eggs to a friend. So we still haven't seen a whole dozen.

    What do you think? What can I do to help the girls along?

    tia
     
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Has the weather been really hot?
     
  3. bmichlig

    bmichlig New Egg

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    Jul 13, 2007
    Bigfork, Mt
    No, not at all - sort of mid 70s during the day, sometimes a bit higher, cooler nights in the high 30s and low 40s.

    Oh - no roosters around. Could that have an effect on their, uh, willingness to lay?

    thank you for your reply, btw!
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Roosters have No effect on egg production whatsoever.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  5. karri25

    karri25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know about how a rooster would affect their laying but...unfortunately I have heard that many aracaunas (sp) don't lay well. I have heard that they lay sporadically. I hope that everything will correct itself and you end up with so many eggs you don't know what to do with them. If you don't end up like that than I suggest getting some sex links. I have 14 cinnamons and they lay everyday. I am sorry that you are going through this whole egg waiting gam ething, I hate it. I thought I was going to go crazy before my girls started laying!
     
  6. bmichlig

    bmichlig New Egg

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    Jul 13, 2007
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    Thank you - Yeah, the whole rooster debacle. I read in several places that roos weren't needed, but my hubby's father INSISTS they are, but then we google or wiki it, and nope, no roos necessary. Then we'll chat with a rancher, and he'll insist that we're doomed to be eggless since we are also roosterless, and on and on and on it goes.

    We knew going in that the Araucanas weren't the BEST layers, but that's ok. They're as much family members as our golden retriver and border collie and four indoor cats. We love them like family!

    But still - those first four eggs were so beautiful and delicious they just make me feel greedy hungry for fresh eggs!
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Not every chicken lays an egg every day and any type of stress will affect the eggshell quality. Actually, most hens lay better WITHOUT being hassled by a rooster. He, in and of himself, is a form of stress, especially if he's really frisky. And you will definitely not save money with your own flock. You will, however, have much healthier eggs from healthier, happier chickens, plus organic fertilizer and bug control AND entertainment.
    If some old-timer insists you need a rooster, ask him if a woman needs a man to ovulate. That's what an egg is, for heavens sake!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2007
  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Agrees with Speckled 100%...your hens probably are eating their oyster shell and grit you just don't see them doing it...I just have mine setting out in the henhouse and they eat it only when they need it....

    Also you might try hot pepper flakes ( yes, the kind you get in a plastic spice bottle that they put on pizza!) shaken in their feed once in awhile...just mix alittle in the top of their feed...for some reason this helps get their egg production back in swing.....
     

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