Laying issues with young Swedish Flower Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by plethora, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. plethora

    plethora Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Hello,

    Three Swedish Flower Hens got to laying age a few weeks ago. One of them has been having issues:

    - Some eggs with no shell
    - Some with shells that are deformed or oddly shaped
    - Often goes to the nest box for an hour or so, but comes up empty
    - Seems to act lethargic/depressed when having trouble getting an egg out, but seems good otherwise
    - Never seen her eat oyster shells, though the other birds do

    I was hoping this would quickly pass, but it's been 3 weeks now. When we notice her acting depressed, we've been providing some homemade yogurt with oyster shell flakes mixed in. Not sure if she's lacking the instinct to supplement calcium, is sick, or if this is normal?

    All three of them forage like crazy, but they eat a good amount of their layer feed as well.

    Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    It is normal for a few off eggs when they begin laying as well as going in and out of the nestboxes, some can take a while before they can correctly feel an egg coming, and some will sit in the nest for hours before laying, it doesn't mean anything. What do you mean by being depressed, if she's eating fine she's probably okay, there are some diseases that can cause odd eggs. I wouldn't force her to eat oyster shells, if she needs them she will eat them.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Good advice from oldhenlikesdogs.

    Oyster shell should be always available in a separate dish/feeder.
    They don't eat much if it, especially when on layer feed.
    Protein levels of layer feed is minimal for making eggs,
    if you're giving other foods you may be diluting protein intake which can be detrimental to overall health of bird.

    It can take up to a month or so for a pullet to get the system 'tuned in'.

    They can act very strange when a soft shell egg is moving down the pike.
    First time I saw it happen it freaked me out.
    It's harder for the contractions to move a soft shell than a hard shell.

    And newly laying pullets can be strange acting anyway...haha!

    Give her time, observe as much as possible and don't jump to conclusions too quickly.
    As long as she's eatingdrinkingpooping and moving around OK, she's probably fine.
     
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  4. plethora

    plethora Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Thanks folks, appreciate it. Will stand by and keep observing. :)
     
  5. plethora

    plethora Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Hello,

    3 weeks later and no change. We're still seeing an egg come out maybe twice a week, mostly soft/broken shell, sometimes very wrinkled hard shell.

    Everyone that we mention this to (outside of this forum, which I trust the most) keeps saying to add calcium (egg shells) to their feed, which doesn't seem like the right way to go unless the issue is simply that she's lacking the instinct to eat free-choice calcium.

    Could this be some kind of illness?
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I don't think extra calcium will help you in any way, some hens just don't lay correct eggs, it may be particular to that hen.

    Sometimes they are soft and wrinkled due to stress, are your birds a bit flighty, or is there some bickering going on?

    And it might just take more time, the hen may be a bit freaked out about the whole actual laying, it can be painful when they first begin, until things stretch out and her body gets used to it.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Are you other birds laying normal eggs?
    Have you improved their nutrition by adding more protein?

    If the other birds seem to be laying fine, then it may not be diet...... but just that one birds anatomy and/or nutrition uptake chemistry is not 'normal'.
     
  8. SelfReliantChic

    SelfReliantChic New Egg

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Hi, I was wondering if your hen ever began to lay? I am currently having some of the same issues with mine.....


    I recently purchased 2 adult Swedish Flower (hen & rooster). The previous owner claimed she is a young hen and had been laying everyday.


    In almost 2 months she has only laid one small, almost translucent egg.

    She seems very sluggish (depressed) to me as well. She has had some diarrhea, but it may or may not be from the change in diet.

    The rooster seems full of energy with no signs of sickness.

    I have heard that there is sometimes issues with inbreeding with rare breeds. Because of how sluggish she is (Mentally and physically) I have wondered if the breeder wasn't completely honest with me on her back ground- I'm still waiting on her to send me documentation of her original purchase of the birds.


     

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