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My Bantam Hen's First Egg.....A Disaster! Also General Advice!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Artex, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Artex

    Artex Hatching

    Nov 25, 2011

    She hasn't layed once, until now....and she's something like 8 months or more old.
    (I was beginning to wonder if maybe she was just a VERY feminine roo.....joke, joke...lol....>.>....anyway it took longer than I expected, from what I've looked up.)

    She started freaking out though, and I just got the feeling she was finally trying to lay. She couldn't, for over a day and a half....maybe two. We determined that she was "egg-bound"....so we lubed up her bottom with some oil and a few hours after that she did pass the egg....

    When I found the egg....it was only 20% smaller than a normal sized egg, at best......and there was pretty much NO shell....OK she hasn't been getting enough calcium.... Question....? Would the softness of the shell create the problem in the process of laying? At the end of it she was breathing hard and drooping and we were afraid she was doomed... [​IMG] Afterwards she slept it off, though she didn't seem to want anything to do with the egg she just had, which sucks because I want her to make a baby or two, at least.....

    NOW....we're trying hard not to have a repeat of the last time. She was in so much pain and I don't want that to happen again. BUT she won't eat the oyster shells we're giving her, at all....currently I'm trying to feed her milk, from what I've looked up seems to be at least not bad for them.....but I don't know what to feed her.

    Both my hen and my roo are WAY more picky than the other chickens seem to be. I figure they probably are a bit spoiled.....but I don't want to let them starve and just deal with the oyster shell as food until they learn to eat it....because it's probably bad for the rooster (they freak out when separated so they eat the same things usually) and from what I've read my hen could be laying again a day or two later, with probably the same result.....pain and thin eggshells, oil in the bottom and ugh....>.>!

    Okay....this is somewhat unrelated to the egglaying issue, and where I might just ask for some general advice....
    This is my first time owning chickens.....I only have them because my in-laws bought a flock of normal sized chickens and 2 bantams....and decided to put the regulars outside when it was waaaaaay too cold for the fragile baby bantams....so I kept them in my apartment to keep them warm and safe until they got "bigger" and were able to go outside with the others. Well....eventually we realized that we had one rooster and one hen on our hands. Once we tried putting them in with the regular sized flock and well....that rooster just will not stop trying to fight the larger hens, and eventually the normal sized rooster comes in and then they try to fight. It just doesn't work.....I think that my little bantam roo will pick a fight with anything, sometimes including me, though, excluding his female counterpart...who at times seems to be the one wearing the pants, until he's won and he's the most macho roo in the world. I know it's in his nature.....but he's kind've a douche, please forgive the language....I don't know how else to put it. So anyway.....me and my husband have fallen in love with the sweet bantam hen....our goal is to keep them safe and together until we can raise another bantam hen or two to keep her company, then sell or give away the rooster to a place he can have more hens and not crow and wake us up and constantly disrupts the peace...>.>.... (by the way if you want a rooster and you live in the northern IL area please feel free to PM me) Another question I have is.....if we were to just leave them in with the normal-sized flock of chickens would the bantam rooster eventually get beaten up enough, lose dominance and just learn to live along with them.....or would he be miserable? The fact that there's only 2 bantams makes me think they'd be screwed in that situation.....and another question.....what sort of winter temperatures can bantams safely endure? We have a back-up plan but we'd like to build them an outside enclosure for the winter if possible....but I hear this winter is going to be particularly bad!

    I'm a n00b to chickens and probably never should have even had them in the first place but under the circumstances I've got them and now I love those little guys.....any advice would be more than welcome.

  2. JenniferNgo

    JenniferNgo In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2011
    Some of the first eggs won't have shells. Her system is still perfecting the process, not necessarily a sign of a lack of calcium unless you know her diet is deficient. Chickens can eat all sorts of things...Yogurt, fruit, table scraps, bread, bugs....you name it! Perhaps offer more variety

    The first egg is stressful! Have you ever had a baby??!? Imagine having one everyday! pretty much what goes on, but they are built better for it than we are, but they end up shaken up none the less. Add some flax seed oil to her diet (either seeds or in the water) I have never had a problem with a chicken passing an egg.

    As far as her hatching any...well that is all up to her. Some chickens are broody (wanting to sit and hatch eggs) and some never in their entire life want to do that so if you really want to hatch you are going to need to build/buy an incubator. Or just eat the eggs happily until/if she decides to sit!

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  3. Artex

    Artex Hatching

    Nov 25, 2011
    Well......I'm pretty sure she's calcium deficient. She eats mostly carbs if she has her choice or seeds/corn......feeding her what the other chickens are getting, plus table scraps. Like I said she's picky. Dang thing won't take stale bread, tortillas, or cheese......and obviously not those oyster shells. I don't think she likes the milk much either.....but whatever....she's tried to drink my booze before, if she's thirsty....I'm sure she'll adjust to the milk quickly enough.

    I might try spinach or some other high calcium greens but last time she didn't really go for those either.....and I live in the middle of nowhere and can't get to a store in the next few days before she might lay again....which I figure is time specific. How long does it take for them to lay.....shortest or longest?

    I guess I just want to prevent the previous experience.........you know no one wants to stick there finger.....eehhh.....I'm more worried about her kicking the bucket, but thank you....it's good to know that it might be normal for them to not get the first few lays right.

    I still think the egg was abnormally large.....

    ....does anyone know if there's any way I can help that, as well as whatever general advice you can offer...
  4. For now just feed her the standard layer feed from the feed store, no treats. Give her/them clean fresh water. Offer oyster shell daily.

    For now NO treats. Don't worry about adding calcium or anything else. Just feed her layer feed, fresh water and free choice oyster shell.

    It is highly unlikely that she is calcium deficient unless you have been making your own feed and or been feeding so many treats that she isn't eating her feed.

    The first eggs are almost always goofy, no shell, no yolks you wouldn't believe the oddities that pullets lay when they are getting their egg making abilities together.

    Also it's unusual for a pullet to go broody with the first egg. Generally hens/pullets need to have a collection of eggs to prompt the broody instinct to "kick in"

    Hope this helps
  5. Artex

    Artex Hatching

    Nov 25, 2011
    Well I gave her some tiny small crumbs mixed up with her heavily oyster-shell/seed feed....the bread was just so she would be interested, and she may have choked down some of those oyster shells in the process.......

    But is milk bad? It's 1% so it's more water in general than D-milk, for instance, and has calcium.......

    .........just seeing that she might be laying an egg in the next 4 days...........

    I guess.....I figure she really probably does have a huge calcium deficiency I just don't know how I can pump her up with some of that calcium to make the next couple lays as best as possible. Maybe I'm freaking out a bit more than I ought to be.....but she's one of the few, and I have had many, pets that I really and honestly love and want to keep.....alive. >.>...... [​IMG]
  6. Artex

    Artex Hatching

    Nov 25, 2011
    I just want to know, at least, how to help these things survive and more than that be happy as best as I can. Original post explains it for the most part. : /
  7. dragonlair

    dragonlair Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    Mix some ground up eggs shells into her food. Mine won't eat oyster shells either but will eat the eggs shells and love their fresh goat milk mixed with their crumbles.

  8. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    I make mine oatmeal on Sundays and they go NUTS for it. You could try and give her some with some crushed oystershell or egg shell mixed in.
    Make sure you crush any eggshells you feed them very well so they cannot see it as an egg.
    On a side note mine refuse oystershell.
  9. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Songster

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I think runs w/ scissors has it right. Feed her layer rations and give her time. She's still young yet to be a mama. Give her a couple months to let her hormones kick in, she JUST reached "puberty". Every first egg my hens laid had just the membrane with no shell or it was just yolk and white. After the 2nd egg it all worked out. Good luck.

    Edit- I Just reread your post. Until you get to the feed store- If you put the spinach in an electric chopper, coffee grinder or blender it will be small enough for her to eat it. The crushed egg shells is also a good idea. I still think that her system will work it out. If you had more than 3 eggs with no shell, I'd be more concerned. Also- she will be more interested in oyster shell or egg shell once her laying is in full swing.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  10. clucksbc

    clucksbc Chirping

    Aug 9, 2011
    Will wish for you many many perfect eggs 2 come and [​IMG]
    I grind up all my egg shells...and mix the powder in with there daily treat bowl...

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