Need help with this please (moved to Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying)

Babe77

Songster
10 Years
Jun 11, 2009
139
0
109
Williamsburg, MI
My head is spinning at this point after reading all the postings about Egg Yolk Peritonitis and internal laying leading up to this posting ... I am so sorry for everyone's losses...

I too have suspected that I have a problem within our flock of (14) 2-1/2 yr old hens. This is a new adventure that we took on in 2009 for the egg production for ourselves and extended family so I consider us "Newbies" still. We were selling our excess eggs to neighbors for less than normal amount many on here may get ($1.25-1.50) and that made the cost factor "break even" for us.

A problem for me has always been that not many of them enjoy being handled and fussed with except for Sophie. We had Gertie who had bumble foot and it was extremely stressful (on both of us) to catch her to do the 3 surgeries (success on that account) and I know stress on them is not good.

For the past 2 yrs of their laying, they all were good producers. In June I did talk to the hubby to see if it was time to get another round of chicks or to wait and see what this winter production would be but he made the decision to wait until next spring. While the summer mths here was hotter than normal about 3 mths ago we started to have overall production down. Checking the nest box in the am and then again at noon, we would discover sometimes 1 or 2 rough thin shelled eggs every couple of days with at least 1 rough thin shelled egg that was broken in the nest box and assumed that we had an egg eater in the group. Other times the egg would not be broken but rough and thin the same. For us not knowing who it belonged to, we at least found 1 or 2 of the girls eating them at different times and 1 of those girls seems to be the one lately who is content to stay in the coop a good part of the day only to be coaxed out with scratch.

The past 1-1/2 mth production has been down to only 2 or 3 eggs daily for all 14 girls and while we thought it could possibly be due to upcoming molting, we can honestly say that we are not 100 % sure they are. Hef is our only Roo and he has always been a busy boy with the girls. Many of our girls are very thin feathered to almost barebacked so telling if they are molting is hard and the amount of feathers in the yard is not true indication for us.

Well, yesterday I went out to retrieve the eggs and found only 2 eggs and a weird looking cheesy oblong substance in the nest box. I cut it open and found come egg shells inside which is the reason for combing the site today. Knowing now that we probably have at least 1 of the girls with Internal laying and that is what that substance was, how do others determine when "it is time"?? How do you make the decision and in what methods is this done?

We have discussed if their egg laying days are coming to a close and how we would really know when it is time to do something for a number of reasons. Winter mths will be upon us and the cost to keep them over that time will increase with less resources from our selling of the eggs and the downward slid in the economy. We want to do the right thing for everyone involved.

Thanks in advance to those more knowledgeable for your assistance and advice.....
 
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TwoCrows

❄Winter has returned❄
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,899
106,558
1,702
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
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I am very sorry about your hen and then internal laying. I do not have an answer for you, however I am also dealing with a female quail that layed, just as you described, a long cheesy looking thing, this one was hanging from her butt. She is 3 years old, (quail only live 2-5 years), and I know I may have to put her down at some point. But as you are wondering, when do you do it? I suppose when they are suffering.

I wish you all the luck and my post will bump this up so that maybe someone can chime in and give you some answers. Good luck.
hugs.gif
 

BusyBlonde

Songster
8 Years
Sep 18, 2011
599
24
128
Bessemer City, NC
What kind of hens do you have? Our 'starter flock' was Golden Comets. They are bred to lay a lot of eggs, but they don't lay for long. They turned 3 this year, and we were only getting 1 or 2 eggs a day that we could use, and the other one or two would be so thin-shelled that they broke when laid. They were being fed laying pellets and had access to oyster shells, in addition to grass, bugs, and garden produce. Those hens went to "freezer camp" last month, as our new flock of Barred Rocks started to lay. Depending on the breed, yours may be towards the end of their "useful" life.

Good luck with your chickens!
 

Babe77

Songster
10 Years
Jun 11, 2009
139
0
109
Williamsburg, MI
Thanks for the bumps and the information
smile.png
I wasn't too sure if it could be posted into 2 forums at the same time. I will have to check that out.

Currently we have BO, BR, EE and Isa Brns and while their eggs are all different it is still hard to tell which ones of each breed are laying. Ours are on Kent Egg laying and also have free access to oyster shells, grit and are free ranged after 4 pm each day.

What you did was what I thought would happen with us, start the 2nd set of chicks out and once the new group started laying, give a couple to neighbors who want occasional layers. At this point though with the way they are sporadically laying and the thin shelled eggs we are receiving, I am not comfortable giving them to others not knowing if they are done laying completely or who is the internal layer and the problems that would occur.
 

Alas

Songster
8 Years
Mar 12, 2011
337
8
111
Covington, LA
My 2 year old Americaunas are still laying just fine. They did slack for a bit when the temps hit 100, but they are back to normal. Generally, if eggs are thin shelled or if the hens are eating their eggs, they may not be getting enough calcium. The egg-laying age may be different with other breeds though.
 

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