New Introduction and a Soft Egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kristenmister, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. kristenmister

    kristenmister Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Hi all, I'm new here and having issues with a new adoptee in my flock. I have a total of 10 hens of all different breeds/origins. Last week (5 days ago) I introduced a new hen (she's skittish and submissive) to the rest of the girls. Trouble is that they don't seem to want to accept her, and today she laid a soft egg- I presume out of stress. The bullying isn't horrible, and there hasn't been any blood or bald spots. But it's obviously it's been enough to stress her out. When any of the girls start to bully her, she immediately becomes submissive and crouches down under them. The bullying wouldn't normally worry me too much, but the soft egg has me a bit panicked that she's more stressed than she can deal with. I've never had a hen lay a soft egg before, so maybe it's worrying me more than it should.

    Also of note: she laid a normal egg yesterday and the day before.

    Should I allow more time for them to establish order, or should I separate her from them immediately?

    Here she is just before laying the soft egg:[​IMG]
    She's in the bottom right nesting box as my barred rock bullies her:[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  2. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC!![​IMG]

    - Do they have some sort of calcium supplement IE: oyster shells?
    - Has she laid 'normal' eggs before this?
    - How old is she?


    I wouldn't separate her from the others, from your description it just sounds like normal "Who's the Boss" pecking order behavior. If they start tearing into her and causing injury then of course, I'd separate. Your hens already have a pecking order and they are adjusted to their daily routine and who is who. Add something new to that and it's like putting ketchup on ice cream.

    How long was she quarantined before introducing her to the other ladies?

    I think the soft shelled eggs could just be there because she's new still, and trying to acclimate herself to a new environment. New home, new sounds, new smells, new sights, etc. That's probably stressing her out more than her coopmates are. If she's just past point of lay... soft shelled eggs are very normal until their bodies adjust to egglaying.



    Here's some information I found very useful when introducing new feathery flock members: http://www.citygirlchickens.com/new_chickens.html It helped me a lot. I have my 4 day olds in with my 4 *week* old hen and they're doing fine now...but that article did give some great advice that helped. The idea is *gradual* transition really...not "smack in the face here's a roommate" hehe
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  3. kristenmister

    kristenmister Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2012
    Thanks for the help. She's around a year old, but I'm not exactly sure. The others are all around 2. And she has laid normal eggs as recently as yesterday.

    I haven't supplemented her with any oyster shells. She gets layer crumbles as well as some scratch and leftover fruits/veggies/yogurt and the like occasionally. I could start her on a calcium supplement though. Quarantine shouldn't be an issue, she was observed for a few weeks before the introduction.

    Thanks for the link, it's very helpful. :) I just wish she was with other buddy hens when I adopted her :/
     

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