New layer, very anxious and doesn't know what to do.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pet Duck Boy, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    All 5 of my girls are now doing the "egg squat" and 4 days ago a second RIR named Nugget laid her first egg. But for the past 5 days Nugget has been VERY agitated/anxious and has no idea what to do. She laid her first egg in the nest box (which is on the ground) but laid her second a day later in the middle of the run in the dirt. The problem is, she doesn't eat or drink while she does this. As soon as I open the door to the chain-link dog kennel, she stops pacing and heads to my patio. And paces theres. She'll do it for hours, and it has me worried. She also heads into the kennel, goes in the nest box, comes out, climbs the perches, and then paces my patio. She does this often and it's almost like she's confused and doesn't understand her feelings, lol. She's constantly making a "Errrrghhhh Errrgghh ERGHHHHHHH" noise, which she usually does when she wants something. Runt Runt, which was my first chicken/RIR to lay has this kind of stuff down to a skill. She lays everyday inside the nest box, and doesn't make a peep. I put two orange (closest color to brown I had) plastic easter eggs inside the box this morning. But it doesn't seem to be working, any suggestions?

    EDIT: Oh, and all five of my girls are 21-22 weeks old.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. tegg

    tegg Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2007
    wow thats odd.?
    i have a runt peaken arucana...yep she is very small.
    now she is doing that exact same thing. her eggs are the size of a quail and green and she proceeds to lay them everywere but the nest box. and when she dosnt know what to do with the egg she goes everywere like she is searching for somthing. she mackes a long drawn out broooooark, brooooooooooaaaaarrrk. she will do this for an hour and a half untill she finaly calms down and starts eating. she is thin in her keel bone wich indicates her lack of interest in food as i worm my chooks regularly and send stool sampleas to a lab for testing....sigh. i thought it might have somthing to do with her poofy crest and muffs so i trimed them a little. no good. still a big performance everyday. im a little releaved somone else is having the same problem. im not sure how to fix it. ive tryed picking her up and moving her to the nest box when she is about to lay. but the egg ends up on my foot. maybe in time they will get the idea, but untill then dont expect little chicks from them any time soon. for now she is just my funny little hooty chick.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
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    So how long has it been since she laid? Have you felt her abdomen?

    I have a 1 1/2 year old buttercup that still does that occasionally. In fact, she did it yesterday. She was pacing around the run calling out, then race back to the coop, be in there a few minutes and then back out to the run - repeat several times before she finally laid her egg. Then she settled down.
     
  4. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:It's been about 1 1/2 - 2 days. I felt her abdomen but I couldn't feel anything out of the ordinary. I also felt my RIR who lays everyday, her's is nice and full, plenty of eggs not laid in there. It worries me even more though since she went into the nest box for about an hours, made a nest with the pine shavings, and came out. Now she's acting normal, nice and calm. But there's no egg. Internal layer? I hope not...there was no egg song though, her first 2 eggs were followed by a short song. What now?
     
  5. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Anyone? I'm a bit worried, though she looks fine...
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't worry then. She's gotta get the kinks worked out. Going several days without eggs is normal for a new layer. If she's acting fine, and you don't see/feel anything out of the ordinary, then she's probably just getting used to laying. I think of it like labor. I hope for their sakes it's easier than labor.
     
  7. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:Thanks, l'll try to stop worrying for now. [​IMG]
     
  8. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

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    I have a few hens who have done the nervous, pacing, in & out of nest box, Errgghh-errgghh behavior the first week of laying also. And a hen who resumed laying --today--after 6 weeks of raising a brood was doing this so loud the neighbors came to check on her!
    I think of it as the hen's oviduct & cloaca being too tight the first week from no use or disuse & it hurts a little more to pass the eggs. Then when they've done it a bunch, the canal for the egg to come through is stretched a bit more.
    This may be right or not, but based on the fact that their eggs get bigger around as they get older, it may be the case. At any rate, after they get into a comfortable routine, the pacing & groaning should disappear.

    Could you put her in the coop with another hen who's about to lay, and shut the door? Could you do this repeatedly when you think your other layers are ready to lay? This helps calm & teach my hens who are new to laying.

    I only have 5 layers as well.
     
  9. Boo-Boo's Mama

    Boo-Boo's Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 3 doing this. We had 2 eggs yesterday. Dolly was our first layer...took her forever to find a place to lay it (behind one of the Rubbermaid containers with ice jug in it). She finally decided what the nesting boxes are for. Collected egg #8 before we came in...just one thus far today. Dolly was still going in and out nest boxes before we came in so I'm not sure if the one I found was hers or someone else and she is mum on the subject...I held it up and asked who did it and no one would on up to it! [​IMG]
     
  10. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    I found another egg from Nugget early this morning, again on the ground. Infact, I found two. Nugget's egg and a soft shelled egg on roost, not sure who layed the soft one but it was on the roost, as if it was laid when they were sleeping during the night. She was also calm and acting relatively normal today, which leads me to believe she did lay one or two eggs last night or early morning. And late afternoon she did made a little practice nest in the nest box and sat there for a while, turning and panting.
     

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