New to keeping chickens.....getting very few eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 4broomes, May 17, 2009.

  1. 4broomes

    4broomes Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Switzerland
    We bought 2 hens about 2 weeks ago. One has been laying 1 egg every other day. The other hasn't laid anything. How long does it take a chicken to settle in??

    The black one who has not laid had a bit of diarrhea and a messy backend. I was worried about flies getting to her so I bathed her. Couldn't feel any thing pressing around the vent (and didn't really want to explore that further) She seems to have perked up a bit after that and her poo is looking a bit more solid but still no eggs. But I have noticed that the poo sometimes looks a bit yolkie (if that makes sense).

    I don't know how old the girls are but feeling blackies breastbone during the bath it feels quite solid. We've given them some kitchen scraps (rice, pasta, salad) as treats to help them settle in. Otherwise they get laying feed pellets, mash, and korn kernels (not sure what to call that). I'm wondering if we are feeding them enough?

    Any help would be appreciated! Let me know if you need more info!!

    Thanks - C.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    They love the extras, but actually only need the laying pellets, given free choice. Many also give oyster shell for the calcium, though.

    The bathing was a good thing to do. The "yolkie poo" does not sound good, though. It could actually be yolk, from an egg gone wrong. She could be eggbound, or an internal layer, or an egg could have broken inside her, or a soft shelled egg came apart inside, or probably some other problems I'm not smart enough to detail. Warm sitz baths are a good approach (i.e., bathe her in a dishpan or sink or whatever, and let her soak a little while.) Some people try to get the broken eggshell or stuck egg out by reaching in. It's also possible that your blackie just had a "burp" in the egg laying process, and will settle down and lay for you. Sometimes if you feel the abdomen you can actually feel a stuck egg.

    There may not be a lot you can do short of vet care and even surgery.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 17, 2009
  3. 4broomes

    4broomes Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Switzerland
    Thanks for the information! I'll have to keep a close eye on her!

    Is it normal for a hen to lay 1 egg every other day? We were hoping to have a small supply of fresh eggs but at this rate it would take 2 weeks to reach a dozen.

    ~C.
     
  4. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008
    Cardiff
    HI 4broomes,

    Don't worry just yet, it really depends on how old she is. It seems you have no knowledge of this and you have not said what her comb and wattles look like, she could just be too young yet, and also it can take quite a while before they settle. She may just need more time.

    So don't statrt to panic about any illness just yet.

    So just let us know if she has a well developed red comb and wattles, that is a sure sign that she is close to laying age.

    Second how does she behave when you go near her, if she crouches down that is a sign she is expecting a roster and therefore is reaching maturity. She could be laying soon.

    I had 4 girls to start and just took time to get to know them and to learn about them, and they were classes as Point of Lay, but it took a further 6-8 weeks before eggs started arriving, then there was 4 weeks between the first starting and the last one, I am saying this just to show that there can be a wide range of timings.

    Just keep spoiling them rotten and don't be too anxious yet, I am sure she will start soon.
     
  5. 4broomes

    4broomes Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Switzerland
    Hmmm, I never thought about her being too young! When we go near then they just walk away! [​IMG]

    Here are some pictures of her as I'm not sure what her comb and wattle should look like....Jerry is the black one.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help!!
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    [​IMG] The change by adding more birds can affect their egg laying. Actually any changes in their lives can affect their egg production. Also sometimes some birds take longer to adjust to change than others and it may be a month or more before you get any eggs if she has been laying. Please post a pic. I give my birds treats of scratch, (oats, sunflower seeds, once in awhile bird seed, cracked corn etc.), in small quantities as these are treats. I also give them vegies, fruits, most everything that I can grow. I do grow a lot of corn and watermelon especially, also tomatoes, squash, root crops, the list can go on. I feed them everything except potatoes. I figure they will eat what they want. I do free range them. They also get their laying crumbles in a feeder in their coop and one in their run with dishes of free choice granite grit and oyster shells. I have never had a problem with their egg production. Also here is a site that has good information on different looking poo. Maybe it can help you. http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0
    From
    your pictures both birds look like they are old enough to lay. Their wattles and combs look good. Do they squat for you?

    I think it's just the change. Give them some time to readjust. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  7. 4broomes

    4broomes Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Switzerland
    Just looked at the poop thread. Yucky, but nothing recognizable.

    When I told DH that we may have to wait a month before eggs, his jaw about hit the floor! We'll just have to wait and see I guess. She has become a lot less timid over the past few days. They are free range when we are home and she's spent a lot of time exploring. Hope she's just taking her time getting used to the place.

    Tom (the brown hen) produced her egg today - always in the afternoon, not sure why.

    BTW, what is squatting???

    Thanks for all the info!

    ~C.
     

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