No eggs after shell-less egg? Should I be worried?

Ryooki

Chirping
May 27, 2020
43
25
61
Medford, Oregon
Out of my 10 chickens, hatched in April and July, only 1 has been laying eggs, a black copper Marans. She’s been laying in a nesting box consistently. It had slowed down to every 2-3 days, and about 2 weeks ago, we suddenly had a much larger, nearly shellless pale brown egg on the floor of the coop only, found a day after my last dark brown egg. Since then, there have been no eggs. I kind of thought that my BC Marans just stopped laying eggs for the season, and my BLR Wyandotte laid her first egg. She’s much bigger than the BC Marans, and her ear lobes, wattles, and comb recently grew bigger and turned red. Also, laying an egg on the floor fits with a first egg lay. However, we haven’t had any more eggs since then. So now I’m worried something may be wrong. My friend who got chickens the same time as me is getting about 4 eggs a day out of 7 chickens. Both of us don’t use artificial light. He has some chickens that are more prolific egg layers than mine, which may account for the disparity.

Should I be monitoring my chickens for a medical issue? They all act pretty normal, free range, get seed treats / table scraps, and have open access to baby chick crumbles and oyster shell. My BC Marans isn’t as friendly as she was during the summer (not squatting for me / letting me pet her / trying to jump into my lap), and a few of the other chickens whose combs look more pronounced / red are friendlier than during the summer, but still not super friendly.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Chick crumbles are fine (though I would not use medicated).

My guess is the short daylight hours have contributed to slow production/slow onset. As long as the birds are all looking healthy and active I wouldn't worry too much about it, you just might not see eggs again until after days start lengthening again.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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He has some chickens that are more prolific egg layers than mine, which may account for the disparity.
Absolutely, that can make a huge difference.

They all act pretty normal, free range, get seed treats / table scraps, and have open access to baby chick crumbles and oyster shell.
Are they eating the OS?
Might want to cut back on the treats and table scraps.

Overall I'd say it's the short days affecting them...
...tho if you are free ranging, they may behave found a 'better' place to lay.

Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop/run for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

Could always do a butt check to check laying status.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
 

Ryooki

Chirping
May 27, 2020
43
25
61
Medford, Oregon
Thanks for the article! I may check my chickens next time I can visit during the day.

I’ve run around my backyard and don’t see any nests, but I’ll keep looking! I do have fake eggs in 2 of the nesting boxes, which convinced my BC Marans to move from under a bush into the nesting boxes
 

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