No eggs - but acts like she's laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emilysteng, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2010
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    Hi,

    My girl Casino, the semi wild hen, hasn't laid an egg (that I know of) in awhile now. I'd say more than a month or two. She is about 2 years old and isn't a regular layer like most of your chickens, but she would usually lay a clutch once in awhile, then try to hatch them. I usually try to take them. Anyways, she has a new rooster who takes good care of her. But she decided that the box she usually lays in is no good anymore (probably cause her eggs kept mysteriously disappearing) and started looking for new places. For the past several weeks now, every few days she would act like she needed to lay an egg. She starts frantically looking around for a good spot, her rooster helps her, and she'll decide on some place, go in there for about half an hour or so, make a nice indentation, throw some grass or moss around, then come out all calm again. But no egg. While she's doing this, her rooster will hang around nearby and keep a lookout. And when she comes out, she starts throwing grass and debris on her back, which is what she does when she has laid an egg. But no egg, every time.

    For awhile I thought she must have a hidden place where she was laying them, but the past couple times she has gone into a box near her old one and no eggs. Otherwise she acts completely normal. Eats, drinks, runs around, hunts for geckos, etc. She is a completely free chicken - roams around freely and roosts in a tree at night.

    I feed her egg layer feed, cracked corn/scratch, and give her her favorite treats blueberries/cheese usually once a day. Then the rest she gets free ranging. bugs and geckos. her favorite. I do notice when she's acting like she's just laid an egg she goes around eating more grass than usual.

    Why do you think no eggs are coming out? It worries me. I do manage to pick her up once in awhile and try to feel her belly to see if I can feel anything. I don't really know what I'm doing, but I don't feel anything like an egg in there.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Here's the happy couple when Casino finally decided to accept him as her boyfriend. [​IMG]

    Casino is in that bush, one of the places she pretended to lay an egg. He's keeping a watch. There was alot of talking while she was in there. [​IMG]
     
  2. Kaeta44

    Kaeta44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is she moulting? Is the weather very warm or muggy where you are? Either of these would affect her egg laying. Maybe she's just having a rest! If she's not showing any signs of distress, I wouldn't worry too much.


    http://muckycluckers.blogspot.com/
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Is her abdomen swollen? Missing any feathers?

    My 2 year old EE quit laying for 13 days and I started to really worry about her. She would do the same thing, I'd catch her in the nest, but no egg. She started laying again and hasn't had an issue since. I don't know why it happened though.
     
  4. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2010
    Hawaii
    It's the hot time here, but not a heat wave like on the east coast. She has access to a misty area that is on 30 minutes/ every hour during the day. She's not molting. I have felt her abdomen. Doesn't seem abnormally large. But I don't really know what it is normally like.

    Would she show obvious signs of distress if there was a problem? Cause she doesn't show any signs. Looks great, seems normal.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Chick15

    Chick15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    this is slightly off topi, but you have beautiful birds! what breed are they? they seem to have very long legs.
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe it's just a fluke then, like my EE was. If she's not showing any symptoms of being sick, I'd just let her be.

    I have a hen that has a severe distended abdomen. (I believe it to be ascitis as she's still laying) Believe me, you would know it - it's warm to the touch, firm and you can see bare skin below the vent.
     
  7. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2010
    Hawaii
    Thanks Happy Chooks. Well, to me, she is always quite warm and firm in her belly when I do manage to pick her up. She is the only hen I have ever handled so I really have nothing to compare her to. Is there anything I can give her that wouldn't hurt but would possibly help her if she did have some kind of problem? Extra calcium, etc? Should I give her extra yogurt and cheese or something?

    About a year ago I got some dewormer from the vet and gave it to her. Should I do that again? I never asked how often it needs to be done.

    Chick15 - thanks! Casino is a cute hen. She is actually not that tall. Her boyfriend, Scrando is quite tall. I keep waiting for him to grow into his long legs but he hasn't yet. He was the runt of his family, which is why I took to him. He started out with the tiniest comb of everyone and I wasn't even sure if he was a rooster or a hen. Then about a month or two ago, his comb suddenly grew alot and is now super floppy comb. It's funny. I swear he can't see out of one eye where the comb hangs down. He's about 7-8 months old now and Casino is 2 or 3 yrs old. I was told Casino looked like a wheaten old english game mix. They are actually feral chickens - so a mix of whoever is around.

    Scrando and his brothers/sisters started out in a different area of the property from Casino. But then Scrando moved up to where Casino lives and started following her around everywhere. At first she chased him away but about early June she decided to accept him and they've been together ever since. Sometimes another hen who is afraid of people will hang around them too. But only when we're not around. Sometimes I'll walk up and the other hen will run off. It's all very entertaining. I think it's the floppy comb that got Casino to accept him. She has a history of rooster boyfriends - all the same coloring as Scrando with big floppy combs.
     
  8. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 21, 2010
    Hawaii
    so yesterday casino spent an hour or so nesting under the passenger's front seat of our van. Scrando helped her out the whole time. But still no egg!

    I was wondering if I maybe give too many treats? I was just reading the sticky about hens not laying and thought that could be a possibility. I always give her feed first. She usually eats a little then wants other goodies. So then I give her cracked corn/scratch and some blueberries. And, she free ranges all the time. Is that too much treats? I usually give her about 10 blueberries a day.
     

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