Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MarieOmelette, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. MarieOmelette

    MarieOmelette In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2012
    Ok, this may take a while. I'm very confused, so I'm not going to skimp on details that may be important. Apologies in advance :)

    I acquired a beautiful Araucana pullet last July. She laid extremely well until about October, then became broody. She remained broody for about a week: I tried isolating her, cooling her down in water, nothing worked. Then I found out she was also infested with roundworm. I treated her, and the broodiness eventually stopped, but she still (apparently) wasn't laying. A week or so later, we found her sitting on a very well hidden clutch of eggs. We removed the eggs, but the next day, she became sick and listless. There was also a small, stringy mass in her crop. We took her to the vet, who put her on a course of antibiotics, and she eventually improved, though we had to feed her through a tube for a few days (she was refusing food). The weird thing is, she hasn't laid since. It's been 3 months. Is that normal? (actually, we've found a couple of eggs during this time, they were very well-hidden. But nothing else, and we looked everywhere.) She looks and acts healthy, her abdomen is soft, and she does enter the nestbox quite often. She just doesn't lay.
    If the not-laying is due to broodiness, is this going to be a yearly occurrence??
  2. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop
    Emmm, i really dont know what is wrong with your hen!! Im shore there are others out there that can help!!

    From my side...i HOPE she starts to lay again soon!!!
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Could be her illness compromised her reproductive system.

    Is she the only chicken you have?
    How old is she?
    How did you know she had a stringy mass in her crop?
    What and how exactly are you feeding her?

    If you're finding the odd egg that you are sure is hers, you might try confining her to the coop until later in the day to 'force' her to lay in the coop nest.

    I'm assuming you have a coop with a nest and that she free ranges.
    Looks like you live where it's summer now, so short days aren't the problem.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If she was ill, her body knew she was not healthy enough to reproduce. I think the timing--late fall--simply triggered her to shut down for the winter. I'm betting she'll pick up as the days get longer.

    How old is she? It's also very normal for birds to take the winter off laying after the 2 year mark unless you use supplemental lighting.
  5. MarieOmelette

    MarieOmelette In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2012
    No, I keep her with one other chicken and I just got 4 new ones. She's approximately 14 months old. I could feel the stringy mass in her crop, it was small and very compact, exactly like a tangle of squishy string. I'm feeding her regular layer pellets and fine shell grit, but she's also allowed to free range in a large paddock.
  6. MarieOmelette

    MarieOmelette In the Brooder

    Aug 20, 2012
    It isn't winter in Melbourne, though :D
  7. Deepfriedbeauty

    Deepfriedbeauty In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2013
    Jacksonville, FL
    My Coop
    I would isolate her and see if she lays. I had a Maran that stopped laying and then became sick. She had Egg Yolk Peritonitis. After $200 worth of vet bills, isolation, and many calcium supplements we still had to put her down. It isn't always fatal, but most often they can't recover without a hystorectomy. They continue to make eggs, but do not make a shell. The shelless eggs drop into their digestive system and they lose their appetite, become listless, and bacteria takes over. Good luck. I hope she gets better.

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