Now I know why Ruth went weird when her chicks started hatching

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Godiva, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    Today we butchered Ruth and Naomi,(My speckled sussex hens) a hard choice but had to happen. And we were amazed to find that Ruth had only one dark grey small egg inside and loose in her abdomen. I had thought that they were not good layers but now I had an aha moment that explains so much! Naomi had been doing all the laying - which is why the roosters would never bother Ruth but Naomi was going bald from all the treading. Also about a month ago I had a pretty traumatic day with Ruth.

    She had been broody for the usual length of time but never seemed upset when we lifted her in the evening to check if her buddy had laid an egg. Well, the chicks started hatching and she seemed to have no clue what to do, the chicks were out in the cold, then she jumped off the nest midhatch to have a meal and dustbath. When she got back on the nest she sat next to the eggs instead of on them and I took the partially hatched eggs away and put them in the incubator. I made the mistake of leaving the three chicks that had already hatched with her since she didn't seem to mind them and they were snuggled under her feathers. When I went back to check on them later she had killed one and eaten its head! :eek: We grabbed the remaining two chicks but one died later (I think from a peck or three to the head as it's balance was off) But anyway, after seeing what was going on inside her, now I understand why she went crazy, her hormones must have been all over the place. We didn't even find her ovary or any of the tiny 'egglets' that the other one had so plentifully. I know this is a little gruesome esp for those of you who can't imagine eating your birds, but I am so glad that I understand now. Major learning curve here. ONce all the big issues with our coop are ironed out I want trap nests! That way I can tell who is laying what...
     
  2. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Wow, that's wild!

    I can't tell who's laying either. all the sudden I have these little light tan colored eggs being laid. I thought they all should have been laying by now but I guess not.
     
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Interesting.

    Sorry that you had to send the girls to "freezer camp". But at least you solved the mystery.
     
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,229
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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    What a mystery. Very interesting. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    Yeah, it is always nice to suddenly have the light bulbs go and be able to say," OH!!! That is what was going on!" All the little clues lined up and I can now say, these are some signs I need to look out for and take note of in the future.
     

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