One bird doesn't lay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hennyhalo, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. hennyhalo

    hennyhalo New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2013
    New Mexico
    I'm wondering why one bird out of 8 won't lay.

    She is a Buff Bantam Brahma; super cute.

    I currently have 8 birds (down from 9 a few months ago). She was originally in a flock of 3 and came to us when her family had to move. They integrated well with my 6 girls, but I think she might be lowest in the pecking order. She isn't picked on too much—the other two who are a little more assertive get picked at by the others a bit more, but nothing terrible.

    Her previous family said she hardly, if ever, laid, as well. So I knew what I was getting.

    This is the 3rd laying season that she's been with me, and I think she's laid one egg in all that time.

    My girls are relatively free-range (plenty of open space—600+ sq ft—but not the run of the whole yard). They are in a sunny-but-treed part of the yard. We are in NM at high elevation (7500 ft), so plenty of sun and thin air. They have plenty of organic layer grain, forage, and water (even the occasional mouse). [​IMG] I give their shells back to them and supplement with oyster shell on occasion for calcium.

    Any ideas?

    TIA.
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    So, she's around 3 years old, and she's an ornamental breed. Brahmas aren't known for being stellar layers. But, I'd think she should be giving you more then just an egg here and there, even at her age. One of my Silkies is around 6 years old, and still lays on a regular basis. How does her comb and plumage look? I'm wondering if she might need to be wormed. Also, what do you feed? And, is there any chance she could be hiding her eggs somewhere?
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I have a few birds that hardly ever lay either. As said, the breed doesn't lay well to begin with, it's actually considered more of a meat breed, so don't expect anything out of her, and be surprised when you get something, especially at three years old. Most poor layers haven't started up yet, most don't until closer to May, I have a few bum hens too.
     
  4. hennyhalo

    hennyhalo New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2013
    New Mexico
    Their grain is organic layer feed (soy protein), forage (whatever is growing or crawling in the yard), kitchen scraps of all kinds, even the occasional box of greens and veggies from our local co-op market.

    Funny that you say they aren't good layers, most of the online info says they are pretty good layers.

    Her feathers look great. So does her comb.

    It doesn't seem to be a problem for her, so I'm not overly worried. Just curious.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    For what its worth, my neighbor had 2 standard sized dark Brahmas. She got them when they were a year old because her previous owner stated they'd never laid a single egg. She thought she'd scored, that they were late starters (which she tried to tell them) and that she'd be able to brag about their beautiful eggs not long after they'd arrived and settled in. She parked those two hens in their own little coop and run and waited....and waited....and waited. She waited a year and a half for those two to lay an egg, and they never did. So, maybe you should be happy she gives you the occasional cackle berry! I've never had them, so, I'm not real sure how poor or great they are as far as egg production goes. Just going off my neighbors experience with them and what I've read here.


    She's pretty!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    So are you sure you can recognize her egg amongst the others?
    Are you positive none are laying out int he range area?
     
  7. hennyhalo

    hennyhalo New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2013
    New Mexico
    Their range area isn't so big I can't spot eggs. I do occasionally find one on the ground. I scan around pretty much every day.

    I've got a wide variety of birds and egg colors and sizes. Of my (previously) 9 birds there were: 2 welsummers, 3 silver-laced wyandotte, 1 barred rock, 1 speckled sussex, 1 black bird (not sure what breed), and the buff. The one time I think she laid, it was a significantly smaller egg than all the rest. The color was close to the wyandottes, a very light tan, but the size was no where near the same. I think I'd notice if eggs that small were consistently coming. Even on the best day, I only ever got 8 eggs, never 9. So basically, I'm pretty sure I can identify which eggs come from which birds—the colors and speckle patterns are different enough.

    One of the wyandottes became egg-bound, or had some other abdominal infection, a few months ago. After a few days and her absolute misery, we put her down. :(
     

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