Possible 'henopause'?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fizzybelle, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. Fizzybelle

    Fizzybelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all :)

    I have a RIR/RIW hybrid layer named Annabelle who is almost 2 years old now. Since she started laying she's been fantastic, laying an egg a day almost. Good size and quality too, no issues till now. The past few eggs she's laid these past days though have been soft shelled, and goopy. I'm wondering if, since she's a hybrid layer, this is the end of her egg laying days and is now entering early retirement. She's a pet, so she'll live out her days being spoilt, so same old really. Nothing else is wrong with her, she's eating the same, and getting into her usual mischief, and driving me nuts. Thank you for your input.

    Here's a pic of the sassy little madam:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  2. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cannot stop laughing at "Henopause" !!!!! That is great! What feed is she getting an ado they get oyster shell grit?
     
  3. Fizzybelle

    Fizzybelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She has access to shell grit which has served her well for ages and she likes it. She eats a mix of either Jenco layer mash or Watson and Williams scratch mix, and Watson and Williams layer crumble (it's layer pellets but broken up smaller, which my girls like). Plus she free ranges in the yard and gets grass, bugs ect, and any treats I give her (veges, rice and so on). Like I said, been no problems with anything until now.

    The 'henopause' came from this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/850855/what-age-do-chickens-stop-laying/10 I thought it was a good way to express what might be happening lol. It gave me some insight but I wanted some advice direct to my situation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    "almost 2 years old".....could she be getting ready to go into molt?
    Funky eggs can happen at onset of lay, as they are slowing down production to molt, and after they start back up after molting.

    RIR/RIW are not the hybrids that can stop at 2-3 years...those would be the sexlinks.
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi

    Has she been through an adult moult yet? I appreciate that you are in the southern hemisphere and it is spring, but just wondering if she may be out of synch with the seasons and about to moult now. Eggs often lose their quality at onset of moult and productions slows down or stops altogether for a few months. Hope that is all it is with your girl and she is back to work soon.
     
  6. Fizzybelle

    Fizzybelle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No she hasn't been through an adult molt yet. I was hoping she would at the end of last summer (around April/May this year), but didn't unfortunately as she really, really needs to go through one. Her feathers are quite tatty looking, her tail in particular. The amount of daylight since winter officially ended has increased fairly quickly, perhaps that was the trigger?

    Good to know, about the hybrids, thank you. Actually I'm really hopeful now that she's about to molt. I have other layers so if she has stopped laying, it's not an issue, just her general health is my concern. I'll monitor her, and discuss with my vet if need be (should anything else indicate something unanticipated is wrong). No, a molt would be really good for her. I also have an Australorp hybrid about the same age, so I'll keep an eye out for any signs she might be about to do the same.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Layers are all different. They aren't little machines that just pop out eggs. If the shell gland fails to secrete enough calcium to produce a hard, thick shell, you get these soft or shell-less eggs. Getting close to molt is just one cause for it.

    I have two seven, going on eight, year old Wyandotte hens who have insisted on continuing to lay into their old age. The problem is their shell glands are an the wane, not producing enough calcium, and the eggs are so thin-shelled they get broken before they even leave the nest.

    I learned on BYC about calcium therapy with Caltrate (or generic brand) a people calcium supplement that has all the minerals a chicken needs to boost calcium levels. It really works! These hens are now laying hard shelled eggs into their old age.

    I take a tablet and cut it in quarters. Then I fold two of the quarters into a small dab of peanut butter, and feed this dose at roosting time. These two now come into the coop when I call them to get their calcium "medicine".

    Warning, only give this calcium therapy as long as the hen is laying as calcium buildup is dangerous to the kidneys.
     
  8. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Silly question, why would they call it hen (or men) opause? "Pause" implies a temporary cessation of activity.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

     

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