Post-laying behavior - is this normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicknhawaii, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,

    Uma just started laying on Saturday, she's approx 4-1/2 months old. She's laid 3 eggs in 4 days and is a mostly indoor game bantam. She's almost frantic the entire time leading up to laying and this can go on for HOURS. She paces, scream, squawks, and she is LOUD!

    However my concern is her behavior afterwards, especially in the evening. She appears to be constantly drinking water and she does eat a little more than she used to before she started laying. My RSLs didn't exhibit this kind of behavior so I hnc if this is normal or something to worry about. Any feedback about Uma is appreciated!

    Oh yes - her poop is fine with the occasional (and usual) watery one and her activity level has not changed.
     
  2. abbey808

    abbey808 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations on your first egg! I am a first time chicken owner and don't know if I can reassure you if a behavior is "normal" or not. Frankly, for the past few weeks, my girls have been going wacko! Harley, my RIR laid her first egg last week Friday, and Abbey, my BR laid her first egg a day later on Saturday. In the two weeks prior to laying, my sweet little angels have turned into screaming, neurotic, weirdos! They were almost silent up until recently, now they are screeching and honking for hours at a time. They pace endlessly searching for I don't know what. The usual snuggling and cuddles aren't cutting it anymore as far as calming or comforting them. I am guessing that their bodies are changing and they are becoming hormonal? Sure hope this is a phase because they are driving me crazy!

    As far as the drinking more water thing, I can say yes, that both of my girls have been drinking more water than usual. I was under the assumption that it was because it has been very hot lately. Their poops have been quite watery and sometimes explosive! Their overall heath has been good. They are eating, drinking (more water), walking around foraging as usual. Nothing else stands out.

    Please... if someone could reassure me that these behaviors are within the norm, I'd be so grateful!

    Best of luck chicknhawaii! I'll be looking forward to reading the responses! [​IMG]

    Leigh
     
  3. yoie

    yoie Chillin' With My Peeps

    A few of my hens act the same way before and after laying their eggs. I too was a little concerned until my hubby made a funny point. He said after you delivered our daughter you were starving and thirsty too! Think they have to do it every day [​IMG] Just got to love hubbys.
     
  4. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you think about the energy she is using during her pre-laying performance, it doesn't seem unusual to me that she would need to drink and eat alot afterwards.
    Dale-Ann
     
  5. sixty7x

    sixty7x Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 12, 2010
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    I've read somewhere on BYC that it takes quite a bit of energy to lay an egg. Especially those that lay more frequent. They are asking their bodies to pop out an egg every 24-36 hrs! I'm sure every hen is going to have some different habits, sounds, needs.
     
  6. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am just amazed at the intensity of her pacing, it's like she's desperate to escape or go somewhere but can't move fast enough. It goes on for what seems like HOURS & I hnc how she does that without passing out before laying her egg!

    It's nice to read from Leigh that her hens are doing what Uma's doing. Uma doesn't have watery poop except for the occasional one, about 2x/day it seems.

    I just realized today that Uma isn't so much drinking water as she is making a mess - she gets her beak in there & seems to be swishing it out of the dish, left & right, repeatedly. It's seriously like watching someone with very severe OCD b/c nothing distracts her from it & it's a routine that she HAS to continue doing.

    She seemed to calm down today after I covered half her cage with a sheet. Her cage is too small for a nest box so I only have a small cardboard box for her to sit in. Today was egg #4 in 5 days. She certainly is working hard!

    TY for all your responses lol. I wasn't hungry & thirsty after I had my kiddos, I was just exhausted however...that's how we're all different! [​IMG]
     
  7. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Finding out that she's caged (small enough not to be able to have a "regular" nest box) sure does put a different spin on this thread. She was looking for a better place to lay her eggs! Does the cardboard box have a lid with a hole for her to get in and out or is it open? She might appreciate a more closed in nest.
    I've read that some games do not tolerate confinement well, at all. Your bird seems to fit that bill. Is there any way at all to give her more room? Her behavior with the water may be a sign of stress. Does she have any companions with her or at least next to her?
    Dale-Ann
     
  8. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
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    Finding out that she's caged (small enough not to be able to have a "regular" nest box) sure does put a different spin on this thread. She was looking for a better place to lay her eggs! Does the cardboard box have a lid with a hole for her to get in and out or is it open? She might appreciate a more closed in nest.
    I've read that some games do not tolerate confinement well, at all. Your bird seems to fit that bill. Is there any way at all to give her more room? Her behavior with the water may be a sign of stress. Does she have any companions with her or at least next to her?
    Dale-Ann

    The cardboard box wasn't covered so I ended up covering the half of her cage with a sheet and that actually settled her down more. [​IMG] Up until now she hasn't appreciated enclosed spaces!

    Uma actually doesn't mind being in the cage at all although I'll probably find bigger housing for her soon, this arrangement is semi-temporary. She spends a lot of time out of her cage, mostly in the house but also on the front lawn once in awhile. It's crazy and my fault [​IMG] that she's not too thrilled being outside. She loves it in the house and like to perch on chair backs that are covered with towels or other soft material. Oh the horror if the chair back isn't covered! [​IMG] She does that frantic pacing outside of the cage too, doesn't matter where she is, indoors or outdoors, she'll do that crazy back and forth pacing.

    I've become her alpha actually and no, she doesn't have any companions. My RSLs didn't take to her well and still don't like her so they can't be together, the two will kill her (they are rat killers too). She doesn't seem to like birds - again my fault for keeping her inside I think - but does like us humans and she plays with one of my dogs. NO joking there! They developed this wrestling chasing thing and it's really weird.

    TY for replying, got me thinking. [​IMG]
     
  9. neVar

    neVar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i'm sorry but we need videos of this house chicken [​IMG]


    My friend lives in england and is the one who got me wanting chickens one day. It was so strange to stay at her house and be eating dinner and in come the dogs through the door and in comes Mrs hen 1 of her 6 hens. In she comes and sits there and begs with the dogs. Then she came and watched tv with me. I also got yelled at when i sat in her spot- boy did that piss her off!
     
  10. beth14kk9

    beth14kk9 Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking the same thing when you posted that she's in a cage. Sounds like she is frantic to find a better nest. Is there any way to put her in a larger space and see what happens?
     

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