Should i be worried?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Faso, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. Faso

    Faso Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Pompton Lakes, NJ
    Hi all!

    I posted something similar a few weeks back and just wanted to check in...

    I'll shoot to the point...I picked up a 3rd chicken, which was already said to be laying.(she is about 8-9 months old)

    That was about 3 weeks ago now. I have not had even 1 egg...Should I be worried? Is it bad if she is holding it in for some reason? How long can they hold it in? Do I need to go to the vet?

    Not really sure what to think or if something is wrong. Could she still be stressed? I thought that would be gone by now...:(

    Any info from yuo pros would be great!

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    There are some possible reasons for her failure (or refusal) or produce an egg.

    1. She could still be getting used to her new home.
    2. Shorter daylight hours. Most hens need about 14 hours of light a day to keep them in production.
    3. Is she getting bullied by the other chickens? She could be stressed.
    4. Change of feed?
    5. She could be laying, but hiding her eggs.

    Some questions: Is she visiting the nest boxes?
    Is her comb and wattles nice and red or paler pink?
    Is her poop normal?
    Is she behaving strangely? Walking funny or anything?
     
  3. Faso

    Faso Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you Sumi. See below.

    3. Is she getting bullied by the other chickens? She could be stressed. - No. The other 2 are a bit smaller. They all get along perfecly. There is no sign of anyone bothering her. The other two actually know she is bigger and leave her alone.

    4. Change of feed? YES, I have start and grow as the other 2 are only 13 weeks old. I added Oyster shell to the start and grow per my local pet store and some posts I saw on this forum. I plan to change all 3 to Leyana this weekend though as the start and grow is just about done and i don't want to mix in oyster shell. I'll throw the oyster shell in the run so they can pick at it when they want...

    5. She could be laying, but hiding her eggs. I looked and she isn't. I would be able to see them. They haven't been let out of the coop or run. I'm worried they won't be there when I look agai or that they will jump the fence. I don't want to chase chickens around so I haven't done that yet...

    Some questions: Is she visiting the nest boxes? I have seen her near them but then again, the food is hanging right outside the boxes. I was thinking it was too close and that the nesting box wasn't private enough but then I thought maybe i ws wrong...

    Is her comb and wattles nice and red or paler pink? Yes, they are red and she looks and acts very healthy. Full feathers and fluffy. She is a plymoth rock chicken.

    Is her poop normal? Yes, as normal as poop can be. :) Nothing looks odd there.

    Is she behaving strangely? Walking funny or anything? Nope. She is fine. She walks fine and is very alert. She comes and eats when i refill the food and was the first to try out the new watering system yesterday while the other two dopes were pecking water drops on the side of the pan! lol

    Any more info on anything you asked would be great! You raised some other non-topic related questions up for me. I really appreciate it.

    Thanks!!!
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It may be a combination of the feed change and the shortening light hours then. She could eat layer pellets, but the other 2 are a bit too young though. I wouldn't give them layer food until they are at least 16-18 weeks old. The layer food has a high calcium content which causes damage to the young birds' organs.
    She sounds like she should be laying though, or start soon! Oystershell is a good source of calcium, but I'd suggest for the safety of the younger birds hang on a bit with the layer food and offer them lots of nutritious greens like alfalfa (if you can get some fresh) or spinach instead. Even nettles is good if they'll eat it. (My fussy birds wouldn't!) that would hopefully encourage your older hen to get going. And for interest sake see if you can measure the length of the daylight hours. That is usually a factor this time of the year.
    Oh, I forgot. You probably would've mentioned it if she did, but could she be molting? Shedding more feathers than usual?
     
  5. Faso

    Faso Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Pompton Lakes, NJ
    I see. Well, my issue is, how can I feed different chickens different foods? I will say that when the younger ones eat, they don't eat the oyster shells. I know this because I let the food run out 2 days ago and there was a bunch of oyster shells ONLY in the feeder...:)

    What should I do? Will the start and grow hurt the older one? I am not far from 16 weeks for the young ones.

    Thanks!
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It'll be very difficult to feed her separately from the younger ones. Grower won't hurt her at all. I'd suggest continue feeding them as before until the grower feeds runs out or they turn 16 weeks or older, then switch them all to layer. In the meantime try the greens I suggested above. A friend of mine got his hens laying by feeding them alfalfa with their usual diet of grains.
     
  7. Faso

    Faso Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Pompton Lakes, NJ
    Thanks. That's the problem. I just ran out of grower yesterday when filling their feeder. I have to get more this weekend. The little ones are 13 weeks as of tomorrow. Possibly 14 if I'm a week off. I need to check my calendar when I get home. So...do I put the Alf Alfa in the feeder or throw it on the ground in the run? What do you feed these extras in? Stop adding oyster shell to the grower? Should I toss it on the ground in the run maybe? Thanks for all your help!
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'd just feed everyone grower and offer oyster shell and alfalfa on the side, I just scatter it on the floor of the run.
     
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    My hens free ranged on a pasture planted with a mix of alfalfa and grass. What you can do is either cut it into smaller pieces and put it in a bowl, scatter it on the ground (they do make a mess of it though) or tie it in a bunch and hang it up for them to peck.
    I haven't been able to find a good nutritional breakdown for alfalfa, but I know it's full of good stuff and excellent animal food.
    Hope your hen gives you an egg soon!
     
  10. Phyrst

    Phyrst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious, where would someone buy fresh alfalfa for their chickens? I've seen the packaged stuff for critters like guinea pigs or rabbits but I don't think it's exactly what you would call fresh!
     

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