Suddenly Laying Eggs in Odd Places and then Rubber Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sammer, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Sammer

    Sammer In the Brooder

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    I have three hens, all old enough to be egg layers. One of mine, I think a golden sexlink (she was a stray that didn't leave so I kept her and got her friends), started molting around October. She continued laying regular strong eggs. I live in Albuquerque and we have had a very mild winter, rarely reaching freezing temperatures.

    In mid-December, when we hit the coldest temperatures (high twenties), I noticed that she started laying her eggs in unusual places (the ramp into the roosting area, in the lower portion of the coop, various places outside the coop in their large fenced in run) despite always laying in the nesting box. Because it was dark by the time I got home from work, I missed them and they would freeze. I'd find them the next morning and remove them. Then I stopped finding her eggs, and I assumed she stopped laying. About two weeks ago I found her and the other girls eating her egg and I immediately removed it. I assumed she hadn't stopped laying and that I missed an egg in an odd place that froze, they got curious, and discovered it was delicious.

    I got a few ceramic eggs and put them out. After a couple of days, I started finding eggs from my other hen (cuckoo maran) and I thought that they were eating both eggs after being layed (my other hen has stopped producing for the winter). I started to then find the eggs from my golden sexlink, though with multiple days between eggs. I didn't think anything of it since I know it is common for their egg production to slow down when it is colder weather and during molting, since she is still molting (as a side note, she is getting very few feathers back, and is still half bald). I did notice her shells were a little thinner than usual, but not thin enough to make me think she wasn't getting enough calcium, especially since the other hen's eggs were not any thinner.

    I have continued to find eggs, usually daily, from my cuckoo maran. However, I started finding the membrane of some rubber eggs that popped from the sexlink, and a few rubber eggs that had not been popped, all in the nesting box or just outside of it. I haven't found any of her eggs with a shell lately, they've all been rubber. Has anyone had this experience or something similar? I'm not entirely sure what to do and I'm concerned about her. Her normal eggs are very large, too large to close an egg carton, and she would lay almost daily with very thick shells. Every once in a while she would lay a rubber egg, but it was usually on the same day as a normal egg and after she skipped a day of laying.

    I hope this wasn't too lengthy, but I figure too much information is better than not enough. Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    It's a long & INFORMATIVE post, very helpful for Members to help. Sounds like she's having some reproductive issues, I'm not experienced in diagnosing illness, I would recommend you copy & repost this in the Emergencies, Illness, Injuries & Cures section.
     
    micstrachan likes this.
  3. Yes, I am concerned she may have damaged her shell gland somehow. Has a respiratory illness come through the flock at all? Can you crush some calcium with D on top of scrambled egg and offer it to her to see if it helps with shells?​
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    So she was molting and still laying?
    Do you have any idea how old she might be(probably not)....
    ...but sexlinks can often have reproductive system issues at 2-3 years old.
     
  5. Sammer

    Sammer In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the responses so far. I will add this to the health section also. I have no idea how old she. I found her about a year ago and she was old enough to lay at that time, but that is my only clue. Very informative link also. I had run across that one last night to get a better understanding of what may be happening.
     
  6. Sammer

    Sammer In the Brooder

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    Hi Everyone. I posted this in the health section, and have continued to do research, including reading the common egg quality problems article. No one really responded in the other section so I'm reviving this one since I am still having issues with my girl. I believe she is almost done molting, which seems like it is taking a VERY, VERY long time. But she is getting some downy feathers finally. She is now laying in the nesting box, but she is laying inconsistently, usually a rubber egg. When she does lay with a shell, it is a very thin one. She is getting plenty of calcium, I have oyster shells out and another egg supplement. When she lays rubber eggs she eats them so I usually just find the membrane or just yolk covered straw. There haven't been any health issues going through the flock, and she seems healthy otherwise. Does anyone have any other ideas? I'm not sure what to do at this point.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    What is this?
    What and how exactly are you feeding?
    Some pics of the bird would be most helpful.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  8. Sammer

    Sammer In the Brooder

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    Below are some pictures, including the label of the supplement. I introduced the additional egg supplement after she started having issues. They really like it and I keep it in a separate container so they can snack on it whenever. They get layer pellets as their regular diet and I also give them scratch every so often and various seasonal treats (fruits and veggies) every so often. They do get oyster shells also and those are in a separate container.

    You can see she is missing a lot of her feathers still. I found her about a year ago and she was missing about the same number of feathers. They grew back and then she started molting in the winter. I think she is a slow molter, but you can see she's getting some of her downy feathers. I've checked her for mites, lice, and other skin conditions but haven't found anything. They have access to a dirt bath all of the time also.

    IMG_0834.JPG IMG_7557.PNG IMG_0828.JPG
     
  9. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Songster

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    This is so crazy! I was looking for a different answer to a weird egg situation, BUT my hen that looks to be the same breed as yours, is the ODDEST layer! She has started flying the chicken run early in the morning, running around to the back of the fence and laying her eggs back there. Does this breed just have odd laying behaviors, or is this just a coincidence! I hope she is ok! That looks like a rough molt!
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.

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