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 New Egg

    Jul 16, 2017
    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 Chicken Obsessed

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    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. micstrachan

    micstrachan Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    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! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    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 New Egg

    Jul 16, 2017
    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.

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