We got our first egg today - but worried

elphabafalls

Songster
Jul 27, 2020
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I'd posted the other day because my chickens were getting into their 20's (weeks), but we'd not seen a single egg from any of the 7 girls. We actually have 10 total, but 3 aren't close enough to laying age yet. This morning, when I checked our boxes, there was a little brown egg with the white decoys I put in there. We're pretty sure it's Mary's egg because her comb and wattle are the reddest and biggest, and her pelvic spacing is the widest - and has been for the longest. Honey, Penny, Darling and Abbey are all squatting when you touch them on their backs, their combs and wattles are getting big and red, and most of their pelvic spacing is getting larger. The only exception is Darling. I can only fit one finger between the 2 points, and it's been that way for about 2 weeks despite the fact that the other signs are getting more pronounced. The last few days, she's had poop on her little butt when I've checked her. Her butt's not gross and filthy all over, but she's never had anything on it before. I may be worrying too much, but is this a sign that she may be having trouble? If there's an egg in there, there's no way she's going to be able to get it out because her spacing is as tight as the chickens that are showing zero signs of getting close. We have the Epsom salt and the tub ready - just like we've got everything else ready to take care of whatever happens to them. Am I worrying too much? These are my first chicken children, and while I accept the fact that sometimes you lose chickens to predators and illness, I want to do whatever I can to prevent it.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Is our little Darling behaving normally? Or is she self isolating and fluffed up, eyes at half mast, shoulders hunched with her tail held low and flat? If it's the latter, she is indeed in dire straits. If she's behaving normally, your worries are premature.

Just as my younger sister by 20 months reached puberty a full two years before I, her older sister, so it is with pullets. Individual genetic makeup determines when a pullet reaches point of lay. Continue to watch those pelvic bones. They can widen practically overnight.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
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Apr 9, 2016
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This morning, when I checked our boxes, there was a little brown egg with the white decoys I put in there.
Congrats on your first egg! :celebrate

The last few days, she's had poop on her little butt when I've checked her. Her butt's not gross and filthy all over, but she's never had anything on it before. I may be worrying too much, but is this a sign that she may be having trouble?
Every spring and fall I have to clean some dirty bumms.. Either they aren't squatting well enough or something to that effect.

I've HEARD it was a sign of worms.. but HAD fecal floats done that confirmed that was not MY issue.

SOMETIMES, waste building on feathers MAY be indicating an external parasite like mites or lice.. Checking after dark with a flashlight and part the feathers below the vent and on the abdomen is the easiest way to see any crawling bugs. Also notice if there are any dried dirt clumps attached near the feather base below the vent.

Yes, I do think you MAY be worrying a bit too much. But it's good that you are aware of what could happen and prepared as well as paying attention. :highfive:

If you notice truly odd behavior like described above, then start by assessing crop function and go from there.

Laying hormone will start to increase December 22 as daylight increases. Right now would not be a high activity time to see binding with the low light conditions in many locations.. are you using natural or extra artificial lighting?

Or at least not from excess yolkers.. maybe more so from a softee.. but many new layers have softees on the droppings board or out in the yard as their reproductive system and shell gland comes online.

20 weeks is still young for birds maturing this time of year to come into lay. Sounds like you have many that will start soon though! My pullets that do squat.. usually start about a month or so before actual onset of lay. :)
 

elphabafalls

Songster
Jul 27, 2020
106
156
123
Is our little Darling behaving normally? Or is she self isolating and fluffed up, eyes at half mast, shoulders hunched with her tail held low and flat? If it's the latter, she is indeed in dire straits. If she's behaving normally, your worries are premature.

Just as my younger sister by 20 months reached puberty a full two years before I, her older sister, so it is with pullets. Individual genetic makeup determines when a pullet reaches point of lay. Continue to watch those pelvic bones. They can widen practically overnight.
She was trying over and over to get the poop off, but couldn't. My husband and I did a little poopectomy, and she perked up. She's not acting like you described, thank God - but she kept going to the nesting boxes over and over today. That's new behavior for her. That's why I worried that between that and the poop that she may have an egg up there that can't come out. I'm going to check the points again when they go back into the coop for bed to see how she's coming along. Thank you!
 

elphabafalls

Songster
Jul 27, 2020
106
156
123
Congrats on your first egg! :celebrate


Every spring and fall I have to clean some dirty bumms.. Either they aren't squatting well enough or something to that effect.

I've HEARD it was a sign of worms.. but HAD fecal floats done that confirmed that was not MY issue.

SOMETIMES, waste building on feathers MAY be indicating an external parasite like mites or lice.. Checking after dark with a flashlight and part the feathers below the vent and on the abdomen is the easiest way to see any crawling bugs. Also notice if there are any dried dirt clumps attached near the feather base below the vent.

Yes, I do think you MAY be worrying a bit too much. But it's good that you are aware of what could happen and prepared as well as paying attention. :highfive:

If you notice truly odd behavior like described above, then start by assessing crop function and go from there.

Laying hormone will start to increase December 22 as daylight increases. Right now would not be a high activity time to see binding with the low light conditions in many locations.. are you using natural or extra artificial lighting?

Or at least not from excess yolkers.. maybe more so from a softee.. but many new layers have softees on the droppings board or out in the yard as their reproductive system and shell gland comes online.

20 weeks is still young for birds maturing this time of year to come into lay. Sounds like you have many that will start soon though! My pullets that do squat.. usually start about a month or so before actual onset of lay. :)
Thank you! We're so excited. We're using natural light only. They got pissed off at the artificial light lol. We tried that for a total of like 3 days or so before deciding that natural was the way to go. Darling has been going to the nesting box today over and over - which is something she's never done. I could just fit one finger - and my hands are pretty small - between the points this morning, so that and the poop had me worried she was trying and failing to lay an egg. Yes, I'm probably worrying too much. I just don't want any of their illnesses to be my fault. I will check for critters tonight. In the warm months, we put DE in their bedding when they're out and out about to dry out any bugs, and it works beautifully. However, this month has been really weird in that one day it's 30 degrees and the next is literally 70 degrees, so bugs may be a problem. I check them every night before I go to bed, but I will check a lot closer tonight. They're about 24 to 25 weeks now. I mean to put 20 plus in my original post. Thank you!
 

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