Weird chicken with weird eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hanna16, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. hanna16

    hanna16 New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2011
    I can't find an answer to this:
    I have a 8 months old Americana (Easter Egger). She came with 3 others and they started laying at about 4 months or so. No problems with those egg or the chicken. I keep them in a large run, get them fresh grass every day and they are fine there.
    This one E.Egger though - even though she had her wings cut as short as possible, she still manages to jump/fly over the fence. For a couple of months, she was just in my yard, wobbling around, not laying a thing.
    Then about a month ago, she laid an egg in the yard. It looked really dirty - like the dirt was in the shell, not just on surface and inside it was dense, black, and incredibly smelly. Then she disappeared. I worried that she was hurting and dying somewhere but she came back 2 days later, just fine. Flew over the fence, ate some food, fought with the rest of the flock and then disappeared again. Today I found another dense, dark, rotten egg in the yard.
    I have no idea where she goes. She just flies over 4 ft. fence. She also acts kind of crazy - never slept in the coop (slept on the flower box), and sometimes sits on the fence and makes A LOT of fuss.
    I also found a chicken in my neighborhood today, coincidentally another E. Egger. I brought it home, put it in the run with the others and what do you know - the run-away chicken came back about an hour later.
    I thought maybe the one I found was a rooster and this run away was going to see him but that is not the case. I am pretty sure that all of them are hens.

    So - anybody seen anything like this? BTW, the rotten eggs I am finding are not lying there for days - she just drops them on the pathway so I would have noticed.
    And - I have no problem culling her. Even though I don't want to get a mad-chicken disease from her ;-)

    Thanks
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] It sounds as if she has gone broody and is setting on a batch of rotten eggs. When she leaves the nest to eat some of the rotten/cracked eggs are attached to her feathers and that is what you are finding in the yard. This would be my best guess as to what is going on.
     
  3. Chicky-dees

    Chicky-dees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You mentioned your chickens started laying around 4 months, and that now they are about 8 months? Here are some things to ponder -

    You could just try leaving her alone for a couple of more months and letting her mature a bit more. Most egg-layers shouldn't start laying until at least 6 months of age unless fed a laying ration (like Purina's Layena formula for laying hens) too early. Feeding the laying ration too early can cause weird eggs and as a result can harm the hen's egg-laying, but then so can a lack of calcium. Sometimes they take a couple of months once they start laying to get it right so if she has only just started laying, she may be working out the kinks.

    And, yes if she is finding something yummy somewhere else, it could be influencing her egg shape/size/yolk/shell especially if she eats whatever it is, every day when she gets out. Aside from penning her up and regulating her food and water for two weeks to see if it will set her right, I'd just let her run about and do her thing. Chances are she will sort it out soon enough.

    If she isn't physically ill or showing any signs of respiratory distress or any diarrhea, don't worry about it too much. But if you suspect even the teeny tiny-est bacteria or illness is walking around with her, then don't hesitate to cull her. Chickens can't really lay rotten eggs - but can have nasty bacterial infections related to egg-bound syndrome or other infections caused by retained eggs or egg parts. However, even with a nasty infection and even if the chicken was on death's door, and even if the shell was soft and mutilated with pits from lack of nutrition (or too much), the inside of the egg should be fairly normal MAYBE blood tinged or cloudy at best, but not rotten.

    Are you SURE the eggs you are finding aren't being brought to the pathway by a cat or dog or some other critter? I agree she might have a nasty nest somewhere that she was trying to brood with a bunch of old eggs.

    Let us know how it turns out!! I also have one Ameracuna who won't stay in the chicken pen, either. She is a pain. I'm always chasing her off the top of my truck where she likes to sharpen her nails!!
     
  4. hanna16

    hanna16 New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2011
    I guess I will make her her own top-enclosed run and see what will happen. The rest of the chicken are just fenced in but she will need the top as well. I think that she has normal chicken poop - at least that's what I am finding in the yard. However, when I saw her today acting crazy on the fence, she pooped and it seemed runny. However, she was on the fence so who knows. I will build the run and will see. How much space does one chicken need?
     
  5. Chicky-dees

    Chicky-dees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For recovery from something like an illness (or bad behavior re-training in my case with my naughty bird) just a little cage of maybe a 4x4 foot square with room for a perch, nest box and food/water pans. She could live in something like that for a month if needed, while she recovered or if you just wanted to keep an eye on her. Makes a great quarantine box for new birds coming in to live, too, since with any livestock (hoofed, feathered or otherwise) to quarantine for 30 days before turning into the herd. Hope this helps!
     

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