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What is up with this chicken???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brandislee, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    I have this Lemon Orpington (she's actually a 2nd gen lemon cuckoo orpington, and how I got her is kind of a long and not very interesting story...) who was one of the first chickens I got. Because she is very unique (and valuable, for a chicken...) I've been very protective of her. But I'm starting to wonder if she may be a bit of a dud. Here are my concerns:

    -Even though she is much larger than all the other hens and 2 weeks older, her comb hasn't grown and gotten red like everyone else.

    -I've never seen the roosters pay any attention to her at all (if you know what I mean...).

    -So far as I know, she lays really erratically. She laid the first egg, although I didn't know it at the time because it was a shell-less egg and all I found was a pile of goo (no yolk, either, that I could see...) that I thought was a really weird poo. Then from what I could tell her next eggs were as follows: soft shelled egg, porous egg, bumpy egg, possibly a few regular eggs, then one really odd one that was thin shelled MOSTLY but the top (the narrow part) was soft shelled. I know that the common advice for this problem is more calcium, but they have free choice oyster shell AND I sprinkle ground roasted egg shells on their food, and all the rest of the hens eggs have fine (possibly even super hard- I know they're much harder than grocery eggs) shells.

    -To me she just looks funny, but I don't know much about the breed standards and what they're supposed to look like. Like is she supposed to be so large bodied with that skirt of feathers around the bottom?

    Behaviorally she acts just like all the other chickens- there are no problems that I've noticed.

    If anyone has any input/perspective on this I would love to hear it. As she is the largest hen and my goal is to breed for a meatier bird, I would love to keep her for breeding (and I have thought more than once about starting a lemon cukoo orp breeding group, but I go back and forth on it...), but with these kinds of problems should I cull her, or rehome her?

    Here's a picture:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    Sorry- having issues with the site this morning, so somehow this got submitted three times. Can someone please delete the extras???
     
  3. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Had trouble getting logged on myself,any hooos. How old is she for starters? I know regular Buffs usually lay at 26/27wks from what I have read and info from other Buff owners. I say usually because I had 1 of mine start at 20 but still waiting for 2 others that don't even look close as their combs and wattles are still light pink. they are 23+ weeks so.
     
  4. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    She was hatched March 23rd, so she's 6 months old today (happy birthday!). Definitely old enough to be laying for a while now. That's about 26 weeks, I guess, which isn't that much past typical laying time. But is it normal for a chicken to be this erratic at first? My other layers (rocks and EE's) are laying fine and laying regularly, and as I said they're all 2 weeks younger than her.
     
  5. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    She is a beauty. They are chickens and do things their own way. Give her a another month or so to see if she figures it out. She might not be quite ready yet and that would explain her erratic egg structure. Dont know much about that breed either or about the egg production. As far as loks she basically looks like a standard Buff although the tail looks a little short.
     

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