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What the heck???? Help Needed!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DottieMarie, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    I'm a worrier by nature but I need to know if it's warrented this time or not. Our Isa Brown started laying on October 11th, she was just shy of 16 weeks. So, I switched their feed to a layer formula and started offering Calcium. Last night when closing up the coop, no eggs were in there. This morning I found an egg that is not typical of what she has been laying, it is dull in color and the shell is very rough like a super fine sand paper, no sheen at all to it. Also, I saw something else on the floor that liked a very small (about 1 1/4 inch) oval shaped encased thing but when I reached to pick it up for a better inspection, one of the girls grabbed it and ate it. What the heck is going on!!! The girl that's been laying is acting now like she's going to lay so I don't "think" she's involved with either event. We also have 2 other Isa's (one just recently developed a large comb and wattles and redder), and 16 week old RIR's, Barred Rocks and Buff Orp's.
    Did I switch food too soon?
    Am I giving too much calcium?
    Should I be concerned?
    And what was that thing on the floor?

  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    The thing on the floor could have been a shell-less egg. Those and odd eggs can be normal when pullets are just starting to lay, especially at that early age! I would just give them time to iron out their production.
  3. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    I would also collect eggs frequently, if you can. The fact that they grabbed it and ate it could lead to egg eating, which is nasty to break.

    Your food should be fine and the pullets will know how much calcium they need and only eat that much so leave the calcium free choice.

    They have quirks that need to be ironed out when they first start laying.
  4. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    Your ISA was egg bound. The "rough" on the egg is the extra calcium that was laid down on the egg while it was in the uterus. She is probably going to lay another egg since being egg bound causes a backlog. Her next eggs might be shelless since it may not have time to get calcium laid on it before it is expelled. That may be what the other chicken ate is a small shelless egg, however, that is just a guess. One of mine laid 4 eggs in 4 hours. Poor thing. Then the Roo jumped her as she waddled out to join her friends. She need a spa day and a wine cooler after that!!!!
    Just to give you a heads up- ISA's- at least mine- are prone to egg binding. They are a small bodied bird that lays a jumbo egg.
  5. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Thanks soooo much. They're as new to this as I am and I worry ALOT.
    I had checked the coop when I closed it all up last night....nothing! (but I could have missed the shelless egg since I was looking for eggs)
    I found the egg and the shelless thing when I was opening it up this morning, they were still on the roost so I don't know when this happened. I can't believe how fast the one grabbed it and ran.
    So, the rough shell egg doesn't mean one of the girls is sick? They all appear very healthy and normal.

    Also, I just went in to check on the one I know lays and found her in one of the nesting boxes. My DH just finished them this weekend so they've only been in there less than 24 hours....how cool is that!! [​IMG]

    Just checked again, no birds in the boxes and no eggs.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  6. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    KrisRose, I wrote my last post before I received yours.
    Wow, I didn't realize. I have been getting an egg a day except yesterday then found the rough one this morning?? I could have more than one chicken laying since the other Isa is looking like she should start any day. Since we didn't have the nesting boxes in there yet, the eggs have been on the floor but I did notice that the last 2 days they were in a different spot than previously. I had just been out there to check on them and found the known layer in a nesting box and the upcoming (if not current) layer in another nesting box.
    Geez, I have so much to learn at the expense of my girls.
    Until everyone is laying and I get to know the routine, should I be checking her hiney daily to see if there is anything unusual?
  7. chicksinthemachine

    chicksinthemachine Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    Thanks for this thread I was wondering the same thing about some of my pullets and hens eggs!

  8. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Congratulations on your early lay. I have several birds that are 23 weeks old and they are just starting. It takes awhile for them to get sorted out but they will. Don't worry unless you see something drastic. Just enjoy them.
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I don't think you need to do regular hiney checking... (I'm laughing now)... unless you notice something unusual.

    Give them some free choice calcium, make certain that they have nest boxes... 2 feet off of the ground is preferred... and continue with the layer feed.
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I've learned not to be such a worrier when it comes to my hens and their first eggs.
    While I haven't had a shell-less one, I've had weird shaped ones, speckled ones (sometimes with pretty blue speckles), a couple of the rough ones like you mentioned, and even a swirl colored one; tan and brown swirls. It's all part of them getting their egg factory up and running. If the hens are acting healthy and normal, I wouldn't worry.

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