Whats with my 7m old chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Six Goldies, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Six Goldies

    Six Goldies Out Of The Brooder

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    I havent posted in awhile at least not since we had to put down one of our goldies. (Golden sex links) So I have a new question...
    One of our girls Henrietta, used to be the biggest girl, we called her the brute when the pullets were growing. (We got the girls at 6 wks now 7m) and she was always the biggest, her comb and waddles grew first and are the darkest red. The first of Nov we had our first egg in the nesting box... but it wasnt Henrietta'. by the end of Nov. four of the five girls were laying eggs. In comparison, Henrietta is now the smallest hen, the other girls are noticeably larger. One of the girls -the head hen, would lay her egg and Henrietta would go in the box and lay on it. When the other girls are laying Henrietta is out in the run squawking up a storm which at first we thought it was the hen laying making all that noise. Henrietta is low-man on the chicken pole, the four would roost together on the one roost and Henrietta on the other. During our short cold snap, the head hen would jump onto the other roost with Henrietta. Sadly last Monday,we let the girls forage for a couple hours while the sun was out. A neighbors' dog was running loose and came on our property and killed our head hen. With the new pecking order now established, one of the laying hens (the 3 girls look so similar that I dont know who is who any more, Henrietta is a deep red with little white and the others are definitely golden) has really taken to pushing Henrietta around, she blocks her from the scratch the feed the apple treats, although Henrietta is eating- just bullied.
    -I left out that we have lights on a timer, to simulate the longer daylight. also, Henrietta will not stay out of the 2 nesting boxes. She was trained right along side the others as far as not sleeping in the box. We have to put a board up to block her, than when lights out, we take the board down.

    OK, the question is why is Henrietta not laying, she doesnt squat like the other girls, Havent done the pelvic check yet, but we are starting to think she might be a Henri, Her waddles are longer than the other girls, her comb stands taller than the other girls, she is a deep red unlike the other girls. He tail feathers are not any different than the others no plumage or anything but than from pictures I have looked at they wont be for this breed.We are at a loss. We want to add 3 new 4 mo olds soon, but are afraid of how Henrietta will do with them, as well as our now more aggressive head hen. And we have had a few eggs with blood spots including very recently.. that's a fertilized egg right?

    Any ideas? Thanks
     
  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you post a pic of them? Is she the same breed as the others? Even if they are the same age, they may not necessarily start laying at the same time.

    Blood spots on or in eggs do not mean they are fertilized. Fertilized eggs have what we call a bullseye. It is a small white ring on the egg yolk.

    Blood spots on the egg means that the hen strained while laying the egg. It is very common especially from a brand new layer (pullet).

    Blood spots (or meat spots) in the egg are caused during the formation of an egg. It is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the surface of the yolk.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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  4. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also after re reading your post, the fact that your flock has suffered trauma will cause hens to hold their egg production. As well as the fact that she is being bullied. She may not be getting enough food or water to produce an egg. And then when she does try to practice sitting on the nest, she is blocked out. If she is sitting on the nest all the time, she may be a brooder hen. Broodies do not lay eggs either.
     
  5. Six Goldies

    Six Goldies Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your response..This is Henrietta, on the perch and bottom picture. Hopefully you can see the difference in coloration with the other chicken below her. And how dark and large her comb and waddles are. As far as nesting boxes go... she wants to sleep in the boxes at night hence the blocking until the auto lights go off. Since the other girls are laying, the board comes down as there usually is an egg around 6 AM. the 2 more later. the boxes are open all day until 4 PM. She will go in during the day and lay on the eggs if I havent gone back out to collect them early enough. When we bought the girls, the farmer told us based on what we said we were looking for that the golden sex links were a good choice. He picked them out (they were all about same age, and this is what he does for a living) (Baxterbarn.com). Based on what you mentioned she could just be broodie.. Right now the new head hen is in the nesting box and Henrietta is out scratching with the other two.. we make sure she gets her fair share because we are worried about the more aggressive hen.

    After the attack, the 3 layers continued to lay eggs and only 2 eggs 4 days later then back to 3 eggs a day. These little gals are daily egg producers so far.. only a few times has there been skipped days.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  6. Six Goldies

    Six Goldies Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote: Thank you for the information.. She has never laid an egg.. ok as far as we know.. they were free ranging all day up until Nov 1st.. thats when we had an egg for the first time in the nesting box.. but we know which chicken it came from.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Non laying birds shouldn't be eating layer feed.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Unless you are going to do a vent check, and separate your layers from non layers, and then feed them all individually depending on their laying status, it is futile to keep a flock with some on layer and some on starter/grower. If it's that important re: layer, you can give the whole flock starter and grower, and supplement with calcium for free choice.
     
  9. Six Goldies

    Six Goldies Out Of The Brooder

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    Just got back online.. thanks again for the comments they are very helpful. I have to ask why non layer chickens shouldnt be eating layer feed, we are really newbies and I understood that once you start getting eggs everyone went on layer feed. so for a month now Henrietta has been eating layer feed, with all of them getting oyster shell free choice as of this weekend. We only have one coop/run for the girls.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    You're good to go. IMO, people get way too carried away about when chickens should start on layer feed. You're doing just fine.
     

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