young hen sure takes a long time to lay, is this normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by klane444, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. klane444

    klane444 New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2010
    My buff rock hen has been laying for about a month now. Her eggs are still quite small. takes her a few hours to lay an egg each day it seems. Tonight, after free ranging all day, she is in her preferred nesting spot (a small dog crate) in the hen house instead of on the roosting pole( which has ample room) with the other hens. She is at the top or near the top of the pecking order. she did not lay an egg in her dog crate this morning like she does on most days. Is she okay? I am a new chicken owner and am worried about her. Any advice? thanks!
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    I think you may have a super broody hen on your hands. Super broodys start early and go broody often.

    She's about 7 months?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  3. klane444

    klane444 New Egg

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    Sep 25, 2010
    about 6 months actually
     
  4. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Too young to let her set on anything for very long (she probably doesn't have the needed fat reserves to stay healthy through a month long broody period). I would try putting her in separate pen/crate broody jail for a few days and see if she returns to normal activity levels after that. If you absolutely don't have anywhere else to put her, at least take her out of nest box at least 2x per day and don't let her sleep in the nest box. Remove her after dark and put her on the roost with the other birds. (If you do it before dark she will just go back to the nest box.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    So, am I understanding correctly that she has only done this on one day thus far? And that she did not even lay an egg on that day? I am certainly no expert, but it seems a bit early to pronounce her a broody. My Buff Orpington takes about 2 hours to lay an egg. I have seen her on days when she hasn't lain, go into the nesting box and sit for an hour or more acting like she is going to lay and then, nothing. Next day, she's back to "normal" behavior.
     
  6. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Just a guess. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Posted at quarter to 4 this morning when I couldn't sleep all night, so I just went back and re-read original post. I see the hen did spend day out, so maybe not broody - or maybe just starting to be.

    When my hens start wanting to sleep in nest box (and they are not on the bottom of the pecking order) they are broody, so, pretty sure that's what got me on that idea, and if you get a broody at 6 months or 7 months, they will be broody a lot in their lives.

    I always welcome other opinions than my own, so happy to hear other ideas.

    In any case, hens suddenly acting differently should be watched carefully just in case it might be early warning signs of something more serious, such as slow crop or other illness.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2010

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