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Help! Backyard chicken -- young, egg-bound, laying 2 soft eggs/day


Lori D.
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What do you do to get young layers healthy, and laying at a normal rate??

 

Okay, all you chicken families, I need help! My next door neighbor has a young Ameraucana that she was told was younger than it is, so it started laying before my friend had started layer feed. The chicken has laid 11 eggs in 8 days now.

 

My friend immediately got the hen on layer feed after that first egg, and has administered ground up oyster shell in liquid via a syringe, but almost every day, the hen goes downhill, is egg-bound at roosting time, and eventually puts out 1 and often 2, soft-shell-squishy eggs.

 

So, why is the hen over-producing eggs, and what else can my friend do to help get this hen back into a regular 1-a-day laying routine with hard-shelled eggs?

 

Thanks SO much in advance! (And, I'm asking with an edge of panic, because I'll be taking care of her little flock of 6 for 3 weeks this summer!!) Warmest regards, Lori D.

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It's not unusual for a pullet who just starting to lay to have some anomalies with the eggs. If the chicken isn't acting otherwise unhealthy, I would leave it to work itself out. If your friend is super concerned about this chicken, then she could try limiting access to light. Chickens need several hours a day of light in order to lay. Honestly, though, in an otherwise healthy chicken, just making sure there is access to calcium (oyster shells or eggshells) and a good quality layer feed should do the trick. It is also possible that the chicken has a faulty system and might never lay typical eggs. I think it is too soon to determine that.

 

I highly recommend checking out the forums at backyardchickens.com . There is a wealth of info there about chickens.

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