Eggless wonders

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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie »

I'm pleased your girls are laying again Diane. I wish I could say the same of mine...

Miss Muffet is the only one laying.
Mabel, also 2 years old, has not laid an egg for 2 months....this doesn't seem right
The 4 year old ex batts, well, I guess that's an age thing.

All are looking happy and healthy, but I need more eggs!
dianefairhall
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by dianefairhall »

Two months is a long time for it to be the weather! Morag stopped for just under a fortnight and still misses occasionally. Her eggs are smaller than the others, what I'd call a medium whereas the other two lay large ones, Skye's being the biggest, so aside from colour it's easy to tell who laid what. I hope yours get going again soon, TP. So disappointing when you see an empty nest.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie »

I'm just posting this message just to see if anyone has any advice or opinions.

Miss Muffet, 2 years old, lays an egg every day.

Mabel is 2 years old and has not laid an egg for 2 months. Red comb. All her feathers, normal bossy self.

Barbie and Cindy, the 4 year old ex batts haven't laid for 3 months or more. I have become to expect that.

Trouble is, I am on a strict keto diet, so I need 2 eggs per day and a few extra at the weekend for the OH. I'm not inclined to get 2 more hens, so it looks like Tesco. :-)06
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Marigold
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Marigold »

It’s not uncommon for a 2-year-old hybrid to stop laying for a long time. They are not machines, after all. Sometimes they come back into lay, maybe in the next breeding season the following year, but there’s no guarantee.
Of course, in a small flock an unproductive hen is a big drawback, especially when you only have one laying out of the four. It would be expected for the 4-year-old exbatts to have come through the henopause, used up all their egg cells and are now unable to lay. This is good if you want to keep them on as pensioner pets because they can sometimes go on for years,and will be less afflicted by egg laying problems which are so common in middle aged or elderly hybrids, eg prolapse or peritonitis or eggbinding arising from a soft egg getting stuck in the egg passage, Not so good if they are mainly kept for eggs, and you don’t have room for new pullets.

Big decision time, sadly, I think. It depends on how you regard the nature of the ‘deal’ you have with them - whether you decide to keep them on as pets for the rest of their natural life, or whether you feel you have done your best for them whilst they were able to provide the eggs you need, and then you decide to give at least the oldest ones a peaceful end, having given them all that extra time and love which they couldn't have had if they hadn’t found you, and start again with new ones. Never easy, and I’ve tried both ways, though nowadays I tend to go for the second option. Either way is fine, it’s just what sits best with you and what you want and need from your little flock.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie »

Marigold, I wouldn't be able to give them a peaceful end, as I doubt a vet would do the job if they're not ill and I don't have the balls to do it, infact I wouldn't even know how. I do see Barbie as a pet, not so with Mabel and Sindy. I do like your straight talking and none judgemental responses and it's good to know you have had the experience of both situations. :-)
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Marigold
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Marigold »

Thank you, Tweetipie, I’m glad you didn’t feel I came across as heartless. Huge respect for you, deciding to let them live out their lives as pets, although at some personal inconvenience with trips down to Tesco!
It’s a funny situation we’re in, with hens, isn’t it? Whilst we would all probably be patient and understanding with an old dog or cat, and would put off having to make the awful decision until their suffering becomes apparent, the situation isn’t quite the same with ‘dual-purpose’ pet chickens that we also get used to relying on for egg supplies.
Nowadays, I do the deed myself. I hate doing it but know it was done as instantly as possible, at dusk on a sleepy hen lifted off the roost who didn’t struggle or appear distressed. I used to take them to the vet, but decided I needed to learn how to do it myself in case I encountered an emergency situation where swift action was kindest. Having learned to do it, I then sort of carried on practising when necessary. However, I think you would find that there would be no problem with your vet if you asked for elderly hybrids to be PTS, and having watched this happen, it is very peaceful. Good to know, just in case.

I’m just interested to know why you feel particularly protective of Barbie, but not so much of Cindy and Mabel?
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Tweetypie
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Tweetypie »

Just seen this post, Marigold. I changed jobs so now working full time and haven't had time to read all the posts. I have some sad news, Sindy sadly passed away 2 weeks ago. She had been standing around, alone, for a couple of days and not interested in much. She seemed to be in a decline since March, just not herself. On the morning she died, my husband said kept going in and out of the coop and he went to check on her a couple of hours later, to discover she died in the nest box. At least she had a good 2 years with us and for that I feel no guilt, but relieved she died peacefully. Must admit I shed some tears for a day or two. :-(

In answer to the original question it is just that Barbie is such a character. She shouts the loudest and is the friendliest. It's odd now with just 3, but I don't think I will get another pair until next Spring, despite only Miss Muffet providing eggs. :-)
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Marigold
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by Marigold »

Ahhh, sorry to hear about Sindy, - but what a lovely way to go, after a life extended to double what it would have been if you hadn’t taken her in and looked after her so well. I hope, when my turn comes, it’s as peaceful and natural as that.
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rick
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Re: Eggless wonders

Post by rick »

Sorry to hear about Sindy, Tweetypie :( We kind of sign a contract with them - dont we ... they give us lots of laughs and joy (and eggs) and in return we have to take the load of a birds way of living when the time comes. Pom has just joined the ranks of the eggless wonders - gone into a moult and stopped laying just after I worked out that her eggs were the slightly greener/blue ones. Mo and Lulu are still going for it.
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