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Annabel

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Chicken Eggspert

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  1. I too have never found any documented statements regarding this chicken laying (or phantom laying behaviour) online at least - after many hours of searching. It does feel that this is a deliberate and dare I say it 'thought out' act of fooling and it is great to see others coming forward with similar experiences. Esp what Beantree wrote. That is very clever. Yes I had noticed that when they finally got introduced properly that the younger, lower down ones had more to gain so really fought to not be stuck at the bottom. I do love chickens and their social lives!
  2. Mine is not with a cockerel, however her very bossy second in command often looks to rule the roost but a careful eye will see that it is the older hen that was top hen (when she was feisty and laying) and is still top hen now (though more of a silent top hen)- only pecking the bossy second in command very rarely (to which second in command will drop right down). Top hen gets best shouts on food etc. Recently introduced some new rescue ex-caged hens and as they did not know the pecking order, they mistook bossy second in command to be the top hen as she was sizing up to them, heckles out etc and only then did the real top hen start to become properly aggressive towards the second in command by pecking hard at her feet every time she tried to take on the new comers. I meant to say- the second in command acts a bit like a cockerel! That was the point!
  3. Have you experienced a hen continuing to use the nesting box? And what are your thoughts Cat tails on the possible reason?
  4. It is very interesting isn't it. I do think they may be pretending to keep their status as I'm guessing in the wild perhaps those that didn't raise chicks by producing fertile eggs may have been considered as little use and attacked? So it looks like it isn't necessarily the top hen but also those lower down - anyone not wanting to be found out as barren!
  5. Following on from a previous post where I explained that my top hen stopped laying (being old) and after a few days of realising her daily egg was not coming, decided to forever after take a trip to the nesting box and sit there for an adequate 'egg laying period' and then re-emerge... Beantree stated that her chicken (also old and a top hen did the same). So, is it possible that these hens try to hold onto the top spot when elderly, by pretending that they still lay to avoid cascading down the ranks? Has anyone else out there got a top hen that has resumed sittin in the nesting box day after day following first an absence of visits when her egg laying stopped? Be really interesting to see.....
  6. That is interesting Beantree- could well be a yolk release or the hormone. The thing which makes me suspicious is the wait of not laying (during which time she did not visit the nest box) and then almost as if she realised there were no eggs coming - she resumed sitting in the nesting box. How interesting also, that your top hen is doing similar. I wonder if there are any other top hens out there that have ceased laying, that now go about the phantom lay!
  7. Hi everyone, One of our ex caged hens who used to lay every single day without fail, stopped laying around 3 months ago. When she stopped laying, for a few days she just hung around the other chickens as normal. Then after 4 or 5 days she started taking trips up to the nesting box, sitting there for around 30 mins or so (her usual lay period) and then would return downstairs. This continued every day. Now, this hen is top of the pecking order but has a really brutish second in command who definately respects her (this ex-caged hen is treated like elephant matriarchs)... so I'm wondering- are these visits because after 2.5 years of daily laying the habbit is still there, or do you think it is to maintain her status?
  8. Thank you Beantree - I will keep a close eye on it and see if we need to sort it out.
  9. Thanks Cat tails - yes it is weird. I've never seen this sort of thing before on the face either but given how uniform they are on the legs it would make sense if they are spurs trimmed.
  10. We rescued some ex-caged hens yesterday afternoon and noticed one of them has these weird lumps on her face and both legs (at the exact same position)- they look like a emerging 5th toe. anyone seen anything like this?
  11. Yes you are right, they can’t fly. so I sent a photo and video to the breeder who believed the grey one is male and white one female. low and behold, the white one started crowing this morning. real shame as we now will return them to him (heart broken kids) for rehoming (and I assume two new ones) and I have a terrible feeling he won’t manage it and they’ll be killed. yesterday when we thought just the grey one was male, I was going to try and regime as a breeding pair but no chance of that now. I suppose they have lived longer than they would have done if the breeder had noticed sooner.
  12. Yeah I know they are so hard to sex - and I have heard you just wait to see if an egg appears or if they crow. Doing a bit of searching online got me a little worried as they have quite a few tell tell tales indicating they could be male (started to get suspicious with all the chest bumping, rising to full height in the mornings and trying to each asert authority on the other before settling down to eat alongside each other happily). hmmmm - we shall see. The breeder we bought them from had around 50 silkies and bred and sold chickens as his business (he was certain all his chickens were female)- probably should expect him to be a bit of an expert but this behaviour does seem cockerel like and then we have the streamers developing at the back of the head. oh well - let's wait an see what the next few months brings!!
  13. Ok so I bought these two Silkies as hens and I’m starting to really worry they might be cockerels- what does everyone else think? They are 17 weeks and do a bit of chest bumping in the morning but I know this can be common for hens. Not great photos I’m afraid as they hide from the big ones. The grey one has had a haircut recently so she/he could see- around the eyes.
  14. She was last wormed 2 months ago with Flubenvet so isn't due yet and nothing in the poo to imply worms (or any of the others). yes i haven't seen any egg shell around so I think she may still have that. She's come out of the nesting box (no results there) and gone to actively join the others so that is a good sign. I'm wondering what type of horrors I will find in the nesting box tomorrow! She had some nutridrops today so hopefully that will pick her up a bit!

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