While Marmite has recently been struggling to lay her eggs Salmon had looked better than ever and had been laying much more frequently than ever before. Salmon has sometimes been laying two days running which had only happened on rare occasions the year before.
Last week Salmon and Flame were sharing a nest box. I thought they looked so sweet together that I took a photo.
When I checked back a little later Flame was out in the run. I checked the nest box and couldn’t see an egg so I lifted Salmon and found that she was sitting on Flame’s egg.
I wondered if Salmon was going broody or if she had just decided to sit on Flame’s egg while waiting to lay her own. I removed the egg and left Salmon to it.
A little later I checked again and Salmon had laid so I took her out of the nest box and she stayed out. Perhaps not broody then.
The following day Salmon looked poorly. She looked just like Marmite does when she is struggling to lay. I couldn’t understand why Salmon should be struggling when she had laid her egg the day before with no problem.
Salmon had the same posture that Marmite often has and her eyes kept closing but she opened them when I took her photo.
I hate to see the girls like this and feel so helpless. I can’t understand why this should happen as nothing has changed in their diet. Salmon looked like this until she went in at bedtime and from experience I knew that she would probably get her egg laid in the morning and hopefully bounce back.
The next morning Salmon looked back to her normal self again. I found half a soft shell on their patio area and the rest of it in a sticky mess in the chicken shed. I think they must have managed to get half the egg outside and eat the contents.
Later that day Salmon spent time in the nest box and I knew that she hadn’t realised she had laid her egg as this often happens after a soft shelled egg. I always think that it is odd that the girls look so poorly before they lay the egg but then when they actually lay it they don’t seem aware of it. A little later Salmon left the nest box.
The next day Salmon was back in the nest box again. This time she was in the nest box for a long time and when I checked on her she raised her tail like the broody girls do and had an angry glint in her eye at being disturbed. Once again I wondered if she was going broody.
Salmon has never been broody but then again she has never laid so well as this year either and it tends to be the better laying girls that go broody.
I lifted Salmon out of the nest box and she went straight back in again. I decided that if she was broody it would be a good chance for her to take a break from laying.
However the next time I checked on Salmon she had laid a good shelled egg and was back out in the run looking perfectly normal again.
It seems that it was just a blip and Salmon has looked her usual self since then. These girls do like to throw a bit of drama our way every now and again.
The day after Salmon looked poorly Marmite looked poorly again. Here we go again, I thought! The following morning Marmite had also bounced back and there was her egg on the patio just outside the pop hole. It looked perfect but when I picked it up the shell broke in my hand. The shell was really thin.
A few days later Marmite went into the nest box without looking poorly. This time Marmite laid a good shelled egg. While looking poorly Marmite always goes to the grit so she knows what she needs. It seems that she is taking grit and oyster shell but it doesn’t seem to be helping her form her shells properly.
I hope that after laying a good shelled egg Marmite is now improving. It seems to be one drama after another with these girls at the moment. Today both Salmon and Marmite look happy again so I can only hope it stays that way.
In other news Smoke has gone broody again. She has laid nine eggs in twelve days. Sigh!