Moulting and egg laying

There is a bit of moulting going on at the moment but not too heavy. Mango has been dropping fluffy baby feathers and has some loose ones sticking out. Cloud has a ragged tail but doesn’t seem to be dropping feathers. Storm dropped a few tail feathers but still looks good.

Autumn is dropping, fluffy baby feathers, but doesn’t look any different. Dot dropped a tail feather in the chicken shed overnight. Gold still has her weird under feathers showing at the base of her tail. Salmon and Sugar don’t seem to be dropping any feathers yet.

Gold, Storm and Dot are laying as usual. Sugar is still struggling with her eggs. She used to lay every other day but now lays less often. When she came back into lay she laid her first two eggs with a day in between and they had normal shells.

Sugar then laid six days later with a soft shell which was broken under her roost spot in the morning. Two days later I found Sugar’s broken soft shelled egg out in the run. It must have taken her by surprise and afterwards she sat in the nest box for a while as if she didn’t realise she had laid it.

Today which is three days later she has laid an egg in the nest box which is almost normal. It just has one soft patch and a bit of crazing on the shell. I will scramble it and feed it back to the girls.

Mango is moulting

Behind Mango is Gold and you can see that she still has her weird explosion of feathers at the base of her tail. This must be typical of her breed because I checked in on Pipinchick’s web site recently to see what chickens they now had for sale, purely out of curiosity! Their photo of a bantam ardennaise could have been a photo of Gold. It had the exact same feathers as in this photo. It reassured me that this must be normal for her breed.

Cloud is behind Mango and has ragged tail
Sugar always looks like this before she lays

Sugar hadn’t moved from her position next to the food and water for a few hours before she took herself off to the nest box. She always looks uncomfortable and I feel so sorry for her.

Autumn is dropping fluffy feathers but looks unchanged
Storm had dropped a few tail feathers but her appearance is also unchanged
Later sugar got her egg laid
And as always Sugar bounced back
Sugar joins the dust bathing girls
Dust bathing together

Sugar usually lays six eggs before going broody and she has now laid five. This should mean she will stop laying again soon. Her eggs have been laid over a longer period of time, this time round, so I don’t know if she will lay more because of this.

Only time will tell how Sugar goes on. Any time we have her with us is a bonus as we really didn’t think she would still be with us this summer, after her difficult start in the spring. I feel that if she can get to the end of her egg laying this summer she will be okay for the winter. It will be next spring that could be troublesome for her.

Only time will tell. At the moment, although I hate to think of her being uncomfortable while laying, she bounces back and seems happy in between. As long as she is having a good quality of life we will let things take their course.

We are also realistic and know that Sugar isn’t likely to be long lived with whatever problem she is having but for now she keeps bouncing back.

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6 Responses to Moulting and egg laying

  1. DAVID says:

    Poor Sugar – she reminds me of Amber and the egg-laying problems she had; fortunately, she does seem to recover. I hope that you’re right that she’ll either go broody or just stop. I have some very raggy-looking girls at the moment.

  2. Carol says:

    It’s funny but only today I thought that Sugar currently reminded me of Amber. I am amazed that you remember not only my past problems but even the girls names. We only had Amber for two years and she had this problem laying from the start. We have had Sugar for three years and she had no problem with laying for the first two years. It only started this year, her third year laying. But what reminds me so much of Amber is that she has the same shape when about to lay with the humped back. That leads me to think it’s the same problem. That’s why I am preparing myself for whatever comes next but am always hopeful at the same time. This is the time of year for raggedly looking girls.

  3. marion.pharo says:

    Glad she has bounced back again, her lovely white feathers, I think she stands out in the flock.

  4. Sophie says:

    Seramas are such a worry areny they! I’ve had two with prolapses in the past month. Thankfully I’ve been able to treat them but obviously it could now always be a problem xx

    • Carol says:

      That is the very reason that I decided I can’t have seramas in the future. So sorry you have had to deal with prolapse. I have lost so many of my seramas to prolapse which is something I haven’t experienced with any other breed. Seramas seem to be really prone to all sorts of egg laying problems xx

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