Sugar usually starts laying again two weeks after I break her from being broody. This time round she hadn’t laid for five weeks. I had really hoped that she was finished laying for this year.
During this break from laying Sugar had looked much better. She had stopped spending half her time sitting on the ground and instead had returned to perching on the branch perch above the ladder. She had looked much perkier and looked better than she had done all year.
Then the day before yesterday Sugar looked uncomfortable again. She was sitting with her back humped and her wings down. We knew she was brewing an egg once more.
Yesterday Sugar was standing in a corner of the run with her wings down. When I threw out the morning sunflower hearts she made no attempt to move. I felt really bad for her and as usual wished she could just stop laying. Once again we felt unsure whether she was going to get her egg laid this time.
A bit later when I checked on Sugar she was settled in a nest box and remained there for hours. Autumn was very interested in Sugar being in the nest box and stood on the ramp watching her. I wasn’t sure if this was a sign Autumn was also getting ready to lay soon or if she was just curious about Sugar being in the nest box for so long.
I took my camera up but by then Autumn had moved back down the ramp. She was joined by Mango and Dot to check on Sugar in the nest box.
All three girls were watching Sugar but when I pointed the camera Mango turned to look at me.
While Sugar was in the nest box both Mango and then Dot laid their egg. Every time I checked on Sugar she hadn’t yet laid.
The next time I went up to check Sugar ran down towards me enthusiastically along with the rest of the flock. She looked back to normal so I knew she must have got her egg laid. I checked the nest box and her soft shelled egg was broken in two halves with a broken egg yolk over the pine shavings. I scooped it out along with the messy shavings.
Thank goodness Sugar has once again managed to get her egg laid and bounced back. I hate that Sugar has to go through the discomfort of laying soft shelled eggs. We wish that Sugar could stop laying altogether but unfortunately we can’t make that happen.
We feel lucky to still have Sugar as we thought we may lose her this summer. We just hope that after this spell of laying she will stop laying for the winter. We know that the problem will probably return in the spring but it would be good for Sugar to have the reprieve of a winter without the discomfort of laying. It would be even better if, like Salmon, she didn’t resume laying in the spring. That would be the best possible outcome for Sugar.