The conundrum that is Sugar

Sugar has now laid four good eggs, laying every other day. Her eggs are very small, smaller than the game girls’ eggs. We still absolutely know that she is not right though and she seems worse for laying again.

Sugar has a lovely red comb. Twenty percent of the time she appears perfectly normal. She runs to the treats, she dust baths, she stretches out in the sun and she preens.

But the other eighty percent of the time she sits in the run which is not normal for a chicken. Before she lays her posture is like this.

Sugar sits with her wings held out
She has a humped back shape
After laying her last egg she was sitting with her head under her wing

Next time I checked on her she was up and about again.

The twenty percent of the time that she looks normal I think we must just and wait and see how she goes on. The eighty percent of the time that she sits, even when her posture isn’t as bad as at the moment, I worry about her quality of life.

We just have no clue what to do about her and keep coming back to feeling we must just wait and see.


About an hour after I had put this post out Sugar got her fifth egg laid the day after her fourth egg. It is super tiny like some of her eggs at the beginning of last year.

Sugar’s three most recent eggs with today’s egg on the left
Today’s egg is tiny
Next to a pound coin for size comparison
It appears to have a yolk but it’s the same colour as the white

This is just adding to the mystery of Sugar. There is definitely something adrift with her. We have never come across this before.

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6 Responses to The conundrum that is Sugar

  1. marionparo says:

    Thought when she laid her egg she had bounced back, such a shame things are still not right. You now know so much about hens but guess there is always more to learn.

  2. Carol says:

    Usually they either get better or quickly go downhill. Sugar has been like this for over a year now. It’s something we haven’t come across before. I think there is something wrong with her egg production system but she seems able to live with it.

  3. DAVID says:

    I do get the occasional egg like that. If she goes broody, it might be an idea to let her sit on dummy eggs for a couple of weeks, to stave off the laying problems?? Poor Sugar.

    • Carol says:

      It’s a tricky one. Last year she was struggling to lay her eggs and then bounced back once she had laid but that was because she was laying soft shells. This year she seems to be laying fine and they have good shells so it seems that that part has improved. But she sits in the run most of the time and has been doing this for over a year now. I have thought of letting her go broody (no need for dummy eggs as she doesn’t need any encouragement to sit) but the problem is if I leave her to it she will keep sitting. I have left her for a month before now before breaking her out of it. I just feel that sitting in a nest box all the time is even worse than sitting in the run. I just don’t know what is the best thing to do for her. I will wait until she goes broody and decide then.

  4. DAVID says:

    Not easy at all – I don’t envy you. It seems that you’ve faced these problems periodically, going back to Amber (if my memory serves me correctly – Honey, if I’m mistaken) and it can be quite harrowing to see. Sorry for Sugar, and for you.

    • Carol says:

      It was Amber who always laid soft shelled eggs, you have a good memory. Sugar is different from past girls though because she isn’t laying soft shelled eggs at the moment but for over a year now has been sitting in the run for ninety percent of the time which I have never come across before. She was the same all winter when not laying. She spent most of the winter either sitting in or on the shelter. I think when she goes broody I will compromise and leave her to sit for a couple of weeks and then try to break her out of it. We have known for over a year that something is adrift with her and yet she gets no better or worse so it’s hard to know what to do but to just leave her and wait to see what happens.

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