March 07, 2011

Eggscellent Eggs

"Cinnamon" the chicken must be eggshausted these days. She has laid an egg every day but two since she suddenly started laying the last week of January. So far we have got 36 eggs and I find that to be eggstraordinary considering they are all from one single chicken. She has only missed two days since she started but she even made up for those days by giving us two eggs the day after one missed day and a large double yoked egg after the other.

We named her Cinnamon because according to the people we got her from she is a Cinnamon Queen chicken. She is our first chicken so we don't have a lot of experience with them yet but I would definitely say if you want lots of eggstra eggs this would be one of the good breeds to get. We were not even sure if she was going to lay eggs since we didn't know how old of a girl she is. You can read my other post about when we first got Cinnamon by clicking "here."

She is really an eggsceptionally calm and friendly chicken and will even take food from our hands. So what is on the chicken menu today? Let's see, there is always chicken food from the feed store available but we have also been giving her some other treats. Today it looks like a tomato, some salad mix, a handful of multi-grain cheerios and a piece of whole wheat bread (I only give her bread every 3rd day or so and not too much.) Oh and her yogurt, I can't forget that because it is her favorite, she loves the stuff.

All her veggie treats are under the bread and cheerios but she goes straight for the yogurt first.

I am a little concerned about her because she has had a persistent "messy" bottom, though she seems healthy otherwise. She has a good appetite, is active and laying eggs every day. No rattles to her breathing or discharge of any kind. I read on the backyard chickens forum to try giving her some plain yogurt for this but so far even though she loves it and eats a couple spoonfuls almost every day it hasn't helped the messy bottom situation. I read it could be mites and all chickens are very prone to them so I bought some powder for that. We have washed off her backside twice with warm water when it got more messy and smelly (add "washing a chicken's butt" to my list of things I never thought I would do before country life!)

She is really a wonderful chicken and we like her so much and are very happy to have her around. I never knew chickens could be so personable. We would like to figure out what we need to do to help her with that little back end issue. So we could use some help from all you experienced chicken owners if you have any suggestions or know what might be causing this, any advice would be very much appreciated. I try to avoid using antibiotics if at all possible but could it be time to try something like that or is this not that abnormal for certain individual chickens? Her eggs are always very clean.

17 comments:

Mom L said...

Can't help you with your chicken bottom question, but I do want to tell you she's beautiful! You'd think yogurt would help, since humans do best with it to replace lost flora or something. Could she be losing too much calcium by laying eggs every day? I've read that some people feed crushed eggshells to their chickens....

Nancy in Iowa

Jennifer said...

Thank you Nancy! I think she is a pretty chicken too. We have been feeding her some oyster shell stuff we bought and some grit too. The grit is cheap as cheap can get but the shell was a little more expensive. Think I will try the crushed eggshells to save a little on that.

RiverBend Farm said...

Aha! chicken butt! When I first get my hatchlings, I give them red pepper flakes. They never get chicken butt so maybe it'll work on your Cinnamon. She's very pretty. I never heard of giving a chicken dairy products before..maybe that's bothering her. Mine love cooked oatmeal when it's cold outside.
Good luck,
Berte in Texas

Sandy said...

She's a beauty! Fresh eggs are the best.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i think i read somewhere that cooked oatmeal helps with this!

Terry said...

These hybrids are great layers - and lay through winter, something the heritage breeds don't do. Nice personalities, too! I have recently blogged about vent gleet, which is what you call smelly, chronic, runny bottoms on hens. Epsom salts usually fixes it if it is vent gleet. Go here to see my post.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the suggestions! She has had this issue since we got her, it was from before the yogurt so I wouldn't think that would be the problem but it doesn't seem to be helping either really so I will try not giving it to her for a week or so to see if it makes any difference. The oatmeal is a great idea. Thank you both for suggesting it. I will try giving her some. :)

Thanks for the link Terry, I appreciate the info and will check it out as well.

edenhills said...

In my flock of twenty chickens, I had one that always had a messy bottom, and I never did figure out why. It was just one hen and she seemed healthy in every other way. You'll have to let us know if you figure something out.

Teresa

Jennifer said...

I will Teresa! Thank you for your comment!

Mimi Foxmorton said...

Yeah, I'm thinkin' *all* chickens have messy bottoms..... ;)

But, yum-my.....that yogurt must make for grand eggs! :)

Claire the Shepherdess said...

Sometimes messy bottoms can be a sign of other problems, like worms (sort of like goats get too!) or coccidia. Goats can get coccidia but not the same kinds as chickens - there is no cross-species hosting of coccidia. Have you ever seen any reddish/pinkish tinges to her poops? If so, it could be coccidia. if not, then that is unlikely. There is a deworming pellet that can be fed without having to stop eating their eggs. It is Rooster Booster brand and it's called multi-wormer triple action. It also has vitamins in it. Most other chicken dewormers require you to stop eating the eggs for a period of time (2-3 weeks or so). Anyway, if some of the other suggestions don't work, you might also try minced garlic in her treats, which makes the digestive tract inhospitable to infectious worms and bacteria. I've had chickens with vent mites but that has not led to messy poops. That has just led to surface irritation and sometimes some bleeding during laying which leaves blood streaks on eggshells. Too much fresh vegetable matter that is high in water (tomato, lettuce) can also lead to runny poops. I would cut her back to chicken pellets for about a week, see if it clears up. If not, then it's not the treats. If yes, then something in the treats is causing it. If it's not the treats, I'd guess the worms or coccidia. If coccidia, you probably need a medication that will require no egg eating for a bit.

dogsmom said...

This has been an educational discussion.
I am amazed at how prolific one hen can be.

goatpod2 said...

Wow, that's a lot of eggs! Just enjoyed 10 warm and sunny days in Florida, got back to Ohio on Saturday, March 5th!

Amy

http://goatpod2.wordpress.com

Michelle said...

I have a flock of about 40 laying hens and I agree with Claire about too many veggies, especially if she was not accustomed to it previously. It may all be too much for her system being moved, changing grains and being fed different foods. Stick with a pelleted grain for at least a week without any additional treats. She'll hate it but it's hard to narrow down what is causing it with such a varied diet. I like pelleted feed so that the hens don't just pick out what they like and throw the rest on the ground. Reintroduce treat foods slowly and one at a time. My chickens love tomatoes but it does give them horrible runs when I give them a lot. Good luck, chickens are such fun little critters!

Terry said...

Hi again- I'd be surprised if the messy bottom is due to too many vegetables - veggies, especially greens, are essential to chicken health. They can cause funny-looking poop, though! Wait until you see purple poo after they eat red cabbage. A hen might have runny poo one day, but not consistently from veggies. Also, you're feeding plenty of grain and it doesn't sound as if she's had anything to excess. Sometimes, hens overdo drinking water (they love sparkly stuff, so icy water, or new puddles attract them.) That can cause the runs, but again, it is quickly over. Dairy has long been fed to chickens. In the past, chickens were fed sour milk (it's what the farmers had) and chickens were marketed as "milk fed."

Jennifer said...

Thank you all for the advice. Thanks so much for the dewormer reccommendation Claire. I was wondering what would be a good one to use on chickens.

I think I tend to agree with you Terry that it probably was not the treats because I wondered the same thing myself so awhile back we took her off of everything but the chicken ration from the feed store for about a week and it did not make any difference. That is very interesting about the "milk fed" marketing of chickens in the past. I have heard people market pigs that way but not chickens. Interesting!

Nancy M. said...

She's a pretty girl! Chickens are so fun!