Mya was unusually small for her breed. Actually she wasn't a pure bred at all. I bought her at 5 weeks old under the impression that she was a Pekin Bantam - but she grew up to be part Pekin and part unknown. This genetic fruit salad also resulted in a nasty legacy - huge eggs, from a tiny girl.
This is a photo of a typical Mya egg, shown next to a standard egg of a hen about 20% larger than her. Obviously Mya's egg is the larger of the two.
36 hour labourMya would generally lay every 2nd to 3rd day during her laying season (August to February approximately).
This was the typical cycle;
1 day prior to laying - wander around slowly, wings and heads slightly drooped, barely able to eat or drink, face slightly blue due to lack of oxygen, abdomen very uncomfortable when pressed - best soothed by sitting on my lap to keep her warm and sometimes by lighting rubbing her abdomen for relief.
Day of lay - symptoms at full peak, barely able to walk, eyes closed, breathing extremely shallow and labored.
During lay - effort appeared to be excruciating, face blue to purple in colour.
After lay complete - usually a hen will spring back physically within moments or minutes, Mya took more than an hour to get back on her feet with any confidence. She would then appear lively, hungry, relaxed and radiant. Until late morning the next day, sometimes the day after that - when the cycle would commence again.
What I wish I knew then...Had I known back then that Mya could have had a hysterectomy, the removal of her ovary (birds only have one) and could have gone on to lead a happy, busy life - I would have had the procedure carried out in a heart beat. But I didn't know and so Mya valiantly and bravely battled her egg monster for every one of her 5 years. Aren't animals amazing!
Here she is, having one of the hugs that she seemed to enjoy so much.