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How to tell they're ready to lay eggs?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have 6 Australorps, I've ahd them just over a week and when I got them I wads told they'd be laying in about a month.  How can I tell when they are ready to lay, behaviour wise and when do I start feeding layer pellets?

Thanks.

6 Australoprs, 3 Cats and a long suffering boyfriend.
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6 Australoprs, 3 Cats and a long suffering boyfriend.
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post #2 of 13

How red are the hen's combs & wattles?  A sign that they might be getting ready is REALLY BRIGHT RED combs & wattles as well as FULLNESS of them.  Also, if you have a roo in your flock, if you've noticed mating going on, then that's a sign that they're all maturing for sure.

I have 2 groups of chickens - the first group is 5 mos old (22+wks old) and the second group is 4 mos old (18+wks old) & I've not gotten an egg yet.  I really don't expect to see eggs for another month or two from either group especially since the weather has cooled down here and less daylight too.  I've gone ahead & started to feed my chickens the layer feed & give them oyster shell to ensure that they have a good amt of calcium in them prior to laying.

Many forum members say that chickens don't start laying until they are 6-8+ mos old - just keep fl.

Momma to American Game hens, BO, Cuckoo Marans, EE's, MF d'Uccles, OEGB, 3 Dogs, 2 cats, 2 Kids & a great Hubby who helps with it all.  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
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Momma to American Game hens, BO, Cuckoo Marans, EE's, MF d'Uccles, OEGB, 3 Dogs, 2 cats, 2 Kids & a great Hubby who helps with it all.  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
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post #3 of 13

I would start feeding them layer feed right away.  It will give them all the nutrients they need to produce eggs.  As for being able to tell when, one thing I noticed with mine is that there combs and waddles start turning very red rather than pink, and they become more developed.  They will also start checking out the nesting box.  I had mine for several weeks before they even stepped foot in nesting box.  A few days after I noticed the wood shaving bowled, I got my first egg.

Hope this helps.  Be patient and you will be rewarded with "yummy eggs" as my three year old says.

Buff Orpingtons, Barnevelders, Speckled Sussex, and Black Copper Marans.  Cornish Cross from March-November.  Wish List - Dark Cornish
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Buff Orpingtons, Barnevelders, Speckled Sussex, and Black Copper Marans.  Cornish Cross from March-November.  Wish List - Dark Cornish
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post #4 of 13

TaLani is right about the wattles and comb but other indicators are that they will be more vocal and they will squat when you reach to pet them or be checking out the nest boxes with great interest. wink

Me (Robin), my very patient and understanding Hubby whom I adore, my son, Bill, a German Shorthaired Pointer, nubian, lamancha, saanen, alpine and nigerian dwarf milk goats.
www.taylorfarmsdairygoats.webs.com

http://www.taylorfarmssoap.com

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Me (Robin), my very patient and understanding Hubby whom I adore, my son, Bill, a German Shorthaired Pointer, nubian, lamancha, saanen, alpine and nigerian dwarf milk goats.
www.taylorfarmsdairygoats.webs.com

http://www.taylorfarmssoap.com

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post #5 of 13

I am playing the waiting game too!  I have one BR that has within the past fews got BLOOD-red wattles, comb and face.  She has also been talking to me non-stop when i come by her!
Will keep you posted!

post #6 of 13

The squat! We have the squat, too- and I started a thread about the vocal cacophany at our house, too...

Just doing our part to keep this otherwise normal neighborhood weird!!

               ৲(⎠    ~Renée~ *MyHints* NPIP&AI 48-0346 Incubation Cheat Sheet ~t~ SickPage ~f~

 (`-.     _.-⎠̸ 

*` (_.}  ,' Orp~Ameraucana~Azul d'Oro~d'Uccle~Konza~Aubergine~Banty Cochin~Marans~Rock~Copetóna~

     _ . /       

      _/  \ _ O

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               ৲(⎠    ~Renée~ *MyHints* NPIP&AI 48-0346 Incubation Cheat Sheet ~t~ SickPage ~f~

 (`-.     _.-⎠̸ 

*` (_.}  ,' Orp~Ameraucana~Azul d'Oro~d'Uccle~Konza~Aubergine~Banty Cochin~Marans~Rock~Copetóna~

     _ . /       

      _/  \ _ O

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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yeah, the copmbs are getting redder by the day.  But I can't check out the squatting when you pet them as they run away every time i go near them!  Thet are getting better though....since they know I bring them all the treats and scraps.  I'll start mixing in the layer feed with what starter I have left and hopefully they'll start in the next week or two!  Thanks so much for your help.

6 Australoprs, 3 Cats and a long suffering boyfriend.
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6 Australoprs, 3 Cats and a long suffering boyfriend.
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post #8 of 13

I have 10 austrolopes that are 25 weeks old.  Four have been laying for the last 2 to 3 weeks.  When I chase them from the neighbor's yard the ones who are laying squat down.  Your first egg should be coming soon.

wife and mother to 3 kids, 1 chocolate lab, 1 Bichon, 2 cats, 10 australorp chicks

www.watchtower.org for info on the Bible and Bible publications and answers to any Bible related questions you may have
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wife and mother to 3 kids, 1 chocolate lab, 1 Bichon, 2 cats, 10 australorp chicks

www.watchtower.org for info on the Bible and Bible publications and answers to any Bible related questions you may have
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post #9 of 13

I waited on the red comb and waddle thing..over a month and not one egg.  The tell tale sign for mine was the squatting.  Within 2 days we had an egg.

Single mom of two kids; 11 and 17, two maine coon cats, one yellow lab and first time chicken owner of 6 chicks!!
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Single mom of two kids; 11 and 17, two maine coon cats, one yellow lab and first time chicken owner of 6 chicks!!
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post #10 of 13

Update.  Mine started laying 11/9 and as of last night...I have 7 eggs!

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