Congrats on the egg! Our 3 hens are in the 18/19 week range and our RIR has started this weird looking squatting when we pet her. She seems a little young but. . . she is getting extremely vocal and her comb is brilliant red. This sort of sounds like 'pre-egg' behavior so we put the nesting box in the coop. Is there anything else we should be doing? In case you can't tell, these are our first ladies . . and I just noticed that one of our gold-laced girls is now doing the weird squatting thing, too. Suggestions?
Behaviour of hen before laying first egg? - Page 2
I tossed a couple of golf balls in the nesting boxes to set an example. It took about a week of consistent laying to get our Brahma to finally lay in the box yesterday. (she had been laying in the run, then moved to the coop, then finally got comfy with her nest boxes)
Other than that, the only real advice: patience. Spoken in hindsight, of course :) There's no magic food or ritual (that i'm aware of) to make them lay.
We finally got TWO eggs in the same day, so I'm guessing the other girls are catching on! Its like Christmas every morning!
Two eggs?!! That is terrific. I noticed today that one of my gold-laced ladies is spending some time in the nesting box, so I'm going to assume she knows more than me and just leave her alone. I will try the golf-ball , just to give her a little extra umph! They free-range during the day and they have been scratching out nest type depressions all over the yard. Its funny to see I just hope I don't break an ankle while I'm laughing at them!
Any eggs yet? We are up to four eggs again from our Eight hens.. looking forward to the days of 7 or 8!
They are funny in the morning. The run is a noisy place between the cock-a-doodle-dooing and the bawk-bawk-baGAWKing. Its like christmas. Some of the girls get right down to it, and others take their time making sure everything is just right before they settle down to lay. Its been so amusing that it makes we want to get more hens. We are at max. capacity in the coop, so we would have to build, unfortunately. Maybe in the spring we'll try it again. Naturally, I am researching layers/egg colors, etc.
The eggs are great. Some have had meat spots, and I tried to research, but I couldn't find anything definite that said whether or not the spots would stop as the pullets got older and the laying sorted itself out, but I get the impression it will. We've had a couple of double yolkers, but nothing highly unusual. It has been one of the most fun experiences, and its not over yet!
This sounds similar to some of the symptoms I am seeing in a 20.5 week old Barred Rock who I HOPE! hopehopehope is not sick. MLGarber if you are still around, do you think this sounds similar to what your girls went through right before they started laying? see: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/800303/sluggish-chicken
No egg song, no squat when I wave my hand over her, but she does squat in the yard all the time. She is also close to the top of the pecking order but shows little interest in vying against the other girls for treats right now. She has also become very docile, sitting in my hand/lap calmly and making small cooing sounds.
Interesting! How did you figure that out? I have been noticing this behavior for about a week, as more time passes the more I think she could be ill - especially the sleeping standing up/head in wing.
I just experienced my pullet acting lethargic. She hadn't layed her first egg yet. I researched it and was worried it was a disease, but when I went to check on her the last time she was her old self. Looked around the yard and sure enough there was 2 eggs, one without a shell. So apparently, that is a normal thing if they are just starting to lay.