15 Week Old Easter Egger Pullet Already Squatting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AUChickenGal, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. AUChickenGal

    AUChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My late September chicks will be 15 weeks old tomorrow. The Welsummer pullet has always been friendly and allowed herself to be petted and picked up, but the others have been more standoffish. In the last couple of days, one of the Easter Eggers has started squatting and spreading her wings slightly when I reach out to pet her. She even allowed me to pick her up this morning, which she has never done before. Does this mean she is getting close to laying? I still have the nest boxes in my coop blocked off. Should I open them up and risk the chickens sleeping in them (they're still sleeping in a pile, although they roost during the day for naps)?
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Keep the nests blocked off till they are roosting. There is still about a month before she starts laying.
     
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, that seems young, especially considering the time of year (Hmmmm, is it warm in Alabama? If, so I'm jealous. ) but it is possible. My youngest EE to lay was five months old when she started laying in December, and I've had some EE mixes start laying in the 4 to 4.5 month range, but that was in summer.
    Is her comb turning redder? That is another sign.
     
  4. AUChickenGal

    AUChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was 17 degrees when I woke up this morning! But we'll be back into the 70s by the middle of next week. The days are getting slightly longer, but it is definitely winter.

    It seems really young to me, too, which is why I was so surprised when she started squatting this weekend. All of them seem to be getting redder in the face; it's hard for me to say, since I look at them twice a day, every day. I'll try to get a picture of her this afternoon.
     
  5. AUChickenGal

    AUChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This isn't a great photo, because she never holds still for long, but it's the best I could get. As you can see (I think) her comb is turning red but is still quite small. I'm guessing that means she still has a while to go and is just being precocious with the squatting?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    She may have been crossed with a high production breed and could lay 'early'.
    I'd be tempted to open the nests, and maybe cover them at roost time while prompting them to sleep on the roosts.

    Onset of lay has nothing to do with the temperature,
    but the length of daylight which is increasing exponentially more each day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  7. PapaBear4

    PapaBear4 Out Of The Brooder

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    In my experience the squatting you're talking about has more to do with "submission" than it does with egg laying, though I think they're related. When a rooster mounts a hen she does something like that (but it's going to look different with a big bird standing on her back. At her age it's possible that the mating instincts are starting to manifest. If you're viewed as the alpha chicken, might be she's just showing you due respect! Or something like that. :)

    PapaBear
     
  8. AUChickenGal

    AUChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, all! I'll probably go ahead and open some of the nest boxes this weekend when I clean the coop, just in case. They are hatchery stock, and the days are (slowly) starting to get longer, so it's possible there may be some early layers in the group. I think they're all still several weeks off, but you never know.

    This girl's Easter Egger "sister" ripped one of her talons half off while I was a work today, so now I have a whole new situation to deal with. Of course, she's one of the flightiest birds in the group and screams like a banshee when I finally manage to get hands on her. Why do these things never happen to the sweet, easy to handle animals? [​IMG]
     

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