22 weeks old pullet...Her comb is red so how much longer before eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by archmichelle, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. archmichelle

    archmichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Portland, OR
    I have a 22+/- week old Delaware pullet whose comb and wattles have been bright red for 3 or 4 weeks now. I know that this is one of the signs that a pullet will start laying soon. Is it unusual to have to wait this long once they turn red for something to happen? Is there anything else I need to be watching for? I've read posts about the egg squat and their bottom half spreading out a bit right before. What does the egg squat look like? Is this literally sitting like they are on a nest? She does this every once in awhile, but I can't tell if it's the same thing as when she's sitting in the dirt cooling off/ dust bathing or not. So far her rear end doesn't seem to be particularly wide. She is actually quite a bit more svelte and petite than I would have expected - not round or pear shaped, but has a somewhat "hourglass" figure. She is chesty, then she almost looks like she has a waist, then curves back out at at her bottom half. I'm trying hard to be patient, but the suspense is killing me! Am I just a first time chicken mom worrying too much?
     
  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Well if she's not crowing, and you know she's a "she", then she should be laying any time. If you pet her, stroking her from the head to the tail, does she hunch down as if waiting for a roo to mount her? That's the egg squat. Her "elbows" will go out, and she'll huddle down, and her tail will go up, and when you're done petting her, she'll get up and fluff herself as if to say "Well! I'm glad THAT'S over!" [​IMG] It's too funny.
     
  3. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2007
    Iowa
    Is she cooped 24/7 or is she allowed to free range some? If she free ranges she might be sneaking off and laying somewhere else. They can be pretty good at that. Jenn
     
  4. archmichelle

    archmichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
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    She's defintely a she (I had a roo with her up until last week that was just a week younger than her and I could defintely tell the difference. He was tring to mount her and she would make quite a fuss when he would do this. Plus size-wise- feet, legs, feathers, waddles, comb - everything on her was smaller (even though she started out much bigger than him.)
    She is a bit skiddish so I don't know how much luck I will have with petting her. My younger 3 pullets love being petted and are already practicing the squat [​IMG], but she has always run away from me. She might let me stroke her when I give her her yogurt though [​IMG] I'll have to be sneaky!
     
  5. archmichelle

    archmichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Their run is fenced off from the rest of the yard. They free range, but only in the fenced off area which is mostly covered by pea gravel as well. I've checked every possible hiding place for eggs. Could heat affect her? It is sually pretty cool here, but this week we are in the 90s. The entire coop and run area is shaded with some patchy sun though, so it is much cooler back there than the rest of my yard.
     
  6. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Here is a pic of our Delaware, Frances, with our White Wyandotte and Buff Orp. This pic was taken when they were about the age your pullet is now. Frances had just started laying.

    Although she doesn't mind it now (over 2 years of age), Frances has NEVER liked being petted. She only tolerated it..... [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. archmichelle

    archmichelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Quote:Is Frances the one standing? If so my Marilyn looks exactly like her! Was she kind of narrow from the top view? From the side Marilyn looks nice and full, but from the top and back I think she looks like she still has some filling out to do. I am still feeding her chick feed since she is with 3 younger pullets, but she does get treats like yogurt and greens from the garden. Should I start her on oyster shell now? I've been waiting until the first egg comes, but I've read mixed opinions on when to start.
     
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Most of the advice given here is to continue to feed starter pellets UNTIL they start to lay, then switch to layer feed or add a calcium source then.
     
  9. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Here is a recent pic of Frances - in our large nest box.
    She pretty much still looks the same as she did when she was younger. She is over 2 years old now.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/keljonma/
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  10. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:Is Frances the one standing? If so my Marilyn looks exactly like her! Was she kind of narrow from the top view? From the side Marilyn looks nice and full, but from the top and back I think she looks like she still has some filling out to do. I am still feeding her chick feed since she is with 3 younger pullets, but she does get treats like yogurt and greens from the garden. Should I start her on oyster shell now? I've been waiting until the first egg comes, but I've read mixed opinions on when to start.

    Yes, Frances is the one in the middle.

    We did start & grow feed until they were about 14 or 15 weeks old. That's when we ran out of start & grow and I couldn't see buying another 50# bag of it, when they would need layer so soon. A number of our ladies started laying around 20 weeks of age. I started providing oyster shell a little before the first one started laying eggs.

    I think you could provide the oyster shell now. I've noticed in our flock, they won't eat it if they don't need it.
     

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