Advice on whether my hen will lay or is too old

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by peanutshark, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. peanutshark

    peanutshark Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2014
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    After the tragic disappearance of my lovely pet New Hampshire red, Jemima, I needed to fill the absence with a new pet chicken. She was super friendly, with the added bonus of yummy eggs. I went to an acquaintance's farm and picked out a buff orpington for their known friendliness and, not to mention, their big fluffy cuteness. The owner said he gets 6-9 eggs out of the coop a day (from around 15 chickens living there). He wasn't sure which ones they came from, but I was more concerned with a new pet, not so much with eggs. I'm just kinda curious whether I can tell if she's still laying or not. The Internet and friends of mine say you can't really tell how old a chicken is. I figured she was older by her size, the fullness of her feathers, and her thick skin on her legs. I've had her for maybe 10 days now and no eggs. The other day though, she did a submissive squat! Do older chickens still do this from habit or is this a sign that maybe she took a little egg-cation from the move to a new environment, and the fact it's November, so less daylight?

    Also a side note, a friend told me they had a fairly old chicken that still laid eggs. I thought they only did for a couple of years.. Does anyone have an old hen who still lays?
     
  2. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Older hens do lay eggs, but they get bigger, and there are less of them. Moving to a new place and meeting new chickens usually causes them to stop laying for a bit. I only have 1 buff orpington right not, but she is laying despite the short days. A lot of chickens take a winter break. After a couple years is when the eggs get bigger and fewer. Unless she is like 4-5+ she may still have some laying left in her. It really all depends on the individual.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Congratulations on your new girl! I know she's come to a great new home.

    But give her time to get settled in before you expect things from her. And you do need to make allowances for the shorter days at this time of year.

    Yes, older hens who have been properly cared for will continue to lay eggs, perhaps two or three over a span of ten days. I have three six-year old Wyandottes that laid pretty well this past summer. Even my seven-year old Light Brahma gave me a few eggs, perhaps inspired by the young Welsummer pullets who were laying for the first time, which does sometime happen.

    So, yes, you have every reason to anticipate some eggs from your newcomer, but give her sometime after the new year to do it.
     
  4. peanutshark

    peanutshark Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2014
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    It's interesting to hear personal experiences since some articles and books say "they lay for 2-3 years, butcher them, start all over." Call me crazy, but when you have a friendly chicken who enjoys being scratched and hanging outside with you, they make a pretty great pet.

    I'll update if there are any changes! I'll be pretty excited to find a big brown egg in her nest box. It never gets old!
     
  5. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    your not crazy. I almost always keep my favorites until they die. :) It's really hard to kill a chicken who totally trusts you.
     
  6. peanutshark

    peanutshark Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2014
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    After owning her for 3 weeks with nothing, she laid this morning!! Yay! It's a little light in color and smaller than I thought and really smooth, compared to my NHR that I lost.
    [​IMG]
    Very exciting :)
     
  7. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats great!! That a nice sized egg.
     

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