Another squatt!


8 Years
Feb 22, 2016
New Hampshire USA
My Coop
My Coop
O.k., I just went out to the coop. It's 7:30 and not dark yet and the buff ladies were milling around in the run. I opened the big coop door and sat in the entry where they could see me. Sure enough, Maisie (who always was the only terribly skittish one who always ran away from everyone) came up into the coop. I reached out and she IMMEDIATELY SQUATTED, AND THEN PUT HER TAIL FEATHERS IN THE AIR. I have her a nice rub on the back near her bum and when I stopped she stood and fluffed her feathers!

So...the first squat this morning was not just some fluke I am thinking. She had NEVER done it before and now twice today.
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I think you might want to know that the squatting you are describing has nothing to do with egg laying itself.

Im guessing you don’t have a roo? If not to them you are their leader. As a roo would be.

Even with 7 roos my girls still do the same, only on certain days and with certain hens. They’ll squat and lift their tail up in a mating sequence. Your hen is wanting you to mate with her, Of course a rub on the back makes her happy then she’ll puff up her feathers and carry on as usual. I saw your other post and your girls look big enough to start laying (You have some beautiful hens), So don’t worry you will have eggs soon enough

Thank you!
No, we have no roos.
I read the posts in the thread on squatting tonight and it seems to be that once this starts, eggs follow shortly. Tonight is the second time Maisie has done it today. She did it this AM and I was hoping it was not a 'fluke', and then tonight she did it again when I reached to pet her---something she would never normally allow. It was suggested on that thread also that you just kind of scratch their back/bum area. Maisie has definitely seen the faux eggs in the nest boxes, but has not gone in yet. Hoping that first egg is only days away and that it's in the box and not the yard somewhere!
Most of my research, as well as my personal experience, says once they start "squatting" it's about a week or less until eggs. It may not be a direct correlation, but it's a very reliable indicator. Congrats!!!
Most of my research, as well as my personal experience, says once they start "squatting" it's about a week or less until eggs. It may not be a direct correlation, but it's a very reliable indicator. Congrats!!!

That's what we figured...Normally we let them out of the coop and run area first thing in the AM when I clean it, to free range the yard and gardens. I think I read somewhere that in order to encourage egg laying in the AM and in a nesting box, to leave them in the run/coop area and maybe let them out later in the day, so today that's what we did. Also, while they were in the run and I was cleaning the coop I was able to get Maisie (the one squatting) to come into the coop and look at the nesting boxes and fake eggs. (We have had them 'set up' with straw and faux eggs for a few weeks now). She was the only one who did walk up into the coop this AM.

Do any of you think that keeping them in the coop area in the AM and letting them free-range a few hours later is really good to encourage the nest-box-laying? I just don't want eggs hidden all over the yard, etc.!
I keep mine cooped until about 12:30, both because it's more convenient and because it encourages box laying.

You may try it for a few days/weeks to see if they get the idea. Once they start laying in the boxes, let them out earlier and see if they go back to the boxes. If not, try keeping them cooped for a bit longer.

Also, don't freak out if the first couple eggs aren't in the boxes. Sometimes the chickens are just as surprised by the egg as you and they drop them wherever they're standing, including on their roosting bar.
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Thanks so much for the help and great advice! I appreciate it so much. We are so excited that there may be our first egg any day now. After they lay a first egg or more, are there changes in behavior? I have heard about egg song, but is that immediately after laying or what?
Understand, all chickens are "unique, special snowflakes"
, but that being said...

I have 8 ladies, (2 white leghorns, 2 BSL, 2 RSL, 2 ASL) all aged 20-22 weeks. All are laying at this point. Some sing the egg song when they lay, others don't. Some will chime in when their sisters lay, but not for their own. If/when they start, they do it immediately after laying an egg. I have a couple who will do it randomly, just for attention.

The only behavioral difference I've seen, consistently across all 8 of my girls, is that they're friendlier.

They were all hand raised starting at an age range from a couple days to about a week. All were very friendly and enjoyed being handled and whatnot until they went out into the coop. After that, they seemed less inclined to be around people. Frankly, I was a bit sad. Fast forward 8-10 weeks, they start laying, and everyone is happy to be around me again. They'll even hop up on my knee when I'm sitting on the back porch.

Maybe it had something to do with adjusting to the coop, but the timing seemed to be too perfect to be mere coincidence.

FYI, I do not have a roo, maybe that has something to do with it.
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