Are there 'signs' that they are about to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CowgirlPenny, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. CowgirlPenny

    CowgirlPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Or am I just going to find an egg one day? [​IMG]

    My girls just turned 16 weeks! [​IMG] I know they are getting close. So far, nobody seems to be investigating their nestboxes. Will they show signs that they are getting ready, like will they start going in the nestboxes more? I'm so excited. I've had them since day old chicks and we are finally almost ready for the eggs we have waited so long for!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Oghdoff

    Oghdoff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls pace around like they are trying to get to something that they just can't get. But that could just be my birds. They have yet to lay in the nesting boxes. They prefer the corner of the coop.
     
  3. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    Quote:X2!! My hens do the same thing! I have a leghorn hen that I have waited several MONTHS since I bought her as an adult to begin laying. When I got her, she was a rescue and was barebacked, bareheaded, had a BAD case of worms, mites, and lice, and was lethargic and sick for a month! Now she is almost fully feathered, parasite free, and she was pacing the coop today! : )

    If my other girls are an indication, she should lay in a day or two since she is so restless... [​IMG]
     
  4. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

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    CO Rockies - 8600ft up
    Usually their faces and combs will redden up and some will start practicing the egg song. They will check out the nesting area and if you make an "nest indentation" with your hand and put a fake egg or two in it, it might help them to figure out where to lay. And then there are those that just plop out an egg on the ground without any warning. Pretty much standard range of possibilities for any female creature!
     
  5. CowgirlPenny

    CowgirlPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Just responded to another post about this! My husband was JUST commenting this evening on how red the Sex Links girls looked. It looks like their foreheads are bleeding! lol What is the egg song? Do I need to start offering calcium now, or wait until I see the first egg??
     
  6. Sparklee

    Sparklee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have to wait until 21 weeks on most of my hens, but you may have hens bred for early laying. If they don't start by then, I give them a scant tablespoon of cayenne mixed into their feed for the day to give their blood a bit of a jolt. Supposedly it doesn't hurt their mouths because they have way fewer tastebuds than humans, but I truly don't know. My hens never complained and I watched them closely to see if they noticed or if the cayenne hurt them or made them want water after just one bite of feed. But no problems. I guess I only did that once, now that I think about it. I give them all cayenne powder in their feed mix at a much lower rate now at all times throughout their life (chick, layer, broody). But, I am off the point.

    You can look at their combs and wattles. If they are pink, then they still have some time before they lay. Once their combs and wattles (you know, that hanging muddle of skin under their beak) gets bright red and a little bit swollen (when compared to the pink state), then they are getting close to laying.

    If you have more than two roosters in with them, then it will take longer for them lay probably because they don't have any peace and quiet and a safe feeling when too many roosters are cock-a-doodle-dooing, displaying dominance, etc., at all hours. Also, if you have a movable tractor that you move around each day, that will prolong their first egg because, again, hens need peace.

    You will probably just find an egg one day. Maybe on the gound. Mine have a tendency to lay in the nests if they see other eggs in the nest. Or a couple of golf balls. Maybe the hen thinks, "Look! A nest of eggs. They aren't cracked or squished, so this must be a safe place to lay my eggs." [​IMG] I still get ground eggs during times of stress (moving new hens into the group, introducing new rooster, etc.).

    Those first eggs are so egg-citing! [​IMG]
     
  7. CowgirlPenny

    CowgirlPenny Chillin' With My Peeps

    733
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    Feb 17, 2011
    South East TN
    Quote:I have to wait until 21 weeks on most of my hens, but you may have hens bred for early laying. If they don't start by then, I give them a scant tablespoon of cayenne mixed into their feed for the day to give their blood a bit of a jolt. Supposedly it doesn't hurt their mouths because they have way fewer tastebuds than humans, but I truly don't know. My hens never complained and I watched them closely to see if they noticed or if the cayenne hurt them or made them want water after just one bite of feed. But no problems. I guess I only did that once, now that I think about it. I give them all cayenne powder in their feed mix at a much lower rate now at all times throughout their life (chick, layer, broody). But, I am off the point.

    You can look at their combs and wattles. If they are pink, then they still have some time before they lay. Once their combs and wattles (you know, that hanging muddle of skin under their beak) gets bright red and a little bit swollen (when compared to the pink state), then they are getting close to laying.

    If you have more than two roosters in with them, then it will take longer for them lay probably because they don't have any peace and quiet and a safe feeling when too many roosters are cock-a-doodle-dooing, displaying dominance, etc., at all hours. Also, if you have a movable tractor that you move around each day, that will prolong their first egg because, again, hens need peace.

    You will probably just find an egg one day. Maybe on the gound. Mine have a tendency to lay in the nests if they see other eggs in the nest. Or a couple of golf balls. Maybe the hen thinks, "Look! A nest of eggs. They aren't cracked or squished, so this must be a safe place to lay my eggs." [​IMG] I still get ground eggs during times of stress (moving new hens into the group, introducing new rooster, etc.).

    Those first eggs are so egg-citing! [​IMG]

    Yah thanks! Almost all of them (the Sex links and Australorps for sure, I can't remember on the Production Reds and Barred Rocks...I will look tomorrow) have the really red combs, we were just noticing that today. lol

    Only have one rooster, and no new chickens or anything have been introduced. They are the original dozen I ordered so they have always been together. I can't wait. It's been so hot they are mostly just hanging out under their coop in the day, I've been trying to up their cold food intake to keep them cool.


    * I forgot to add the ones in question are the Production Reds, Australorps, Barred Rocks and black sex links. The others are younger and in a separate coop/run. No luck blending them in yet. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  8. prairiehen74369

    prairiehen74369 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] Their combs and waddles brighten up and they will start singing like they are just so happy.
     
  9. Sparklee

    Sparklee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012

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