Best way to tell if a hen is laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by imthedude, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

    319
    2
    121
    Mar 9, 2010
    CO
    Hi all.

    What's the best way to tell if a hen is laying? I think all of my SS have quit and want to confirm. Food color, lipstick, or some tell-tale sign on their body like vent coloring, etc.?
     
  2. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Chillin' With My Peeps

    not sure about vent coloring, you could just put her in a rabbit cage by herself for a few days and see if you get an egg?
     
  3. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,176
    57
    221
    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
  4. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    7,988
    39
    303
    Mar 3, 2008
    Red comb, and "loose" vent. A chicken that is not laying will have a drier, tight vent. But I agree, the best way to tell is to separate the bird and see if they lay an egg. The egg will already be in the chute, so pulling them from the pen will not disrupt them at first.

    I don't necessarily agree with the other link... you have to be in tune to the girl's molt schedule to use that method, IMHO. But production slows down after a couple of years, so if you're in it for the eggs, just replace the flock every year, or every two years so that you always have fresh layers, no matter how well they do/don't lay.

    Just my thoughts on it.
     
  5. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,176
    57
    221
    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

    I don't necessarily agree with the other link... you have to be in tune to the girl's molt schedule to use that method, IMHO. But production slows down after a couple of years, so if you're in it for the eggs, just replace the flock every year, or every two years so that you always have fresh layers, no matter how well they do/don't lay.

    If you read further on down the thread (posts 41 & 43) Beekissed says she likes to do it in February/March when nobody's molting or broody, and everyone should be laying. [​IMG]

    It is true though that if your hens are older then you should give them some slack this time of year because they're molting.​
     
  6. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    7,988
    39
    303
    Mar 3, 2008
    Quote:If you read further on down the thread (posts 41 & 43) Beekissed says she likes to do it in February/March when nobody's molting or broody, and everyone should be laying. [​IMG]

    It is true though that if your hens are older then you should give them some slack this time of year because they're molting.

    Ah... busted...no, I didn't read down further. [​IMG] I can't believe I have molting birds right now... it's -5F. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,176
    57
    221
    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

    Ah... busted...no, I didn't read down further. [​IMG] I can't believe I have molting birds right now... it's -5F. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I know! Why do they molt NOW!? It may not be -5 here (currently lows in the teens and twenties), but I have several hens who've just started heavy molt in the last few days. One of the Australorps almost looks like a Turken! It makes sense to me to start in September and be done by December... But I have several who haven't even started yet, so I guess they'll be half naked in January. Great. [​IMG] According to the persimmons, we're going to have a really cold winter too... [​IMG]
     
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    7,988
    39
    303
    Mar 3, 2008
    Quote:I know! Why do they molt NOW!? It may not be -5 here (currently lows in the teens and twenties), but I have several hens who've just started heavy molt in the last few days. One of the Australorps almost looks like a Turken! It makes sense to me to start in September and be done by December... But I have several who haven't even started yet, so I guess they'll be half naked in January. Great. [​IMG] According to the persimmons, we're going to have a really cold winter too... [​IMG]

    Here, too... right after Christmas. [​IMG]
    If I culled the birds that weren't laying right now, I wouldn't have any chickens at all. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by