Broody & a return to egg laying?

cluckingheck

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So, I have a broody pullet ( 39 weeks old ) that hatched out 3 chicks and they’re 5 weeks old now. She’s still taking care of them and everything, but is it possible for her to start laying again in this time? I found a mystery egg on the coop floor in front of the door to the brooder where she likes to nest at night with the chicks and I wasn’t sure who it belonged to.
 

NatJ

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I think it's possible-- I've read of wide variation in how soon hens return to egg laying after hatching chicks.
 

cluckingheck

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I think it's possible-- I've read of wide variation in how soon hens return to egg laying after hatching chicks.
Well, that makes me feel a little more hopeful. I have an ameraucana pullet that should be laying any day now and if it was her egg, I would’ve been very disappointed lol. The egg was light brown, not blue. My broody lays light brown eggs and where it was at made me think it was her. Though, it was throwing me off because she’s still taking care of the chicks. However, this is my first time having chickens and dealing with a broody, but I’ve learned there’s exceptions for almost everything when it comes to chickens. Chickens are weird
 

NatJ

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Well, that makes me feel a little more hopeful. I have an ameraucana pullet that should be laying any day now and if it was her egg, I would’ve been very disappointed lol. The egg was light brown, not blue. My broody lays light brown eggs and where it was at made me think it was her. Though, it was throwing me off because she’s still taking care of the chicks. However, this is my first time having chickens and dealing with a broody, but I’ve learned there’s exceptions for almost everything when it comes to chickens. Chickens are weird

I agree, chickens are weird.

You can often tell who's laying by picking each one up and looking at their vents. A layer has a vent that looks large and soft and stretchy (as if an egg could come out of it!) A chicken that is not laying has a smaller, puckered vent.

I find it easiest if I look first at birds I know are not laying (roosters or chicks), and birds I know are laying, and then check the ones I'm not sure of. The difference is usually pretty obvious.

Of course, you could also put either the pullet or the broody+chicks into a separate cage or pen, and within a few days you would know for sure which is laying. But that's rather a nuisance :D
 

cluckingheck

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I agree, chickens are weird.

You can often tell who's laying by picking each one up and looking at their vents. A layer has a vent that looks large and soft and stretchy (as if an egg could come out of it!) A chicken that is not laying has a smaller, puckered vent.

I find it easiest if I look first at birds I know are not laying (roosters or chicks), and birds I know are laying, and then check the ones I'm not sure of. The difference is usually pretty obvious.

Of course, you could also put either the pullet or the broody+chicks into a separate cage or pen, and within a few days you would know for sure which is laying. But that's rather a nuisance :D
I think I’ll put my ameraucana in by herself tomorrow and see what happens....hopefully no egg! It’s definitely easier to do it that way than chasing three chicks and an angry broody around the coop lol

( I mean, I’ll probably inspect butts too but none of them are going to be exactly thrilled about it )
 

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sourland

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It is possible. Given the time of year it's a bit unusual that hen would restart her laying cycle so quickly, but she is a young bird which increases the chances.
 

cluckingheck

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It is possible. Given the time of year it's a bit unusual that hen would restart her laying cycle so quickly, but she is a young bird which increases the chances.
Yeah, I’ve learned to expect the unusual with her. She’s a barred rock and they are said to not be very broody and she not only went broody, but it was at a young age and at the beginning of November lol. She’s one of my good layers, though, so I suppose it is possible. I’m just really hoping it’s her and not my ameraucana who’s supposed to be laying blue eggs and not light brown.
 
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cluckingheck

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Ridgerunner

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I’ve learned there’s exceptions for almost everything when it comes to chickens. Chickens are weird

Totally agree.

I'll tell my story. The only colored egg layer I had went broody and I let her hatch some chicks. I went down to the coop/run when the chicks were 2-1/2 weeks old and I saw the chicks running around by themselves chirping and really excited. I figured some predator had gotten the hen but no, she was on a nest laying an egg. She did lay one, since she was the only colored egg layer I had it was obvious. She was back to laying an egg practically every day, a nice large mint green egg.

A few days later, when the chicks were 3 weeks old, she weaned them. She totally stopped taking care of them and left them on their own to make their way with the flock.

I don't always know which hen laid which egg. From what I've seen I think most of my broody hens start laying a few weeks after they wean their chicks but since I can't always tell which egg is from which hen this may be more common than I thought.

As much as people like to imagine there are rules for chickens, the chickens don't follow them. Each chicken does its own thing. The only consistent thing about chickens is how inconsistent they are.
 

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