Can't tell which hens are laying...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RottenEgg, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. RottenEgg

    RottenEgg Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Bear with me here, I'm pretty gol darned new at this...

    So I can't tell which of my hens are laying. I have 3 hens, 2 Red Stars and one PBR. I'm 99% sure one of the Red Stars is laying because I'm pretty sure I saw it. As for the other two, I'm not sure. I think I've seen the other Red Star spend time in the hen house, but I can't confirm the egg was from her. I only get two eggs a day. In the week and a half we've had them, we've never gotten three. If all three were laying, I'd think at least one day we'd have had 3 eggs, right?

    I've looked at their combs, they're all full and red. I have no idea what an egg song is. They don't like to be picked up or held, though I could probably do it with the help of my husband to check whatever I need to check (vent, pelvic bone, etc.) We seem to be gone most mornings on the weekends, and during the week we're at work. How do we tell who's laying which eggs? Is segregation the only way?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You might get some ideas on how to tell from this article.

    http://www.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Factsheets/Evaluating_egg_laying_hens.pdf

    It is possible that all three are laying, just not every day. But you are right, it would be a strange coincidence if all there were laying and you were getting two a day every day. Besides, you should be able to notice a difference in the eggs depending on which hen laid it. Color, size, or even shape might be unique. If you are getting three unique eggs, they are probably all laying.

    If you wait until the hens are asleep at night and you use a flashlight, they should be pretty easy to catch and examine.

    One clue I normally go by is that if a hen is laying her vent will be large, soft, and moist. If a hen is not laying her vent might be small, tight, and dry. If a hen is getting close to laying she might have a soft moist vent, but if one has a tight dry vent, she is not close to laying.
     
  3. RottenEgg

    RottenEgg Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Holy crap, that's some heavy reading lol. I'm glad it gave pictures, too, though, since I have no idea what to look for visually. I forgot to mention, the hens are about 28 weeks, so I suppose the one could just not be laying yet. I never actually counted out how many weeks before. From what I hear, both Red Stars and PBRs are fairly early in maturing, but I know each hen does its own thing at its own rate. Maybe I'll just continue to keep an eye out and hope for a third egg soon.

    As far as shape/color of eggs, they're a medium-dark brown and some are longer, and some are more round. Usually we get one of each. We have gotten 2 or 3 lighter colored eggs, but not too much lighter and they're of similar size/shape to all of the others. I just figured one of them was working out the stressors of moving to our humble abode.
     

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