Comb color and size - does it really indicate laying maturity in hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SewingDiva, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. SewingDiva

    SewingDiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, we have a BO, an Australorp and and EE. All will be 4 months old Nov 16th. The AU and the EE have red combs. The EE has a lovely pea comb and the AU is well along to her full comb-and-wattle regalia. The BO is still pale pink and rather small, comb and wattle-wise (but otherwise and the same size as the other two.)

    Up till now the BO was at the top of the pecking order, but it appears to my inexperienced eyes that the AU and the EE are not only reaching maturity faster; they also both challenging the BO on a regular basis (neck feathers fluffed up, chest bumping, flying over each other etc.) The AU is the most aggressive, although this is pretty much a mano-a-mano thing and there have been no really fights and certainly no picking that I can see.

    So - am I crazy to think the first layers will be the EE or the AU? Also if one of them lays first will the BO lose her place at the top of the pecking order?

    Just curious - this all new and fascinating to me. Any insight that you more experienced BYCr's may have is very much appreciated!

  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I have always thought that the chest bump was them playing, at least it is with my 9 week olds. that said, my BO is at the bottom of the pecking order simply because she is so sweet natured, as most buffo's are.

    BO's typically lay later than other breeds. Except my EE didn't start laying until almost last even though she is a HUGE bird.

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