8 Years
Aug 21, 2011
West Fork
I have 9 chickens that are 21 weeks. Only one has started laying, so I am watching for any sign that some of the other girls may be ready. I was just watching them free-ranging, and I noticed one of the Cuckoo Marans' butt seems to be contracting. Is this a sign that she may be getting ready to lay?
No, they do that from the time that they hatch. I've seen newly hatched chicks do the same thing. Have any of them been squatting? They will squat down close to the ground when you get close to them, and if you pet them, they will stand up and shake, fluff their feathers and go on their merry little way. I had one hen squat one day, lay the next. For all of the others, they laid their first egg within a week of squatting.
Speaking of contractions...., We got our first egg last evening. It was a soft shell and either got stepped on or squashed. But this morning, one of our NH reds was fluttering and clucking up a storm (as if doing the egg dance), but no eggs. Could this have been a contraction or pre laying ritual? Hopefully, we will get some more in the next few days. They all have been getting pretty vocal lately. They are 17 weeks old, and I just started giving them oyster shells. Any advice or insight would be very helpful. Thanks!

oh please, oh please, oh please lay an egg......Keeping those fingers crossed!
Only one of our girls is laying, but the first week she laid we got six lovely eggs. Then, the next day she went through her whole ritual, sat in the nest box, sang the "victory" song, but laid no egg. The next day we got a soft shell egg, and then the egg after that was brittle. Since then (about two weeks) all of her eggs have been perfect. I think it is normal for beginning layers.
I am doing the waiting game with my girls and am excited to say that one has really become interested in the next boxes. I just hope the rest of them follow suit and don't decide to lay in the weeds somewhere! Sooo anxious....
Had my first egg today from one of the 21 /22 wk old Australorps.
Her comb has become really red over the last 2 weeks, and she has taken to inspecting the laying box every day. Today she ran around squawking her head of and about an hour later layed her first egg! As your girls are checking out the nest it sounds like they are almost there too!
Yeah!!! Congratulations to you! We are experiencing much cooler weather this week, so I hope this will inspire a few more of them to start laying.
Our 1st egg! A little small, but still excited to get one! Hopefully this will be an incentive to the others and they will start laying too!~

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