Do pullets smell like eggs before they lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ProfGreyshade, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. ProfGreyshade

    ProfGreyshade Out Of The Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    My son was playing with our hens yesterday and noticed that while most of them smell like their feed our leghorn smells like eggs. Since animals tend to smell like what's going on inside them my guess is this means she's getting ready to lay. Anyone else notice this? Whatever it means it inspired him to make a cute little video.
  2. LadyAndHerPeeps

    LadyAndHerPeeps Out Of The Brooder

    May 30, 2011
    Camden County Georgia
    Loved the Video!
  3. ProfGreyshade

    ProfGreyshade Out Of The Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    This is actually a serious question. I realize most folks don't sniff thier birds often but surely I'm not the the only parent with a chicken cuddling kid. Does the scent of a chicken change when they are getting ready to lay? Because my son is right, our white leghorn smell different from the flock now. She smells much more like eggs.
  4. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    That child needs to do instructional videos! what a doll.

    And this is a very interesting question - lets hear from the experts.
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I have no idea if a chicken's odor changes when they are ready to lay, but I did enjoy the video [​IMG] How old is the chicken in question?
  6. ProfGreyshade

    ProfGreyshade Out Of The Brooder

    May 17, 2011
    About four and half months. Her comb and wattles are alot redder and more prominate too.
  7. off-grid hen

    off-grid hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I feel terrible that I can't give you an answer, my hens are just 10 weeks old. I will keep my nose peeled when they get to laying age though!
  8. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    i would say, no.

    did you smell it (the chicken) before, or did you just notice it yesterday (most don't sniff their chickens everyday, but some may)? it may have laid in some poo and had some on its feathers, or it may have just had one of those dark, greasy poo's.

    anyway, the ingredients for making the eggs are always there. just like a human, a chick is born possessing all eggs it will ever produce, just at different stages of development. they don't just start accumulating the ingredients to make eggs, one day.

    to me, anyway, eggs don't smell like anything, that i would even notice if one was sitting under my nose (fresh ones, anyway, and these would be the freshest of fresh)

    i could be wrong, but my answer is "no"

    my guess would be that she got into something

    edited to say: i guess it is possible, however, that her hormones have started flowing. while i still don't believe it is eggs you are smelling, i would concede that you are smelling secretions due to her body preparing to lay eggs, or even like how a boar starts smelling of musk when it's testosterone is rising
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  9. rosegal

    rosegal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2008
    Tustin, CA
    I haven't noticed chickens smelling like eggs. And I have a lot of them, but they do smell like cooked chicken when it gets hot. Takes my appetite away....

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