Do you have any tricks to jump start the egg laying process? Yes, I know nature will truly decide.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rich55016, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. Rich55016

    Rich55016 Out Of The Brooder

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    I realize these are animals, and nature needs to just take its course. I was just wondering if there was anything I could do to help the process. I currently have 15 hens. 3 - Silver laced Wyandottes, 2 - Salmon Faverolles, 2 - Golden Wyandottes, 3 - Araucana/Ameraucanas, 2 - Partridge Rocks, 2 - Blue Andalusians, and 1 - Barred rock. I do live in MN, and it is starting to get colder. My girls are 20-21 weeks right now. They have plenty of food and water, along with things to keep them busy in their 24'x24'x16'x14' run. My coop is 8' x 10'. I have added light to the coop because I have heard that will help when the days grow short. I have straw in their nesting boxes along with some ping pong balls in them, but I am not even sure they have ever even entered any of the boxes. Can you think of anything else to help?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Unfortunately, the only thing you can do now is the hardest thing - and that is to wait patiently. Do you have any photos of your birds that show them as they are now -- if you post them we may be able to give you an idea of just how much longer your wait might be by seeing some of the physical signs of them being nearing production.
     
  3. Rich55016

    Rich55016 Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't right now, but I will run out to the coop in a little bit and take some. Hopefully you can help me try to tell the difference between a couple of them. I am sure you can tell I am new at this whole chicken thing. lol.
     
  4. chickenpatch

    chickenpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Adding a little more calcium to their diet will definitely help when they start laying. Some hens' first few eggs could turn out with soft shells and that could encourage them to start eating their eggs. But if they have enough calcium and vitamins in their diet they should start laying with no problem...

    I've heard there are some hormone and growth boosters available for chickens, but I wouldn't even touch them if I were you... They could cause bigger future problems and I'd rather wait for nature to take it's course.
     
  5. Rich55016

    Rich55016 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am not going to give them any hormones or chemicals that's for sure. I was just wondering about things like light, or fake eggs in the nest.... Stuff like that. Does it mater how high their nesting boxes are? Mine are about the same height as the roosting bar, so I know they can get in them for sure. Here are a few pics of my birds.[​IMG]
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  6. Rich55016

    Rich55016 Out Of The Brooder

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    They look small in the pictures, as I said they are about 20 to 21 weeks.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Well, that Faverolles rooster is going to be a long, long wait before he lays [​IMG]

    Other than that, your Wyandottes really look pretty close. The others don't look as mature, but the two slw and the one glw all look literally ready to lay any day now. Putting golf balls, etc in the nest can help show them where you want them to lay, but it won't physically start the process. I've never used lights for new layers, and I've had birds literally lay their first egg on winter solstice.
     
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    agreed on all counts.
     
  9. Rich55016

    Rich55016 Out Of The Brooder

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    Lol, I had to post a pic of him too. Love how calm and cool he is. This is my other roo, I think he is a splash Cochin. Not really sure, he was the free exotic chick. Although I am not sure how exotic it really is. I am glad to hear you think at least a couple could be close. Hopefully it just takes one to [​IMG]show the rest how to do it. What do you think about the height of my nesting boxes, they are the same height as my roosting bar. I have 4, for 15 hens.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Where are the nests?
    Are they easy to get up and down from?

    Ping pong balls maybe too light and get kicked out of nest.....better to go with golf balls, heavy, solid fake eggs or sand filled hollow plastic 'easter eggs'.


    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.


    Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
    Squatting:
    If you touch their back they will hunker down on the ground, then shake their tail feathers when they get back up.
    This shows they are sexually mature and egg laying is close at hand.

    Combs and Wattles:
    Plump, shiny red - usually means laying.
    Shriveled, dryish looking and pale - usually means not laying.
    Tho I have found that the combs and wattles can look full and red one minute then pale back out the next due to exertion or excitement, can drive ya nuts when waiting for a pullet to lay!

    2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.

    ETA: Oh one good trick is to start a thread here complaining about no eggs, they'll lay the next day!!
    JK really, but I have seen it happen numerous times..haha.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015

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