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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Island Juli, Jun 26, 2016.
I have 5 wlh, 12 br, and 13 gsl. They are all 21 weeks. No egg song yet from anyone. Too soon?
How are they physically developing? What do their combs look like?
Post images of your girls...my little flock of replacement pullets are 13 weeks and 2 days as of this morning. The combs on 2 of them are just starting to turn a reddish color and you can see where the wattles will be coming in as they develop.
Here are a few of my ladies...
Their combs are still small. Once they get redder and bigger they'll be close to laying!
I do have a RIR though who has a small comb while all the others are big. Guess it just depends on the bird.
Thanks. All my chickens free-range on my acre and I just didn't know if I needed to go on an Easter Egg hunt yet. I haven't heard any singing yet, and although the rooster of this bunch that is the same age is very randy, he's not been hitting on any of these girls, just the older ones.
Appreciate the help!
Mating, with a mature cockbird(who knows what he's doing), can be a key sign that a pullet is ready to lay.
Young cockerels will usually try to mate anything/everything, either he's unusually perceptive or the hens have schooled him very well.
Do your other birds lay in the coop nests? If so, the pullets will probably learn where from them.
Yes, the others lay in nest boxes. When this group starts laying I'll have 43 laying. In 3 different coops I have a total of 14 nest boxes. 3 currently in use by 3 broody silkies, again!
Is that enough? I have plenty of room to add more.
They tend to shuffle and move periodically into different coops. What I find interesting is that 3 roosters will all stay in the same coop. I sort of figured they would each take one.
Boy, hard to say with that many birds in multiple coops, not sure how I'd manage that scenario...I only have 15 layers that are confined.
Probably wouldn't hurt to add some nests since you are more than doubling your layers, maybe in the coop that they roost in?
Depending on how/if the older birds may bully them away from nests
'Rule of thumb' is 1 nest for every 3-5 birds...ratio may go up with larger populations.
With newly laying free range birds, they are often confined for a time to habituate them to laying in coop nests.
Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
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.
My flock is up to 98 right now, with 5 in the 'bator. I have all ages from 3 weeks up to 3 years. All have integrated well, excepting the roosters who occasionally have to decide who gets first choice of the ladies every now and then.
I have cameras up all over my runs and coops and one of the 3 week old's decided she wanted to roost in the big girl coop and flew right up on the roost between the oldest rooster and the oldest hen and they paid her no mind and she spent the night there. ,
As for them laying, I keep having discussions with them about it and the crock pot. Hopefully soon I'll hear a chorus from all 30 of them. I did check a few pelvic points and they are close, and a few squat, but they still deny Rocky's attentions at the moment.
Thanks for all the help, most appreciated!