Getting ready to lay??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tribemama, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. tribemama

    tribemama In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2008
    I have four pullets that are coming up on 16 weeks old, two australorps, one barred rock and a RIR. In the last week my RIR has really gotten her comb and wattles and they are red. I can tell they aren't fully "in" since they are still smaller than our 2 year old black sex links, but the growth has been tremendous in a week. My barred rock is just behind the RIR in comb and wattle development and the two australorps are no where near where the RIR is.

    Here is my question...should I assume the RIR will be the first to lay given the comb and wattle development? How many weeks after the comb comes in and is red like that will they start laying? I am really hoping she starts in the next month or so since one of my sex links is mid-molt and the three eggs a week I am getting is not cutting it :)

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The production red should lay her first egg in 17 days and 18 hours from now, give or take a few minutes. I really can't get more specific than that without more information.
  3. tribemama

    tribemama In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2008
    I understand we won't know when she will start, I am asking if it is safe to assume she will be the first given she is further along in development of the comb and wattles than her little friends. I was also curious as to when they often begin laying after the comb and wattle get bigger and redder, not specifics, but general trends folks have seen.
  4. song of joy

    song of joy Crowing

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Once the comb and wattles are red and full size, my pullets usually begin laying within 2 to 6 weeks. I've found that a better predictor of that first egg is when they begin to "squat". Many pullets - especially those that have been hand-raised and are docile - will squat when their owner approaches and tries to pet them on the back. In my experience, their first egg comes about 1 to 2 weeks after the first squat.

    The hen that currently has the biggest, reddest comb and wattles now may not necessarily be the first one to lay. The others may catch up to her before she lays that first egg.

    I've had a couple individuals of each of the breeds you mentioned (RIR, BR, BA), and each laid their first egg at 26 to 27 weeks of age.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2015

  5. lilyeti

    lilyeti In the Brooder

    May 29, 2014
    Agree with song of joy's comment, once they start to "squat" when you go to pick them up is when they're close to laying. Ours started a few days after that.

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