Haven't posted in a while...few questions for ya!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bec, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    Hey All!!

    I have a few questions....I have 7 Buff Orpington pullets, they are just about 5 months old. My question is, out of the 7 why do 2 of them have really red combs and wattles and the other 5 have small combs and wattles and theirs are a light pinkish color. Body wise they are all the same size, some slightly larger than others, but nothing dramaticly different. At first I thought, maybe a roo or 2 but there is no crowing and they are the same size as the other girls. [​IMG]

    My other question is how do they know to lay in the nest box? My husband built them 2 beautiful nest boxes and he put their roosts up. They haven't layed any eggs yet, but will they know to go in those boxes? They knew right away that the roosts were for them and they knew what to do the first night. Am I looking for eggs too early? I go out and check in their nests everyday. I also heard that you should put an artificial egg or golf ball in there so they know where to lay..is there any truth to that?
     
  2. Omeletta

    Omeletta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Bec, to answer your ?'s....I believe the combs and wattles turn red just before a hen starts to lay. I also have heard that most of the time the pullet will begin to use the nest box to lay, and that a golf ball can help out by making them think they should put it there. I have heard these answers repeated here on the site for different threads, so hopefully I am answering right! [​IMG]

    Maybe someone elso wants to correct me! Please feel free, but this is what I have heard.

    My Mille Fleurs are just beginning to show red on their combs and they are 17 weeks, so I take this to mean they will lay soon also, based on advice given here at the site. My silkie hen does lay in the nest box, even tho her previous home did not have nest boxes, and I didn't have to show her....I think it just looks like a safe place, being small, cosy and walled in on all sides but one...hope this helps! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. chickiepoo

    chickiepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Omeletta. I read about the red combs and wattles here on the forum, and started noticing my hens. My hen with chicks has pale wattles cause she hasn't started laying again yet. Another hen that was laying and had bright red comb and wattles, has now gone broody and is setting on one lonely little egg, and her wattles have faded.

    And I keep wooden eggs in the next boxes that I bought from Michael's around Easter. I think some of the hens are laying in the woods (they free range). I know Lucy did (the one with the chicks) cause I was concerned when I didn't see her one day, but DH reassured me. Well, I never saw any evidence that she was dead or eaten, and sure enough, three weeks later she shows up with the chicks! When we checked out @ Michael's the cashier asked if we were going to color the wooden eggs. I answered her, "No, these are going straight to the hen house". She just stared @ me.

    Now, when fall comes on I intend to get them all in the coop so they will all stay put, but I think if you put something in the nests to encourage them to lay there, they will. Even if you get a couple in other places, they should watch and learn from each other, also.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yep, be expecting eggs soon!
     
  5. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    Thank You !!

    So the 2 that are more red will probably lay first..ok. How much longer after they are red do they usually lay? Is it an indication that they are going to any time or just that they are mature enough to lay?

    I am just so excited for them to lay an egg!!! I am a proud momma when it comes to my chickens!!! And can you eat the first egg or should you wait until they have layed a few? Do they lay every day after the first?

    I am sorry about all the questions, but this is my first time expecting eggies!!!
     
  6. chickiepoo

    chickiepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bec, I haven't raised pullets that are old enough to lay. My layers were all hens when I got them, so I am assuming here. Dangerous, I know.

    However, I would think that the red combs mean their reproductive system is functioning and that you should see eggs in the length of time it takes for that breed to produce an egg from the time of ovulation to laying. Does that make sense?

    Bottom line, get an egg carton ready, and as silkiechicken said expect eggs soon!

    Report back!
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    My pullets generally start to lay within a month of a reddened comb. The earlier the reddened, the sooner that one will lay!
     
  8. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

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    within a couple weeks they should be laying, they probbably wont lay everyday, but skip a couple days between eggs and work up to every day. I ate the first eggs(actually the kids did) and we are still here.
     
  9. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    LOL..[​IMG]

    Can you eat fertile eggs too??? I have another thread going ....I am thinking of getting a rooster...my husband thinks it is gross to eat the fertile eggs.....
     
  10. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

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    I think all of mine are fertile too, I bet your husband is afraid to go to Rehobeth Too(You know what I mean) [​IMG]
     

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