Hen Getting Ready to Lay??

New Chicken Lady

In the Brooder
Jul 7, 2017
47
65
49
I apologize if this should be posted under another thread. I'm a newbie, so please forgive. :) I have three chickens - two RIRs and a Brahma/Cochin mix.The RIRs are about 23 weeks. Their combs and wattles are getting red, and one has been squatting when I reach down to pet her. This morning, when I let the girls out of their coop, Rose (one of the RIRs) was wandering off from the other two (which none of them EVER do). She was kind of pacing around the yard and acting differently. I went out later to check on them and couldn't find her. I was panicked, but then looked in the coop to find her in the nesting box. She was laying there very quite and still for quite some time (a couple of hours). I thought for sure I'd get an egg today. However, after going out a couple of hours later, I found her out of the coop and - no egg. She had clearly been trying to make a nice nest to lay in as the shavings were moved around and a nice nest was formed. My question is this - is this typical behavior? Do some hens go in and out of the nesting box - spending long periods of time in there before they actually lay? I sincerely appreciate any opinions that you can share. I can't contain the excitement, and the suspense is killing me!! :) Thanks so much!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,281
72,506
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
You picked the perfect place and way to post.
Congrats and Welcome to BYC!

Sounds like your girl knows what shes doing,
be glad she went to a coop nest instead of out in range area somewhere.
The pacing and sitting in nest without laying is pretty typical.
I'm betting you'll have an egg before the end of day.

New layers can be quite goofy acting, they don't know what they are doing at first and can be confused and anxious, it can take up to a month or so before they get it all figured out. Putting some fake eggs or golf balls in the nest might help show them where to lay. They may scratch around in the nests for weeks before laying, spreading the bedding everywhere. They will scratch around a bit less in nest as they get used to the routine. Meanwhile, eggs everywhere, some of them can be rather funky looking, soft or thin shelled, huge double yolked eggs.
 

New Chicken Lady

In the Brooder
Jul 7, 2017
47
65
49
Wow! Thanks so much to everyone for offering your expertise so far. I do have oyster shell available, but they don't seem too keen on it yet. I just bought layer feed as well. I checked at the end of the day yesterday, and no egg. Haven't noticed one today either. She may have laid one somewhere in the yard, I guess. Do you think it's a good sign that she may lay in the nesting box though, as she seemed to be nesting up there for sure. They free range on the weekends when I'm home. During the week, they stay in their coop until I get home. So maybe I'll notice one Tuesday after work, since she will have no place to lay except the coop. :) I didn't realize this would be such a nail-biting experience!
 

New Chicken Lady

In the Brooder
Jul 7, 2017
47
65
49
Also, do most hens lay weird eggs at first? I've heard some people who say yes, and some who say they got a normal egg on their hen's first go. Of course, I would like the most perfectly-formed, delicious egg ever! Do you think if I tell her this, she will comply? :) LOL
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,281
72,506
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Also, do most hens lay weird eggs at first? I've heard some people who say yes, and some who say they got a normal egg on their hen's first go. Of course, I would like the most perfectly-formed, delicious egg ever! Do you think if I tell her this, she will comply? :) LOL
Of course she will :rolleyes: :lol:

Some are weird, some are not...anything is possible.
Many free rangers keep their newly laying pullets confined to coop and run until late in day so they will start out with good coop nest laying habits.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom