How can you tell if a hen is no longer laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mothersin2ition, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. mothersin2ition

    mothersin2ition Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Othello, WA
    I know Ive read it here somewhere, but I cant seem to find it. Isnt there a way to feel their pelvic bone and see if theyre laying or not? I know I have a bunch of my girls who are no longer laying eggs, since I have 16 of them and Im lucky to get 7 eggs per day. Dh and I would like to find out which ones are done, and send them to freezer camp.
  2. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    THat's our situation too. I'll be following this to see if you get some useful responses. One method I read about, but have NOT done (!), is to mark the vent of one in question with old lipstick and then see if a freshly laid egg has shell marks from the lipstick. Sure sign. I guess you could test several hens at once with a rainbow of old lipsticks! I think this would work... ~G
  3. NevadaRon

    NevadaRon Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2010
    Well, according to my Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry [​IMG], when the yellow color starts coming back into their beaks, legs, etc., it means they are no longer laying as the yellow pigment is used by the yolks and comes out of the body when a hen is producing. Of course, that assumes you have breeds that have normally yellow skin; not all breeds do. [​IMG]
  4. mothersin2ition

    mothersin2ition Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    Othello, WA
  5. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Hey I like that lipstick idea! ;D
  6. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 5, 2007
    Yep its all in the pelvic bone you can check to see how many finger fit in-between the top and bottom and then between the two sides there will be a drastic difference between the hens who aren't laying and the hens who are. A breeder I know showed me how to do this.

  7. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    I've never heard of the lipstick idea but I have heard of using food color. Put a couple of drops on their vent area and you should be able to tell if they layed any eggs!!

  8. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I could just see SOMEBODY going out and drawing a smiley face on their chicken's butt with lipstick....
  9. greyartist

    greyartist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2010
    Quote:Too funny!!!! I knew if I looked someone else would have the same question, I too have some old hens that may need retiring. Some are 6 yrs old and others are 2, I can't remember who's who though.
  10. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    I love the lipstick idea, but it's difficult to remove from the eggs. Foodcoloring (any color but red cause it looks too much like blood) is a better idea. I have 12 chickens, but I usually get only 10 or 11 eggs every morning. I'm still getting a few double-yolkers and too-small eggs, so it's probably immaturity and start-up syndrome. Since ISA Browns are production hens, I should expect an egg every 24-26 hours from everyone, right? Except for moulting and high stress, which isn't happening right now. I think.

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