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How do I evaluate who is laying and who is not?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by miss_thenorth, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I hve 12 birds who should be laying. they should have been laying since this spring. but I am only getting 4 eggs a day. In a very blue moon, I get 7 eggs. so, how do I figure out who is laying and who is not? Sorry, but I won't be feeding free loaders over the winter, so I need to thin out the flock.
     
  2. The Kibble Goddess

    The Kibble Goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2009
    Sylvania, Ga
    I'd like to know also. I have 8 hens and one roo, and 4 of the hens are laying. I know who 3 of the layers are, but can't catch the 4th on the nest. The 6 remaining hens are 24 weeks. All are fat and sassy, have good red combs and wattles. They get layer pellets, free access to water, grit & oystershell, table scraps near daily, and free range from 5 pm till dark, more on my days off. No one is hiding eggs 'cause the dogs & I are all over the yard daily and haven't found any. What is taking so long?? I have people who want to buy eggs!!
     
  3. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
    NJ
    I spy on them. Note the variations of each bird's egg as much as possible.

    For example, my Production Red has rough and bumpy shell. Wyandotte has light beige shell. My 1 BA and 2 RIR eggs are indistinguishable, so it's all about catching them laying.

    Out of my 11 birds, I actually know who is producing, generally.
     
  4. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Quote:I seriously don't have all day to sit and watch them, there must be another way. All are in an out of the nest boxes, and mine lay from 9am till about 5 pm. I have found an egg at 6 pm before, so it not possible to spend a whole day watching the nest boxes.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Even if you don't have all day, you can still spy on them and chart them like a duty nurse!! [​IMG][​IMG]

    I do. Eventually, you track your known good layers and learn the breed's egg color/shape. A dozen hens doesn't take too long to figure out who is doing what. Spy on them at 6 am, the next day at 7 am. etc. It works for me. I track 24 hens this way.

    Or, just use the lipstick method. Different color for each girl. No, they don't get to have a home makeup party and decide which color looks best on their vents. [​IMG]
     
  6. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Fred's Hens :

    Even if you don't have all day, you can still spy on them and chart them like a duty nurse!! [​IMG][​IMG]

    I do. Eventually, you track your known good layers and learn the breed's egg color/shape. A dozen hens doesn't take too long to figure out who is doing what. Spy on them at 6 am, the next day at 7 am. etc. It works for me. I track 24 hens this way.

    Or, just use the lipstick method. Different color for each girl. No, they don't get to have a home makeup party and decide which color looks best on their vents. [​IMG]

    Hmmmm.... I had read food colouring before, and tried that unsuccessfully. But, lipstick would stay on better. Maybe I will try that.​
     
  7. whoacowboy

    whoacowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2011
    Town of Clayton
    You can always check the width of their bones. You can pick them up, or have a someone else hold them. Then underneath where their vent is you can apply the underside of your fingers against their pelvic bones. If the width is very narrow, obviously their isn't enough room for an egg to pass through. If the width is at least two fingers wide, then they are laying. This is the basic lesson, but it is helpful.
     
  8. UncleTommy

    UncleTommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Sanger, CA
    i read that if you put some food coloring on their vent their eggs will be marked...not sure if it works, but it sounds like a good idea.
     
  9. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Quote:Tried that. Didn't work.
     

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