How do I know if my hen is laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Carolyn227, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Carolyn227

    Carolyn227 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    I have three hens currently, two Rhode Island Reds and one easter egger. I usually get about two eggs a day, one brown, one light green. I know for sure one of my RIRs is laying. She is always sitting on the nest. Obviously the EE is laying as well. But I would think with twice as many RIRs we'd get more brown eggs than green. Maybe not twice as many, but at least the majority would be brown I would think. I've never seen my other RIR (who has a very slight cross beak but otherwise seems very healthy) on the nest, ever, and no indication that she's laying. But maybe she's a ninja egg layer and I've just never noticed the signs? She's kind of mean and I don't really like her and am planning on getting rid of her after we get a few new chicks this spring, once it's warmer. Basically I'm keeping her around for body heat. If I had any evidence that she was laying, I'd consider keeping her.

    So, short of separating her from the others (which I really don't want to do while it's February anyway) how do I figure out if she's laying?
     
  2. akcharlie1960

    akcharlie1960 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Chugiak, Alaska
    Did you ask her ? Sorry. I thought it was funny.
     
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    It was funny!
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Have you checked her vent? If her's is exactly like the other RIRs then they could be sharing egg-laying duty, and you do have a stealth layer as you suggested. If it is considerably smaller and looks dry, then perhaps she is a 'free-loader'.

    Another clue may be if you examine your brown eggs VERY carefully for size, shape, color differences, etc. you may see a pattern.

    I have two BPRs that lay light brown eggs, but one is a little lighter brown than the other, and one often has spots on her eggs, (the one with a bit less pigment)-- the one that lays a little shade darker has a more oblong egg. When they both first started, I never knew who laid, unless I got both of them to lay on the same day. --- Now I can tell in an instant. The day that you get two browns, you will know that both RIRs are laying.

    Hope this may help you a little as you solve the mystery.
     
  5. Carolyn227

    Carolyn227 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    Well I tried to check her vent today but I'm a newbie and just don't know how. She's also not the friendliest and doesn't want me to touch her. I did, however, let her free range this evening so I actually was able to hold her. I guess she's grateful I let her out of the hen house! She does feel smaller then my other hens, so maybe she's not getting enough calories with her slight cross beak? Her beak looks almost flaked on top of it, too.

    I've never had two brown eggs in one day, which is why I suspect she isn't laying, and also since I'm getting about equal number of brown and green eggs, I suspect just two layers.

    I'm planning on free ranging them most evenings from now on so maybe the run of the yard will be good for her and she'll start laying.
     
  6. Southern Oregonihens

    Southern Oregonihens Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 5, 2011
    Like ChicKat said, look at the eggs closely (and the vents, if you can). Also, when did the hen in question hatch? Assuming she is the same age as the other RIR, she could be up to a month delayed and still be a "normal" layer. If she was a fall chick, she may be getting ready to impress. Trying to be hopeful, as much as helpful...
     
  7. Carolyn227

    Carolyn227 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2011
    My hens are all the same age. The first RIR has been laying for months. She was laying for about a month or two before the easter egger started laying. Heck, maybe they're both laying and the EE is just way more prolific than my other hens. I'm hoping to start seeing an increase in eggs now that they days are starting to get longer. We have very short days in the winter where I live.
     

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