How do I know which of my girls are laying?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Eggcelent Terp, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. Eggcelent Terp

    Eggcelent Terp New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Nov 15, 2016
    We have 6 hens that have been laying for 6 weeks--or I should say some have been laying for 6 weeks. They are 2 each of red cross, buff orpington and barred rock. We suspect only three are laying as we get 2 eggs in the same box, one in another (same box) daily. We've had a consistent 3 eggs/day for a month, never more. They were all hatched and picked up on the same day, May 2 of this year. Any way we can check which are laying or why the others aren't?
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    It's normal for the girls to not start laying at the same time even if they are the same breed born the same day. Each one is an individual. I've had mine that were the same start more than 4 weeks apart.

    There are a few indicators of laying or not. The girls who are laying may walk around cackling. Their combs may be redder than those who aren't laying yet will be more pink. They will often squat when you quickly put your hand over their back as a sign of sexual maturity. And 1 I haven't figured out yet is... Laying the vent will be slightly wider and moist, not equals tighter and dry from a visual inspection. And then you can feel how far apart the pelvic bones are with your fingers, 2 bony points between the legs. 1 finger width, not laying. 2 fingers is.

    @aart did I get that right?
     
  3. Eggcelent Terp

    Eggcelent Terp New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Nov 15, 2016
    That helps tremendously. I thought about borrowing someone's field camera to see. We know one red cross is laying, maybe two. I just "busted" one of the barred rocks in the act. Possibly means the buff orpingtons aren't ready yet and one of the rocks.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Do they sing when they are done?

    Are all the eggs the same color? There are usually subtle difference like tint or shape. But when they are the same breed or basic color it can be difficult to tell who did it. I have 48 total chickens and about 16 are laying. I have learned hoe to tell who's is who's mostly. But there are some that are either this girl or that one.

    Game cam is always a good ideal, I've considered it myself.

    Sometimes there is a highly perferred box and the hens may even sit on top of each other to lay if they don't wanna wait. When they know others deem it safe they wanna be there to. The fake eggs really do help in my opinion. I move them around sometimes to.

    This time of year, some girls may wait till light starts increasing depending on your location. My BO and BR weren't the same age so I don't have a comparison of when they laid. Though come to think of it my BO laid before my white leghorn. [​IMG] Which is unexpected for sure. So I will just say again, no telling because typical doesn't necessarily translate to reality. [​IMG]
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,617
    10,308
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Close.....but 'fingertips' is subjective.

    Vent Appearance:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying.

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by