How do you know when they start laying??

TexasChickenDance

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 16, 2010
50
0
39
Central Texas
I have 6 month old Rhode Island Red hens. How do you know when they'll start laying? Will they start acting funny or give us some kind of clue? They free range during the day so will they go back to the coop to lay in the nesting boxes or will they lay where ever they're ranging? Will we be on an Easter egg hunt???
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dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
27,619
13,655
886
Glen St Mary, Florida
Hopefully you have a nest box in the chicken house. They will start squawking while walking around in the yard then instinctively head back to their house and into the nest. You'll know when they've layed an egg. They will "announce" that they've layed an egg. "Announcing" is alot of bocking,they'll leave the nest and house,come out in the yard letting everyone know that she layed an egg.
 

Fanny

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 22, 2009
80
2
29
Manitoba, Canada
Do you mean you haven't gotten any eggs yet from your 6 month old birds? If so, it might already be time to do an easter egg hunt, as they may be secretly laying somewhere else.
Indications that a bird is about to start laying include their comb getting noticeably redder, and the hens 'squatting' (they sort of hunch down, and spread their wings a little) when you go to pick them up, feed them, etc.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,113
18,482
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Quote:
I agree... My RIR's started laying at just over 4 months but were all laying by 6 months. I think it's time to go on an egg hunt. If you find a place the chances are, that more than one bird could be laying in the same spot if they are laying.
 
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Fanny

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 22, 2009
80
2
29
Manitoba, Canada
If they have been laying somewhere, can we keep them in their coop for a couple days to actually see if they are laying?

That should work!​
 

Chic Chick

Songster
11 Years
Dec 30, 2008
337
8
131
East Central Alberta
The best thing to do is keep them in the coop in the mornings anyway, because most chickens will lay their eggs early in the day. Then let them out in the afternoons to freerange.
Put a few dummy eggs in the nests to give them the idea that that's the place to lay their eggs.
They might not have started laying yet because of the shorter hours of daylight, but if their combs are bright red then they are ready to lay or already laying. Which means you'd have to watch them closely to see where their hidey holes are.
 

El Naked Neck

Songster
10 Years
Jan 23, 2010
857
2
129
Earth
their crest turns red more than normal,and if you put your fingers right above the vent you can feel the tail bones if you can put 2 fingers or 3 in between she is laying or geting ready to lay,i use golf balls in the nest so they know where the eggs go.
 

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