how do you know when they're ready to lay?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by siouxbee, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. siouxbee

    siouxbee Songster

    May 8, 2007
    I've got our nest boxes closed off until the girls are old enough... well at the end of this month, half of them will be 5 months old. which according to what I've read means they should start laying soon.

    are there signs of readiness I can watch out for, either physical changes or changes in behavior?

    I usually let them all out in the morning 8-9ish and they're out most of the day til 6-7ish. How will I know if they're laying eggs under the pine tree, deck, in the flower beds or any of the other places they hang... should I start keeping them in in the morning?

    when should I make access available to the nesting boxes? my coop is still small, and I'm sure they'd like to sleep in there, which I don't want. So how do you handle this?

  2. biretta

    biretta Songster

    Jun 7, 2007
    My coop is small too and I didn't provide a nest until the first egg came. They were only 17 weeks old so it came as a surprise. I'd keep them in the run part of the day, and one afternoon I noticed her sqawking a lot and going into the coop and digging around in the shavings, as if trying to form a nest. It looked different than regular chicken scratching. She got upset if any of the other chickens tried to go in. Anyway, hours later I noticed an egg out on the floor of the run. So much for digging around in the coop. I provided a nest after that. She went in and laid her egg in it the next day. If I were you I'd probably try to keep them in at least until the afternoon. Based on my experience it seems maybe the nest boxes shoudl be made available when you know that they are laying. I'm sure someone with more experience will chime in though..
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  3. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Well I got my first egg yesterday.
    The signs I got where that, their combs all started changeing about a couple weeks ago.
    When I say they changed I mean they seemed to get bigger overnight and a little redder.
    Recently they have all started squating for me, (mateing position).
    They squat down and stick their wings back kinda, that was the most recent and obvious sign I saw.
    On the day of laying, there was a very large Poo in the run.

    I have never had my nest boxes closed off, the girls sleep on the oppisite side of the coop from it and have only gone in it if they were sick, or a few times to investigate the area.
    I don't exactly have a huge coop so...

    Oh, the last couple weeks they also started getting a little louder when they see me, but I didn't notice any loud squaking when she layed her egg.

    Wow, all that and I don't even have a second egg yet lol.

    Hope it helps
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  4. foamspoon

    foamspoon Songster

    Apr 17, 2007
    bout a week and a half ago I put a nest in my coop with some fake eggs. Last night I pooked my head in and saw 7 eggs in the nest. I was pumped.

  5. blue fire

    blue fire Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I got a very large poo in my run the past two days![​IMG] I'm so excited ( about eggs not poo [​IMG]) I hope one of my girls lays soon!

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