how do you know when...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lifetime chicken lover, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Lifetime chicken lover

    Lifetime chicken lover Songster

    Jun 26, 2009
    Rogers, MN
    a hen is ready to start laying?
    I have 4 hens (white leghorn, RIR, BO)born in the end of March 2010. And 3 BAs born April 10, 2010. So when can I expect them to start laying? Should they be getting Layena already?- I still have them on Flock Raiser. Does the nesting box have to be in a quiet, dark place?

  2. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Hens usually start laying around 21 weeks of age. When they approach that age, switch to layer pellets and make sure there's free-choice oyster shell available (for calcium). They should have a nice dark box (one per every 2-3 hens) in a pretty private place inside the coop, with shavings and/or hay inside it. A wooden egg or golf ball inside each one makes it clear that the next box is where they should lay. When a hen is about to lay, her comb and wattles will get very red. She may spend a lot of time in the next boxes and/or squat down when you approach her (known as the "egg squat"). Her first eggs may be small and/or deformed, but no worries. [​IMG]

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