How do you tell who is / isn't laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nifty-Chicken, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Well, our coop is getting quite full and we've got a couple new chicks that are about ready to go into the coop. We have a couple favorite hens that we'll hold onto, but the others will only stick around if they are consistently laying.

    So, here's the question: What are the easiest ways to tell which hen is laying when? I could separate all of them / watch them all day, but that's a bit of work. Any other great ideas people have for checking who is and isn't laying?

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, in general, look for bright combs and pale legs. In addition, if you pick them up and feel their pelvic bones, they should be easily pliable so an egg can go through. Then, if you look at the vent its self, it should be moist and wide.

    Now if the hen is moulting though, she could be a good layer and taking her annual break.

    There is gaurentee how often they lay though so it can be kind of difficult to tell for sure who is laying well.
  3. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Songster

    Jul 21, 2007
    The bleaching sequence is a good indicator. Like Silkiechicken said, the legs will bleach out. Before the legs the beaks will also bleach.

    Have you considered a trap nest? I've thought about making one for the same reason. Has anyone here had any experience using one???
  4. spottedtail

    spottedtail Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Trapnesting works well.
    You just need to devote about 3 days straight to trapping and releasing the hens.
    Not only will you find who's laying and who's not, but you'll discover which hens are laying which unique eggs. They are pretty consistant in the type of egg they lay.
    If you have more hens than you can identify by eye, you'll need a set of numbered legbands.
    Give it a try.

  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Anybody have pics of what this nest setup looks like?
    I couldn't find it in the search.

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