How to figure out which ones are still laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Back40, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Back40

    Back40 Out Of The Brooder

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    If it happens that I have to begin to cull the non-layers out of my flock, does anyone have some good tried-and-true methods to determine which girls are laying, and which are not? My coop is set up with six nest boxes with a drop-down screen to prevent nest-roosting. With 16 hens, I'm not sure how to tell the layers from non-layers.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    16 hens can be charted.

    Have some leg bands, zip ties ready. Pull up a chair and spend some time near the nesting boxes. As a hen leaves and you are sure she has left an egg, you can band her or "paint brand" with a shot of blue cote. Over the course of a few days, you'll quickly mark the good layers. If you have 3 or 4 you aren't sure of, put those three or four in a separate pen, perhaps, and the process begins again. This method is tired and true, if a bit fussy.

    Other folks have chosen the "test" hen of the day method and sprayed her vent with blue kote, which should turn up on an egg as blue streak. With a couple of weeks, you will have "tested" your hens.
     
  3. hamilton3475

    hamilton3475 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    16 hens can be charted.

    Have some leg bands, zip ties ready. Pull up a chair and spend some time near the nesting boxes. As a hen leaves and you are sure she has left an egg, you can band her or "paint brand" with a shot of blue cote. Over the course of a few days, you'll quickly mark the good layers. If you have 3 or 4 you aren't sure of, put those three or four in a separate pen, perhaps, and the process begins again. This method is tired and true, if a bit fussy.

    Other folks have chosen the "test" hen of the day method and sprayed her vent with blue kote, which should turn up on an egg as blue streak. With a couple of weeks, you will have "tested" your hens.

    Very good Info​
     
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Nice Fred... Ill remember that one-I've used food coloring ...it works..for the most part [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  5. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

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    There is an easier way, hold the hen in one arm with her sitting upright on your forearm with her legs held by your fingers with her head towards the inside of your elbow. With the index and middle finger measure the width between the 2 parrelel bones in front of the vent. If 2 fingers fit between the bones she is laying if less then she is not laying. Try this on a pullet also and when the comb enlarges on a pullet recheck the space between the bones it will widen. The egg widens the gap between the bones as egg laying increases, the same effect happens as the hen slows and quits laying.

    The comb will go pale and shrink when a hen quits laying also.
     

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