How to tell if hens are at pol?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gerry2011, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Gerry2011

    Gerry2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 roos ages, 5+ mths, 8 mths, and 3 years. The hens range from 20 wks. to 8 mths. old. The past couple of days 2 roos have mounted different hens (and not ones that looked most likely to be laying), so my question is does the roos activity indicate that the hens are at pol? Or are they just practicing [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The roos activity means the roos are ready. They'll mount anything that moves when they're young, even other roosters.
    POL is usually signified by combs and wattles getting red. Within the last week they'll start checking out the nests and sitting in them trying them out for size.
    Some people will tell you when they squat for you. I don't believe it. Hens with roosters usually don't squat for owners. Squatting means they're ready to breed which isn't the same thing as laying eggs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2011
  3. auto5man

    auto5man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Exactly what I've seen with my flock (and I'm first time flock newb). Two hens turned into roosters, lol. So we got to see all this young Roo behavior before we gave the Roos away. Three of my six hens are laying now ( first egg from Easter egger today WOOT!) all started in the past 30 days so we've experienced all this behavior too. First the combs turning red, then the squatting started, then the nest exploring for a few days (as much as a week), then ...FIRST EGG woooohoooooooooOOoOoO!

    Having watched the squatting start ( both before and after giving Roos away), my opinion is its instinctual mating behavior that occurs as the hens reach sexual maturity. Nature's way of ensuring propagation of species. In each of my three laying hens case, the squatting started within a couple weeks of first egg laying. My but raising chickens has been interesting in so many ways!
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    We can learn so much from close observation.
     
  5. Gerry2011

    Gerry2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. It's funny I never thought of this question with my barnyard flock years ago, but then being on a farm I didn't have time to sit and watch the chicken behaviors to see what went on when. Another question just occurred to me....just how do you check for pelvic width on a hen? How do you hold her and what reference points are you looking for?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  7. Gerry2011

    Gerry2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, CC
     

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