How to tell if one particular hen isn't laying?

Gembeag

Songster
May 16, 2015
103
14
106
Shropshire, UK
Our 4 RSLs have been laying an egg each everyday without fail since September. For the last 2 weeks we have been only getting 3 eggs. I can't tell who isn't laying. They all seem well. Is there a "magic" way of finding out? Thanks. Emma.
 

rockriver

In the Brooder
Sep 27, 2015
97
6
39
Laying hens will have large red comb and wattles a larger moist vent and their pelvic bones will be at least 3 finger widths apart
 

Gembeag

Songster
May 16, 2015
103
14
106
Shropshire, UK
They are coming up for a year old, aart. I shall have a look at what you suggested, Rockriver. I heard something once about putting food colouring around their vent? No...daft idea?
1f633.png
 

rockriver

In the Brooder
Sep 27, 2015
97
6
39
They are coming up for a year old, aart. I shall have a look at what you suggested, Rockriver. I heard something once about putting food colouring around their vent? No...daft idea?
1f633.png


Works sometimes depends now much they poop before laying
 

shodack

Songster
Mar 19, 2015
392
46
121
central NY
I have two I know aren't because their combs have shriveled up and are pale pink. One is in a molt, the other is just a poor layer...
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
31,707
16,850
867
Comb color and size is a good indicator of health and if in production.

This hen is laying eggs.




Not laying because of molt



This hen is not laying eggs. Note the shrivled comb and lack of color.



Not laying. It was 15 degrees when I took this photo-the reason she's puffed her feather. Otherwise, one would think she is ill.



Not laying.





This hen is laying eggs




Hope this help.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,482
3,548
436
NEK, VT
I'm home a lot so can randomly check the nest to see who's on in and also check after hearing the egg song. With attention to detail you'll soon know which egg came from which bird. Size, shape, speckling and color all indicate which chicken laid it. Those characteristics hold true for each bird excepting size, increase after each molt, and color if blue or dark egg layer (color fades over each year laying then returns vibrant after molt). Regardless, you get to know who's egg is who's and only need to stalk them once as the character of egg for each bird holds. Any given day I can tell how laid what by looking at eggs in a small flock. Over 8 birds and same breed I give up trying.

Heard of people using lipstick on vents. Assume it's a color the owner doesn't use anymore.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,728
130,696
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Comb color can be a clear indicator....but not always, one of my best layers' comb is not vibrant.

You know, it could also be that all the birds are not laying every singe day....rather than just one not laying at all.
With high production birds like RSL that may be improbable, but it's not impossible.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,069
581
Southern Oregon
I'm with aart, I'll bet they're just taking turns. Laying an egg every day, day in and day out just doesn't happen for most birds, even the high production sex links.

You cal always isolate each hen in a cage or coop by herself for 3 days or so, that's how I see who is laying, or who lays a particular color of egg.
 

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