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

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gembeag, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. Gembeag

    Gembeag Out Of The Brooder

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    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.
     
  2. rockriver

    rockriver Out Of The Brooder

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    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
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How old are they?

    rockriver makes some good points....if those don't work you'll have to stalk them.
     
  4. Gembeag

    Gembeag Out Of The Brooder

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    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?[​IMG]
     
  5. rockriver

    rockriver Out Of The Brooder

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    Works sometimes depends now much they poop before laying
     
  6. shodack

    shodack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    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...
     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Comb color and size is a good indicator of health and if in production.

    This hen is laying eggs.
    [​IMG]



    Not laying because of molt
    [​IMG]


    This hen is not laying eggs. Note the shrivled comb and lack of color.
    [​IMG]


    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.
    [​IMG]


    Not laying.
    [​IMG]




    This hen is laying eggs
    [​IMG]



    Hope this help.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    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.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    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.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    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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