How to tell who is laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cjkleck, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. cjkleck

    cjkleck Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Hi there. So I am new to chickens. I have 26 laying hens that started laying again about 6 days ago. Yesterday I got 13 eggs. Aside from sitting there all day is there any way to figure out who is laying. I don't want to feed chickens that are not laying. Maybe I should get a video camera! The previous owner said he was getting about 2 dozen a day. I figure I will wait it out for a week or 2 and see if I get more eggs.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Much depends on the age of the birds and their breed. If they're less than 4 years old, I wouldn't say they're done. 10 year old hens can lay eggs.
    Any stress inhibits ovulation. As creatures of habit, moving is stressful.

    To answer your question, with that many birds, the best technique is to check the distance between the pelvic bones. 2 fingers or more and they're likely laying. Less and they likely aren't.

    However, just because they shut down now doesn't mean they won't be great layers after molt or after the winter solstice. During molt and any other time they quit, the pelvic bones move closer together. The combs also shrivel and pale.
    Probably the time of year combined with the move is the problem.
    They sometimes shut down for winter and lay like gangbusters from March to September.

    If you only want birds that lay constantly, you need to start with pullets about 6 months of age and replace them every 18 months.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  3. cjkleck

    cjkleck Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome. This is great advice! They are about 1.5 years and we plan on starting to replace next year. But maybe we will wait then till next summer to judge who can stay
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    CC has given great info/advice...but I'm curious.

    Did you just get these birds?
    What do you mean by....."started laying again"?
    Are you in the northern hemisphere?
     
  5. cjkleck

    cjkleck Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in Wisconsin. They are about 1.5 years old. When I picked them up they had started the molting process. And from the stress of moving I was told they would take a little time to start laying again. We are up to 16 eggs today! And I am pretty sure there is at least 1 more that will lay yet today
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    So how long have you had them?
    Are the ones laying done with molting?
     
  7. cjkleck

    cjkleck Out Of The Brooder

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    It will be 3 weeks on sunday. I believe all of them are done molting.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If they're done molting and you really need the eggs now, it's time to add light to the coop. Enough on a timer to get at least 13 hours of day length (sunlight + added light), bright enough to read a newspaper by at roost height.
     
  9. cjkleck

    cjkleck Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes we added a light a week ago! I guess I posted this too soon! Yesterday we got 20 eggs!
     

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