ID eggs - Aussie or Barred Rock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by digitS', Nov 1, 2008.

  1. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a problem with having only one breed of hens at a time. Comparisons require good memory. Here's a problem with the passing of years. Memories dim [​IMG].

    One of my 21 week olds started laying this week. Yay! Now, which one is it?

    It's been quite a few years since I've had Barred Rocks. I now have 2. Barred Rock eggs are significantly darker than those of the Black Australorps, right?

    There are only 4 pullets. Right now . . . I have different reasons to suspect each one of them as the one laying. What I'll be trying to do is to encourage the right one to use the nest box.

    I've made a change in nest box location this year. It is no longer right beside the roosts. Before, I'd sometimes need to "unlearn" a hen from roosting in the box. In its new location, the nest box has its own little ladder. None of the pullets has shown any real interest in this box. The one that is laying, has decided that the correct location is under the ladder.

    If I can focus attention on getting the right one comfortable with the box, they should all follow suit as they begin to lay [​IMG]. Right now, they are probably all thinking about laying under that ladder. Can't have that . . . not only is it on the floor :eek:; it's a high-traffic area between other parts of their coop and the chicken door [​IMG].

    So as to narrow it down to one pair or the other -- the light brown eggs should identify the laying pullet as one of the 2 Aussies, right?

    If you permit me, we'll take this in steps. . . . Next, I'll ask about combs & wattles and squatting. I'd really appreciate your help!

    Steve
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Barred Rock eggs are significantly darker than those of the Black Australorps, right?

    Well, not necessarily. See this flat of eggs? They are all Barred Rock eggs, the darkest one being from my own Lexie. The rest are from helmstead's Barred Rocks.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    I also get different shades of browns from my girls..... Some light, med, and darker !!
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmmm, this might be more difficult than I'd hoped :|.

    Okay, squatting - - I've read thru the "From squat to first egg" thread that's currently posted. #1 Chicken, I call her Edna, has been squatting for probably 3 weeks! She's the largest in the group, top of the pecking order, and has always had a larger comb. Today, she was racing about the yard in high spirits as is common and started to squat for #4 chicken, Yvonne. Yvonne started to move in Edna's direction and immediately thought better of it . . .

    It has been my suspicion that Edna would be first to lay but she's fat and her behavior hasn't changed one bit since the eggs started showing up except for this unexpected squatting.

    #3 Chicken, Olivia, is a BA and the only other one out of the 4 that will sometimes squat. She has the least developed comb & wattles, however. If those are the best indicators, the layer would be either Edna or Yvonne.

    Finally, whining and carrying on - - that's the special province of #2 Chicken, Spring. Spring has behaved this way for a long, long time, however. But . . . she's getting worse and worse!

    Of course she whines and complains about getting out onto the lawn but being out doesn't shut her up. She moans and groans all over the yard. As I say, she's worse now than a couple weeks ago. I've little doubt that she's telling us that she needs a nest. It's just that I've got to convince them that they already HAVE a nest!

    If you were gambling, which one would you put your money on:

    #4 Yvonne, a BA who has nicely developed comb and wattles and will likely lay a "tinted" egg such as the ones that are showing up.

    #3 Olivia, who is the only Aussie pullet that's squatting.

    #2 Spring, a BR who has whined and moaned for weeks and weeks but is now carrying on almost nonstop.

    #1 Edna, who squats at the "drop of a hat" and has the most developed comb & wattles and is a Barred Rock.

    [​IMG] Steve
     
  5. gotchooks?

    gotchooks? Out Of The Brooder

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    My money's on #1 Edna. I have one that "hits the dirt" if you look at her sideways...too funny! [​IMG]
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any one else [​IMG]??

    Tell ya what . . . I've been moving Edna gently into the nest box a couple times daily for the last 2 or 3 days. She makes that oh-isn't-this-interesting sound now.

    Trying to get Olivia in there was nearly a fight. Spring Chicken might present the same problem but one would hardly know since she's always such a grouch anyway. Yvonne runs in tight little circles whenever she thinks I might pick her up - something she's done since she was a chick. So, I'm not touching her if I don't have to.

    Maybe just to make the job easier and since we both kinda enjoy it, I'll continue introducting Edna to the nest box and hope the egg (& eggs! [​IMG]) start appearing in that location.

    Steve
     
  7. PaintedMeadows

    PaintedMeadows Chillin' With My Peeps

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    check the distance between their pelvic bones. If you can fit 3 fingers between them then there's your girl. I have a third hen laying now and it is right on with the width between the pelvic bones. Good luck!! Oh and do you have a fake egg or golf ball in the nest? That will help inspire them and show them that the nest is safe.
     
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought that was just to determine if the hen is past her egg-laying years.

    These pullets better be prime for laying [​IMG]! I've got high hopes for a productive year ahead.

    I've had one fairly knowledgeable person say, "You know, you can feel the eggs inside them if you put your finger in the right place." :eek:

    I think I'll try the finger measuring on the outside of the bird but I am hoping that they are all about ready to pop!!

    Steve
     
  9. PaintedMeadows

    PaintedMeadows Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I meant outside the bird. My pullets that aren't laying yet only have maybe 1 fingers width between their pelvic bones. They are 21 weeks old so getting there. As soon as I can fit 3 fingers between then I watch and sure enough, they lay within a few days. Up to 3 laying hens as of today. Possibly 4.
     
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good Grief! I went out and squeezed Edna from every direction . . . fortunately, she didn't seem to mind.

    Where are these pelvic bones, I kept asking myself!!

    Later, I went on the 'net and searched and searched. Found descriptions and finally (finally!) found a drawing on a U of Florida webpage. (If these guys want to sue for copyright infringement on a drawing of a chicken's rear-end . . . [​IMG])

    I'll check the chickens again in the morning.

    Thanks [​IMG]!!

    Steve

    [​IMG]
     

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