Is she trying to lay her first egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by leight54, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Ameraucana (possible EE, I guess) is almost 9 months old, and hasn't started laying yet. But she's doing the stampy-stampy-squat, and her face is getting red. Lately she's been spending time in the nest box. Not really broody, though. Just hunkered down, casually rearranging the bits of straw.. She didn't mind when I lifted her to take a peek. (Nothing but the wood egg in there, which she's pushed aside.)

    Now she's walking around in the run, but she keeps stopping and doing - well, nothing! Just standing still Right now, she's standing still - in the water bowl! Her buddy, Nettie, is scratching, pecking, drinking - all the normal activities that they usually do in unison.

    Could it be she's trying to lay an egg? She doesn't seem distressed at all. When should I be concerned?

    These are my first hens, and I'm a worrier (it's hereditary, I'm afraid.)
  2. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2011
    Tooele, Utah
    She could be trying to work something along, but I wouldn't worry until she starts acting like she's sick. You will be able to tell if there's something wrong. An eggbound hen will do things like refuse to eat or drink (or else take very little nourishment) have trouble pooping, move slowly or else just camp out and not want to move for a long time, things like that.

    This thread has a link that might help:
  3. leight54

    leight54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just went out and watched her for a while. She does look like she's trying to lay. Sort of a rhythmic bearing down. I offered her some wheatgerm, and she ate some. I looked at her bottom, the vent looks normal, but there is some yellowish goo on the feathers below it.

    How long should I let her keep trying, before I need to intervene?

  4. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    Why would you intervene? Just let her do her thing. Its not uncommon for chickens to not be laying yet. Especially since its winter.
  5. RedIII

    RedIII Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2011
    Tooele, Utah
    Hmmm, I would say just keep an eye on her, but at this point don't worry too much. I'm not sure just yet what would cause that goo, so just keep an eye on it. If she starts acting sick and just sitting in the same spot for a while, then I would start thinking about taking some action to help her. Until then, you're probably alright to let her do her thing, whatever that may be.
  6. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Yeah! Sounds like she's close to laying her first egg. I would leave her alone and let her lay her egg when she feels it's time. Intervening may cause more trouble for her if you accidentally injure her in the process of trying to help.

    I would however watch her because it's a cool thing to watch. Mine would get in the nest box and make circles in the hay or just hang out for hours - they did that for about two weeks before they started laying. I could tell when they were about to lay because they'd sit down real low and start what looked like pushing something out. Then just before the egg would come out they'd stand up a little and out would pop the egg.

    Hoping for fresh eggs in your very near future :)
  7. bluestar.ranch

    bluestar.ranch Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2011
    Belville Tx
    yeah go chickens!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by