Is there a method to determine WHICH hens are not laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by baltimoreharps, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. baltimoreharps

    baltimoreharps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My wife and I just got our first flock of 6 a week ago. At the time we picked them up, we were told there are 1 or 2 that are probably not laying. We are 95% sure of two as they are old, so we figured we have 4 layers at the moment.

    We've gotten anywhere from 1 to 3 eggs every day since we brought them home for a total of 17 since last Saturday (which I thought wasn't too bad for 4) but we suspect there may be a 3rd non-layer. We identified 2 of the layers as they've gone up and laid while we stood there (a Dominique and another we aren't sure of). There are two that we think either are laying slower or 1 is not laying and getting credit [​IMG]

    I didn't know (besides just making an isolation pen and moving the suspects into it one by one for a couple of days each) if there were any physical signs with the vent or other characteristics that might out a freeloader.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  2. kerrywoo

    kerrywoo Out Of The Brooder

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    i wonder if chalk line powder of different colors poofed on their tail feathers would hurt anything?
     
  3. baltimoreharps

    baltimoreharps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad you mentioned that. I thought I was crazy but I suggested to my wife to check online to see if there was any harm in chalking or even a non-toxic food color dye around the tail/vent and compare to the eggs that should have colored marks on them.

    [​IMG] At least I know I wasn't the only one to hit on that idea. Thanks!
     
  4. kerrywoo

    kerrywoo Out Of The Brooder

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    LOL
    Well I would probably try it on mine, but I would hate to tell someone else to do it for sure... a little okie engineering [​IMG]
     
  5. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Trap nesting or individual pens for a few days is how the big boys do it. I usually have caught mine in the act. Sometimes a hen will lay every other day so you may have more than 3 laying.
     
  6. kerrywoo

    kerrywoo Out Of The Brooder

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    LOL do you have some okie in you??
     
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Put the same color of food coloring around their vent with a Q-tip for four days in a row. No streaks of that color on the egg.. you can cull that bird and move on to the next.

    Usually food colors come in red, green, blue and yellow so you could do four birds every four days.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2009
  8. baltimoreharps

    baltimoreharps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, we'll try that starting this weekend. I only have to check 2 birds so it should be fairly simple.
     
  9. Michelle82

    Michelle82 Out Of The Brooder

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    So what you're saying is to paint a chickens *** -- cloaca-- with food colouring for four consecutive days...[​IMG][​IMG]
    What am I suppose to say to the people at work on Monday when they ask, hey what do you do this weekend...?

    And with 30 hens how do I keep track of which ones I've violated ?

    Please help. My hens are getting older and I can't afford to feed the non-producers...

    [​IMG]
     
  10. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Michelle82 , look at the general appearance of the bird.
    Does she have a bright red fleshy comb or a shrunken pale red comb?
    Is her vent large and moist or is it small and dry looking?
    Are her pelvic bones tight together so you can only fit a finger/two between or can you fit three+ fingers between them?

    Look for all of the traits highlighted in red if you want to know who is laying for you. I have a laying flock of 50+ at any given time with hens of different ages. I cull all hens when they reach their third year. I also use leg bands on the older girls, which makes it easier to distinguish ages.

    By the way, this thread is from 2009, so it is not active. You might be better next time to start your thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
    1 person likes this.

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