is there any way to tell if a hen has started laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by juliemcummings, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. juliemcummings

    juliemcummings Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2012
    I have 8 hens all about 22 weeks old, I know at least a few of them are laying as Im getting aprox. 5 eggs each day. But I can't tell if they have all started to lay. Should I be getting 1 egg a day for each hen?
    I have:
    2 road Island Reds (I've seen them lay)
    2 Cinnamon queen
    2 Golden Lace Wymadottes
    2 Dominique (I've seen them lay)

    They free range and I'm worried that they may be laying in the woods and I just haven't found them.
    any suggestions?
     
  2. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The process of an egg from start to finish is anywhere from 21 to 32 hours or thereabouts, so some can lay every day and some not. We have 6 red sexlinks (the same as cinnamon queens) and we average about 5 eggs a day. We'll have a day with 4, then a day at 5, then a day or two at 6 and then...? These types tend to be real egg laying machines...I'm not sure about the other breeds...some lay every other or 3rd day...I'm sure someone with experience with them will chime in :) I would guess though, that your red girls are laying...they tend to start at about 20 weeks. Shell color might be a hint...I think RIR's lay white eggs? I know the reds lay cream to brown colored eggs.
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does the vent look moist? Have the pelvic bones widened? Those are two signs they may be laying or about to. To know for sure you could lock them up for a couple of days. That will also help teach them to lay in the nests. All of yours lay a brown egg of varying shades.
     
  4. juliemcummings

    juliemcummings Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2012
    Its funny that you mention they all lay brown, because when I got home yesterday one of the eggs looks like it has a purple tint...I wonder which one its from and if it will always lay this color????
    [​IMG]
     
  5. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, those are pretty! It's an adventure every day to see what you get. Here's our take for one day. This was taken about a month ago, and the eggs have been steadily increasing in size since then. The third from the left is actually colored that way...it's not a trick of the light. Lots of them have "freckles"...that little bitty one (the only one like that we ever got) was really spotty. That was an "oops"...very thick shelled and had no yolk.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i put a camera trap in the coop.... i just couldn't help myself! now i know who's laying!
     
  7. juliemcummings

    juliemcummings Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2012
    Thats a good idea... my boyfriends has one of those motion cameras that would work, but I'm more interested in making sure there aren't any that are laying in the woods instead of the nesting boxes...I think I'm going to just have to keep them in the coop for a few days.
     
  8. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of mine started laying in a bush... i was letting them free range all day. So now i keep them in their coop/fenced run roughly until 12, and then they are let outside. This sorted the issue for me. I know they can lay anytime during the day, but all of mine seem to be done before 12! I also put decoy eggs in each nest box. Some recommend hanging curtains in front of the nest so it's darker/more private as well.
     
  9. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perty color, but still a type of brown egg. I wonder where it would be found in the paint chip samples.
    The color they start with is the color they stay with. It may get lighter or darker but the color stays the same. The exception is that in rare instances the hen can run out of the materials to make the pigment or the glands that make it is damaged then she can lay a white or lightly tinted egg.
     

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