It takes a village to lay an egg

Xerocles

Songster
May 22, 2019
171
533
102
Clinton (piedmont) S.C.
Of course the title is a paraphrase of the old adage that it takes a village to raise a child. But in the last 2 days I have done an extensive (multi hour) observation of my flock of six EEs. Four of my pullets are laying. Two are holdouts. With a very limited knowledge of chickens I have been amazed at the length of time the egg-laying process takes. Now I realize that my layers are young and this may change with maturity. The reason for my close observation is a large variation in tints of blue coloring. From a Mossy green to a beautiful baby blue, with one anomaly of what I consider to be a rich olive color. I intend to maintain my extremely limited flock size, but at some point in the future I hope to expand the color spectrum of my eggs. So there will be some culling / rehoming of some of my pullets. So I want to know who lays what color eggs.
Anyway, back to the subject. Leading up to egg laying there is a dance that last from 30 to 45 minutes. Once inside the nest box there is a delay of 20 minutes, to, in the case of one bird an hour before the egg is deposited. For baseline information, prior to egg-laying, none of my chickens EVER entered the coop until Roost time. Now whenever one Pullet enters the nest box the other three active layers gather around, with at least one who's head and shoulders are inside the occupied nestbox with the others standing wing to wing, or beak to tail feathers, waiting, and I suppose giving encouragement to the active layer. I have three identical nest boxes side by side and only one chicken, one time, ever entered a different nestbox while another chicken was laying. And that was during the time that the one chicken stayed in the nest box for over an hour. My point? I suppose if there is one it goes back to my title. It takes a village to lay an egg. I will say that BYC has taught me an immense amount about chicken husbandry and I thank all of you for this. But even with this windfall of information, it seems everyday I learn more about chickens from the chickens. Answers to questions I never had and insight into chicken behavior I never dreamed of.
 

Xerocles

Songster
May 22, 2019
171
533
102
Clinton (piedmont) S.C.
Now here's a kick in the pants for you. I started this thread less than 5 minutes ago. Went back out to check the status of the laying. I currently have four pullets in three nest boxes at the same time. Two of the four are known egg layers, the other two have never been observed to lay, do not have bright red Combs, and have never squatted. One of the two unoccupied chickens, a known layer, is walking around singing the egg song. The other, the one hour bird, is just kind of hanging out in the Run. Just when you think they're going to zig, they zag. Chicken's!
 

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