My chickens are free-loaders! More egg-laying questions!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kellykate, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    My Australorp and Wyandotte have red wattles and combs and are nice and big and healthy -- but never squat when I approach or crouch when I pet their back? Do I still have a ways to go with them?

    My Campine on the other hand has the opposite problem --she isn't very red at all-- still looks somewhat petite but squats and flares her wings out when I pet her back -- mind you she is probably the most flighty of the bunch and typically doesn't even let me touch!?

    Finally, my Dominique and EE really aren't very red and don't squat --I give up!!

    Where did you get the idea that these things are absolute harbingers of egg laying. None of them are definitive - even taken together. This is one of those situations where facts and lore are mixing to confuse.

    I know a watched chicken doesn't lay -- but just curious what signs if any you had before they started. Do they need to have a red comb/wattles AND squat AND sing the egg-laying song??

    Here is some factual information for you that may help

    Characteristics of good layers:

    Vent - Bleached, large, oval, moist
    Eye Ring - Bleached
    Beak - Bleached or bleaching
    Shanks - Pale yellow to white, thin and flat
    Body - Deep ( I call this "fit with pontoons")
    Plumage - Worn, dry, soiled
    Carriage - Active and alert
    Comb - Deep red, full, waxy
    Wattles - Large, prominent
    Vent - Large, moist
    Abdomen - Full, soft, velvety, pliable
    Pubic Bones - Flexible, wide apart.

    Source: "Culling for High Egg Production," Vermont Agricultural Extension Service, circular 115RU

    This is for birds already laying, but much applies to the POL pullet.
    Especially the notes about the abdomen and pubic bones - the surest way to know is to pick up your hens and examine their lower abdomen. You can immediately tell the difference between a ready to lay pullet and one that isn't.​
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009

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