Mystery - who is laying what

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cmarlowdrive, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. cmarlowdrive

    cmarlowdrive Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am reading that many people know which hen is laying and which one is not. I have 6 SF that are 6 months old. Since they were 16 weeks, I have found a large oblong shaped egg outside the coop, a tiny jelly bean size egg and a soft shelled egg in coop. I have no idea who laid them. Now, I am getting one medium size beige egg in the nest box everyday, but, still don't know who it is.
    How do people on this forum know who is laying eggs in a flock of birds? I work full time and can't sit with them to watch. I can't catch her in the box on weekends. I would love to hear the egg song and know who is laying what. Any thoughts.
     
  2. AWickedChicken

    AWickedChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm curious about the same thing! Except mine is more of a matter of which breed, I had 2 sebright hens, 1 RIR hen, 1 silkie hen, and 7 Isa Brown hens and just started getting our first eggs this week but I don't know which eggs are coming from which hens.

    [​IMG]
    Our Brown Eggs, all within 2 days of eachother, one is bigger than the other two and the smaller two are the same size in length but one is rounder than the other...
    [​IMG]
    Our off white eggs are kind of creamy colored eggs are smaller than all of the brown eggs with one being longer than the others and one being fatter than the others. If you or anybody else can help me identify at least which breed is laying which eggs that would be amazing!
     
  3. cmarlowdrive

    cmarlowdrive Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know right? How do people catch these hens in the act. I have not been that lucky so far. I want to hear the egg song so bad. I spend a lot of time with my girls on Saturdays and Sundays, but, never hear them or see them go in and out of nesting box.
     
  4. AWickedChicken

    AWickedChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I half wonder if if we should just put up a secret camera (:) maybe then we'd catch them in action! Our eggs are all over the place in the coop as well, it started out four nights ago we put three fake eggs in the nesting area and the next day we had three real eggs all over the floor and the nesting eggs had been moved as well, I just can't figure out what is going on with these ladies.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I was in your shoes for years and years. I worked full time and had no idea who laid what. I was always amazed when folks knew which hen went with which egg. Then again, I always had a good amount of birds, so there were a lot to keep track of [​IMG]. I'd get pullet eggs and just have to look at the birds and see who had a red comb, etc.

    Now, through circimstances, I'm not working and get to hang with my birds on and off all day. It's been exciting watching the new batch of pullets start checking out the nest boxes, and I actually know who has started laying (some,anyway) as I've been able to catch them in the act.

    As they lay more, you'll be able to be there on the weekends and see/hear them. It's hard to wait, I know, but you'll catch them at some point.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you really, really want to know.......trap nests.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/567357/the-trap-nesting-thread

    There is a simple version for these, but you may need to replace your current nest boxes. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, if you do use trap nests, you need to monitor them really well. You don't want to leave your bird trapped in there for any length of time.

    BTW, this was one of the old school ways of culling the flock. If you had a hard working bird that gave you nice eggs, you wanted to know. If you had a freeloader who rarely did anything except eat and leave large piles of droppings, you wanted to know. Trap nests and good records allowed you to do that.
     
  7. cmarlowdrive

    cmarlowdrive Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried installing a camera in the coop, but, quickly found out my wifi is not strong enough to support the signal, lending a blurry, skewed photo on my phone. Took camera back.
    I am checking into getting a stronger wifi signal.
    I have one broody bantam whose eggs are tiny, but, she will not sing her egg song for me. She sits on all the eggs no matter who lays them. I have 3 different layers right now.
    Out of the 6 SF birds 4 of them have red combs and red wattles. It could be any of them.
    If I could somehow get a camera working it would be very entertaining. OMG . . . I would never turn it off, watch them all day and never get any work done.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Trap nesting would work great...BUT....you still have to be there to let them out.
    At least I wouldn't want to leave a hen trapped all day while I was at work.
    I have seriously thought about using trap nests, would be fun to build, would make them roll outs too.
    But in observing for a few years, many bird go in and sit around, then leave without laying, they might do that a couple times before actually laying.
    Think it would be a process to 'train' them to the nests too....they wouldn't like being trapped....could stress them enough to put them off laying.

    Even if you can watch all day, which I admit to doing frequently in the past-and sometimes even now, it's pretty hard to catch them in the act.
    Then if your birds all look alike, it's hard to remember who is who unless they are all uniquely banded.
    One year I had 6 pullets, all looked different enough to ID by eye, and their eggs were different enough also.
    This year I have 10 pullets and almost all are twins or triplets....so pretty much I gave up...lol.

    To tell if a bird is laying or not, might not really be what you want to know, check vents and pelvic points off the roost at night.
    Vent:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     
  9. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pull them off the roost early in the morning and crate them for a day or two by themselves if you really want to know.

    They'll lay, you can ID the egg, and keep track.
     
  10. cmarlowdrive

    cmarlowdrive Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a great idea. This I can do. Thanks for the idea.
     

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