Newbie with three curious questions about eggs laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alessadry, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. alessadry

    alessadry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am new to the whole egg laying process, anyway, yesterday was my birthday and the chickens planned to make me a present by making eggs for the first time! they are small eggs but they are young hens (four months and a half).. I have three questions:

    1) One of my barred rocks when you try to pet her lowers her body and opens her wings slightly, almost like a cat in heat.. what does that mean? It just started yesterday, she looks fine otherwise...

    2) do chicken get upset when you get the eggs? they seem to complaint a bit when we get them...

    3) the egg laying song after making an egg, what is it all about? what makes them do that? does it hurt them when they lay eggs?
     
  2. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there...I am pretty new too but have been doing tons and tons of research and actually just came across this earlier today...

    When they squat down like that, it is a sign of submissiveness that a mature hen shows to the rooster. She lowers herself down to be mounted by the dominate rooster. They are showing you that you are the dominate one, if I am not mistaken.

    The two girls I have that are currently laying don't seem to mind at all when I take the eggs from them.

    As for the hen song....not sure exactly why they do it...pride? I think I would sing a song too if I manage to squeeze something that big outta me and lived....lol [​IMG]
     
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome!

    1. You got the picture when you said "like a cat in heat". I don't know if the hen has any actual desire, but this is a reflex response to something (like a rooster) trying to mount her. They do this while they are in lay. If you had a rooster, he would be dancing around her, approaching, trying to get her to squat so he could mount her.

    2. That's an interesting one. I used to monitor a trail of bluebird nest boxes, and those wild birds got really upset whenever I tried to feel under them to count the eggs. Sometimes my chickens do, too, but I would say that attachment to the egg has been bred out of many of them, to some extent, just as broodiness has been.

    3. There has been a lot of debate over that. Some think it's pride (I find that ridiculous). Others note that a hen usually does this after she has walked some distance from the nest, not while she is in it, and propose that she does it to attract predators away from the nest. Possibly. I've wondered if it functions to call the rooster to bring her back to the flock. Some of the roosters I've had will go to a hen doing the post-egg squawk, and escort her out to the rest of the free-ranging flock. In confinement, it makes no sense, but perhaps it is involuntary. In the wild, a hen laying an egg would get separated from her flock and squawking after she's done laying would help the rooster find her.
     
  4. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's a really good point janinepeters...I have noticed when my BO does her hen song she is yards from the coop...never have heard her do it in the coop before.....
     
  5. alessadry

    alessadry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, mine do it too when they are outside the coop...thanks all for the replies, they were very helpful!
     
  6. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mine have never seemed to care when I take the eggs - are you taking them while they're still on the nest? Maybe they just don't like being disturbed. Either way, they'll get used to it, I'm sure.

    Happy birthday!
     
  7. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

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    I think there just proud when they lay an egg lol
     

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