No eggs...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Littleblessings, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Littleblessings

    Littleblessings Out Of The Brooder

    37
    2
    36
    Jun 4, 2014
    Greenville OH
    I have 5 hens all different breeds: RIR, silver laced Wyandotte, light brahma, buff Orpington, black australorp. They are 21 weeks and not a single egg yet. When we got them as day old chicks we gave 2 away to a friend and hers are laying! I did see our barred rock roo who is the same age try to mount one today but she yelled and ran away.

    Anyone have any thoughts as to when these breeds should begin to lay? They are usually free range but I kept them pinned in their coop and run for a few days just to be sure they weren't hiding nests and nothing.
     
  2. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    I raised some chickens since theyhatched in April. They're around 27 weeks old and not laying yet. Yours should start any time. You can check to see if they are close to laying by feeling there pelvic bones. On each side of the vent there are 2 prominent bones. If they are at least 2 finger's width apart, you can expect eggs very soon. Mine are only 1 finger's width and I'm expecting for them to start within the next month.
     
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,065
    162
    176
    Jun 13, 2013

    Look at the redness of their face, comb and wattles, big and red or small/ pale and pink? Do they squat when you pet them?

    Best test:
    Pick one pullet up, using two fingers, gently probe below, but near vent area, feeling for two delicate feeling bones nearly touching at center (You are not probing in, or on, vent). An egg has to pass through these bones.

    If the two small bones are touching, or very close together, she is pretty far away from laying. If you can fit one fingertip gently between the bone span she's getting closer, but not laying yet. Ours start to lay when you can feel a two fingertip, or wider gap in these bones.

    Old timers have used this method since the 1800's, and when the hen becomes an established layer, this also tells how good of a layer the hen will become. Really good layers can have a 3-4 finger gap width. We have one large Marans hen who is a great layer of XL- XXXL eggs and she is a 3 finger gap, gal.
     
  4. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    I have a question. You asked if they squat. I have 3 hens that squat and only 1 is laying and the others aren't close. I also have another laying that doesn't squat. I thought that squat was for a rooster to mount them.
     
  5. Littleblessings

    Littleblessings Out Of The Brooder

    37
    2
    36
    Jun 4, 2014
    Greenville OH
    Their combs and wattles are so red. Especially the RIR her comb has really grown flopped over and bright red. I haven't felt the bones. Will do that. None of them squat.
     
  6. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    Ok just found my answer. They squat when they are reaching their reproductive stage and also do that to allow a rooster to mount them too. Hope I worded that right lol. I think the ones squatting that aren't laying are doing that because my rooster that just recently matured has begun mating so I guess he's gotten ahold of them too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,495
    3,890
    506
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The squat is an act of submission. The one squatting is accepting the dominance of the one on top. If they are squatting for you, they consider you the dominant one. A lot of the time squatting and egg laying start occurring in about the same stage of maturity, but “a lot of the time” does mean each and every time. It is a good sign but it is not a definite sign. And not every hen that is laying willingly squats.

    A hen’s body goes through some changes when she is getting ready to lay. Some of those changes occur internally with her organs and plumbing. She builds up a layer of fat especially in her pelvic region. Those bones will spread. Combs and wattles will normally get red. Different hens go through these things differently so consider them guidelines that will give you clues, not absolute signs that will give you an exact date.

    I’ve had pullets lay at 16 weeks. I’ve had some wait until 9 months. I’ve had them start in early December without supplemental lights, the shortest days of the year. It can be frustrating waiting but they lay when they lay. I know that doesn’t help you much but try to be patient.
     
  8. Littleblessings

    Littleblessings Out Of The Brooder

    37
    2
    36
    Jun 4, 2014
    Greenville OH
    I ran out and felt the buff Orpington, she has like 1.5 finger width. And the light brahma has like 2.5 fingers width between her bones. Didn't have time to check the others.
     
  9. Frizzlett98

    Frizzlett98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    613
    19
    96
    Jun 22, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    The Brahma will be laying very very soon and the buff a little later. Hard to say when because mine have been at 1 finer width for 2 months now.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by