Physical anatomy related to laying

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


9 Years
Aug 20, 2010
The rancher I got the girls from said they were all about the same age. There is a dramatic difference in the size and color of the wattles and combs on 2 of the 4. They barely have any wattle or comb. The girl who started laying yesterday as wattles that swing and a comb that is quite large and red. I have another girl who has a medium-ish size comb and wattle that is fairly red and she is bigger in the body than the one who started laying. The other two are littler bodies and almost no comb.

Here's the question: Do pullets always get larger combs and wattles that turn red before they start to lay? I only ask because I swear the two littler ones' combs are almost the same size as when I got them 2 months ago. They are all RIR. I'm not in a hurry, but I also want to figure out when to switch to layer feed. I think the one with the medium-ish comb is probably close to laying, but I don't know. She is bigger than the other 3...just has a smaller comb than Hennie (the one who started laying yesterday).

If you're already getting eggs, I'd switch them to layer feed. It won't hurt the ones that aren't laying. I've noticed that even with half-sister pullets there can be a long length of time between the first ones beginning to lay and the last ones.
Most of the time a pullet has to grow large red comb/wattles before laying. Keep in mind though that some breeds/individuals will have smaller combs at maturity than others. Bringing pullets into new surroundings (and new flock mates?) can delay laying.
Comb and wattle size doesn't matter. What matters is color. When the wattles and combs turn red then laying is imminent. I have several varieties that have little to no wattles or combs, but when they get red in the face they are ready to lay.
Oh okay. So the combs and wattles can be teeny, but if they are red, they are close to laying? Still pinkish and they have a ways to go? Got it.

I think I will switch them to layer when this bag of food is gone. In the meanwhile, I will keep providing oyster shells and give some yogurt.


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