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pre-egg laying behavior normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by xlifeisgoodambx, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. xlifeisgoodambx

    xlifeisgoodambx Hatching

    Jul 19, 2011
    I have 7 pullets(16 weeks old)
    4 Golden Comets, 2 Black Sex Links, and 1 White leg Horn.
    I believe they are about to lay eggs soon because they have been acting so strange.
    They seem to be more noisy and more aggressive towards each other. (The Black Sex Link Pecking and eating feathers even)
    They also have been laying down alot and one of the golden comets even squatted when i tried to pick her up.
    Are these normal signs that they are about to lay eggs? especially the part about them being agressive towards each other and
    the Black Sex Link pecking the others? Can pecking be caused by the egg laying process?

  2. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Hi Allison,
    Out of all the things you described, the squatting is the most indicative that they will be laying soon. Feather picking/eating is usually problematic, but not related to egg laying. I have read on here that giving foods high in protein will help put a stop to that, and most people feed cat food. Pecking each other is just a normal part of flock dynamics as your ladies establish the pecking order.
    Good luck, and lots of patience waiting the impossible wait!
  3. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    The squat does mean they are close, and you should be now checking daily for eggs. Ours started within a week of squatting. Now all of them except 2 do the squat. They love to be scratched at the base of the neck when they squat. Our ladies did get noisier as they got older, but that is probably just them getting more mature. The one nice thing we've noticed is that they are more affectionate since they have started squatting and laying.
  4. LestersFlat

    LestersFlat Songster

    May 17, 2011
    Schuyler Lake NY
    I was going to start a post asking how do I know when my girls are ready to start laying, but this seems to have answered my question. My seven girls are about 20 weeks old and show no signs of being ready to lay. We have 2 nest boxes set up, but mostly they seem to poke around in them and sometimes poop in them. Should I leave the boxes there until they start laying? Or should I take them away until I see further evidence that the eggs are coming soon?
  5. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    The squatting is definitely pre-egg-laying behavior and you can expect the best breakfast you've ever eaten soon! The squatting is a sign of maturity and deference to a rooster as that is what a hen does when a rooster is preparing to mate with her.

    The fighting and feather picking are not related to egg-laying. Are you certain you don't have a rooster? Often roos begin to show their gender around the time hens would begin to lay (ie: crowing, dominance type behaviors). You didn't give much detail about the feather picking though, so it's hard to know if it's normal mating activity or a protein deficiency. Roosters will mount a hen from behind and "tread" on them, meaning: balance themselves with their feet on the hen's back and grab onto her neck feathers with his beak, often removing feathers in those areas (that's what they make hen saddles for).

    The vocalizations are most likely practice "egg songs." When hens are ready to lay an egg or have just laid an egg, they will often brag about it by "singing." I made a short video of two of my girlz having a duet (one of whom is about to lay an egg). Here it is: http://youtu.be/btJNncCuQlQ

    to BYC! Keep your camera charged and ready for that first egg!!

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