Question about first lay - time in nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jewel1, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. jewel1

    jewel1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    6
    81
    Jun 2, 2012
    My four pullets are just about to lay for the first time and my Wyandotte just ran across the yard and jumped into the nesting box to be by herself, which is exciting! She really banged around in there the first few mintues like she was rearranging the bedding...but has now gone eerily quiet,

    I'm a bit worried because she's been in there about an hour by herself and is being very quiet. How long is "too long" to sit and try to lay the first egg? I don't want to be overly-cautious here, but I also don't want to realize later she was eggbound or something.

    Anyone have some thoughts?

    Julie
     
  2. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,122
    42
    143
    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    I wouldnt worry yet. The first time my hens started laying in the nesting boxes, they also turned and banged around and were in there for some time, probably close to a 1/2 hour sometimes. But they were fine, and i let them be....
     
  3. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ours are only 4 weeks old and nowhere near POL, but if it were me, which it isn't...but if it were, I would leave her be for a few hours and see if anything happens, and see what her behavior is. It's not going to hurt her at all to feel gently around (externally) to see if you can feel an egg....as long as you're extremely gentle. Usually, first-time layers aren't egg bound. The main issue with first lays are usually soft shelled eggs as they become regulated in regard to laying and have had some time to appropriately portion out their body's calcium source. Do you have layer feed and oyster shells on hand for her and her coopmates?

    I'm happy for you and I'm sure this is a big moment of accomplishment for both you and the hens - how exciting!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  4. jewel1

    jewel1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    6
    81
    Jun 2, 2012
    Thanks to both of you...

    I left her in the nesting box and left the house for about 2 hours to run errands. When I came back, she was witht he others in the coop and I had my first, perfect small egg waiting for me. The weird thing was it wasn't in the nesting box / hen house...it was on the floor of the coop, I guess she decided to lay there instead after sitting in the nesting box all day? Or perhaps one of my other girls laid one....I have no idea!

    Anyway, everything seems fine and back to normal. Yes, I supplement with oyster shell, so I'm hoping that keeps the eggs firm. I haven't switched to layer feed yet (since they weren't laying) but I guess I'll switch soon. I have a bit of the regular feed left..think it's ok to finish that out or mix with the layer until it's gone as long as I provide extra calcium?

    Below is a pic of my first egg. It's the tiny brown one (next to a large white one fromt he store for comparison)
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,122
    42
    143
    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    I would finish up the feed u have....it wont hurt them.
    Depending on how high ur nesting boxes are, the egg could have been kicked out of the box. Early on some of my hens would ocassionally knock an egg out, and since the nesting boxes are right by the floor of the coop, they didnt break....
    Either way, congrats on the first egg
     
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,242
    208
    208
    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    There is nothing magical about layer feed. It is just feed with calcium in it. If you have calcium available free choice then you never have to switch if you don't want to. I personally use a flock raiser with calcium separate for all of my birds. They do a great job of regulating their own calcium needs.

    The first eggs can be in random places. She is still getting used to what her body is telling her. The first few weeks of laying can have weird eggs. This is all normal. She will work it out.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by