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Question about getting ready to lay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thndrdancr, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Ok, I have seen posted here several times that when your pullet squats when you pet her, she is getting close to lay.

    Can anyone tell me what "close" means? I mean, within a week, several weeks, a few days, everyone has a different idea of "close" to laying age, so thought I would ask. I realize its probably different for each hen, but I am just wondering cuz I thought it was too early to go on egg watch just yet.

    My red sx link started squatting when I reach to pet her about a week or so ago, no eggs yet, but gosh, she is only 15 to 16 weeks. I just noticed yesterday her body looks like it is widening out....

    Thanks much

  2. Pekin Hen

    Pekin Hen Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 2, 2007
    South Africa
    Well my hen's breast feathers started to fall out just a couple of days before she started to lay.

  3. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    There are a couple things you can watch for to know that eggs are within a week to a few days. You can gently feel her pelvic bones to see if they feel pliable and begining to spread apart a little. (Normally, there is no more than about a fingers width between them.) Also, a tell-tale sign is when you see them actually 'nesting'. They'll dig down in the bedding (wether in the box or on the floor) and do circles like a dog trying to get comfortable, pulling the bedding around themselves. They'll get up several times, and turn some more and make a sort of low purring noise. When your hen is going to lay an egg, you'll see her pant a little and strain. Her back side will flex and relax (like human contractions) and she'll hold her tail up high. This can take some time with their very first eggs, as the opening is not quite ready to pass something that large. I'd still think that 15-16 weeks is far too young for a hen to begin laying. Even leghorns don't start until closer to 18-19 weeks. My older hens (the Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers) just turned 19 weeks, and two of them have begun laying, 3 are showing 'pre-laying' signs, and nothing from the rest yet.
  4. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Thanks all.

    4HMom, my silly rsl has done the circles and pulling stuff around her since she was a lil thing. She worries me if she is getting ready to lay this early. I have even been adding oatmeal to delay, cuz I want them to live long healthy happy lives, I dont want prolapse, poor babies.

    She doesnt LOOK big enuff to start laying. My EE hen, is a week or more younger and is a lot bigger than Red, but she is not squatting or looking at all ready, very immature, which is how it should be at this stage I figure. I cant wait for eggs, but dont want my babies doing anythin before they are ready.

    Thanks for all your help, peeps


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