question re: checking to see if hen is laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by traybo, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. traybo

    traybo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2011
    I am full of questions aint I? well here is my question, ok I have been told and read alot that you can check a hen to see if there laying by placing 3 fingers in there vent at the point of there breast bone andif you can get those 3 fingers in they are laying.. if not then theyarent laying.. My question is if they are molting will there vent close and show that they are not laying or wehn you do the 3 finger test on the vent and it is almost closed there done laying for good.. im a little confused soemone please tell me exactly how this works.. I got hens both ways but dont wont to get rid of the ones that vent is closed if they will lay again and are in molting .. if anyone knows for sure please tell me .. thank you . and I love this site you all are so very helpfull to those that are new to all this
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the easiest way to tell if a hen is laying is to look for an egg....in the nest box. I think the method you are asking about would be unnecessarily stressful to the chicken.
     
  3. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    ok.. first.. you don't put your fingers IN the vent.. what you would need to measure is the distance between the pubic bones which can be done from the outside of the bird (and no it doesn't stress them any more than picking them up).
    As a hen starts to lay eggs the pubic bones separate to allow for easier passage of the eggs. A bird who is just starting to lay or who is just coming out of moult will have a smaller distance.. the bones do take some time to spread apart.. A hen who has been laying for weeks or months will have bones that are spread further apart than a young pullet who is just starting to lay. I never bother to check a hen during a moult.. there isn't any reason to.. but if she is fully feathered and you suspect her of not laying.. the 3 finger test is a really good way to determine if she is laying or has quit.
    You can also check her vent. If it's tightly closed and dry.. she isn't laying.. if it's more open and moist.. she is laying.

    Just because the vent is closed doesn't mean a bird is done laying for good.. things to take into consideration are her age.. if she is moulting or has just come out of a moult, her breed, the time of year and if anything has happened to stress them out (like a change to a new home or a predator attack). A chicken's vent can close and they can stop laying if they have been stressed or if it's winter and she is a breed who normally stops laying when the days get shorter.. or if it's been especially hot out.
    I never assume a hen is done for good unless she is 3+ years old.. not in moult.. the weather has been good and the vent is dry, closed and i can only get 1 finger between the pubic bones.. then and only then will I cull a hen that isn't producing eggs.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I have never heard anything about putting fingers in their vent (unless eggbound or broken shell inside). I agree that it sounds like it'd be painful and stressful to the chicken.
    I've heard about checking the width in between the rear area of their legs - I think that is three fingers - looking to see if the pelvis area has spread. I've also read of placing a few drops of food coloring just inside the vent to see who was laying which egg.
     
  5. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2011
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    Interesting topic! I had heard about just looking at the vent to tell if it's open and moist. I am not sure which of mine are laying, so I flipped them all up today and checked the rear view... It was obvious who was and who wasn't. There's a big difference back there!
     
  6. traybo

    traybo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2011
    im so sorry... i dint mean actually sticking my fininger in the vent.. just from one bone to the next if its a 3 finger width... lol man you really have to be careful what you type on here dont you... anyway i did that 3 finger check tonite and NO I DID NOT STICK MY FINGER INT HE VENT.. but it looks as tho i only have 20 out of 60 that are laying at the moment.. but i still only get 8 to 12 a day from them.. oh well i tied string to the ones that i thought lay good so now maybe i can start monitoring them ... thank for all the replys..
     
  7. traybo

    traybo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2011
    TO POSEYGRACE.. you said you flipped your girls up side down and could tell the ones laying or not laying that it was a big difference.. what did you notice was difference int he ones laying and not laying? i mite want to try your way to
     
  8. traybo

    traybo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2011
    Oh i am so sorry i just re read my question and i did say in the vent.. lol i amso sorry to allof you all.. geeez guess you can tell im new at this hu... again im so sorry
     
  9. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    Yay Chicks! :

    I think the easiest way to tell if a hen is laying is to look for an egg....in the nest box. I think the method you are asking about would be unnecessarily stressful to the chicken.

    hahahhahahah yea that egg may be a good hint.. ahhahahahhah [​IMG]

    sorry not teasing about the question just the wittiness of the answer...​
     
  10. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    Yay Chicks! :

    I think the easiest way to tell if a hen is laying is to look for an egg....in the nest box. I think the method you are asking about would be unnecessarily stressful to the chicken.

    it's no more stressful to the chickens than catching them and picking them up.. and I can never go by the egg in a nest proof since I have over 100 chickens.. and mine never sign their eggs!​
     

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