Quick! Quick! Is my hen about to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Couture Family, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Couture Family

    Couture Family Out Of The Brooder

    My Greta is being really weird. Shes all spread out (her wings are out a little) as if she's really full or something? She's going off on her own and making loud noises. We put her in the nesting box to show her where to do the deed. She stayed in there for a while till I peeped in there and ruined it. So she's out now and walking around the yard with the other girls.

    I'm so excited I can barely stand it!

    How long will it take?
    Will she know to go back in there?
    Do I have to be really quiet outside/will the nose keep her from laying? (My husband is in the potting shed next door to the coop doing loud work on the sink)
    What signs are there that I can know when to watch out for her? (I don't want to find it in the yard later or worst the dogs find it later)
    Will she do it in the middle of the night? Should I keep coming out to look?
    Is there anything I can/should do for her?

    Ok so it's a lot of questions but I ca We have four girls and she's the only one who seems ready. It's our first egg.

    She has a red comb. She's a Golden Buff and is five months old on the 5th of this month. She's more submissive and actually lets me pet her now (only for a second). She does this squatting thing when I pet her and as I mentioned her wings are sort of spread a little bit. Also she has more of a wattle like a pregnant women. She's just walking around looking for bugs now so did I ruin it by peeping in and disturbing her?

    Oh the excitement, the suspense, the waiting is agony!!!!
  2. babowman3

    babowman3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old is she? Can you fit 2 fingers between her pelvic bones?
  3. Couture Family

    Couture Family Out Of The Brooder

    I don't really know where the pelvic bone is on a chicken [​IMG]. And she doesn't let me get that familiar with her. She only lets me pet her for a second or two. She is exactly 23 weeks old.
  4. babowman3

    babowman3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you can manage to catch her the pelvic bones are around the vent area. Some are harder to find than others. But 23 weeks is a good age. Hope so!
  5. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    No, loud noises aren't going to upset her and interfere with her laying her first egg. Nor is your peeking in on her. Hens are really pretty casual about being watched while they lay an egg.

    For the first egg, it's normal for her to spend time in the nest, getting on, getting off, for a few days sometimes, before she lays the first egg.

    Keep an eye on her, though. If it looks like she wants to settle down in a spot where it's inappropriate for her to lay an egg, then take her and put her in the nest box again.

    She will probably go to the nest box on her own, or at least, choose a spot in the litter below the nest. Again, if you don't want her laying on the floor, place her in the nest box.

    Most pullets will lay their first eggs in the nest box, but if you have one who isn't attuned to the nest box yet, then you'll need to coach her until she has the idea. It doesn't take long.

    Each pullet has her own time table as to when that first egg comes. You can't rush her.
  6. Couture Family

    Couture Family Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for all the info. I do have another question about that fake egg everyone says to put in there. Should I just leave it there until they all lay an egg or after my first egg should I take it out? I guess what I mean is once the one girl lays an egg in there will they all know that's the spot to go? I have four girls all the same age but all different types of birds and only one really seems ready to lay.
  7. SelfMadeFarming

    SelfMadeFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2013
    I used golf balls and yes I took them out when they started to lay.
    I removed them because they were in the way and just got kicked around.
    They always lay in the nesting box, so there was no need to keep them in.
  8. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I used wooden eggs until the pullets learned where to lay. I just removed them today, as a matter of fact, since four out of my five pullets have been laying for about a week now. Yes, they do learn from each other, too.

    They will each choose their favorite nest box, too. I have two coops, one for the new pullets and one where the older hens live. But half of the new ones have decided to lay in the nest boxes in the older hens' coop, and half in their own coop. And some of the older hens choose to lay in the nest boxes in the pullets' coop. So, you really won't have much say in the matter. They will lay where they want.
  9. Original Recipe

    Original Recipe Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 3, 2013
    The golf ball trick definitely worked for me. The first day mine laid, I had just put them back in their run after a few hours of yard ranging. I went inside and came back out about 20 minutes later to give them some treats only to find three eggs in a 4" plastic dish in the run, still hot and moist! The next day I notice one girl acting a bit strange, walking funny, being very vocal and investigating every private looking spot in the yard. I scooped her up and sat her in the nest box. Later I noticed she was out and about so I looked in the box and found she had left me an egg. Later that afternoon I found two "water balloon" eggs in the plastic dish again. So I removed the dish from the run and put three golf balls in the nest and the next day I got three eggs in the nest box. That was three weeks ago, I've gotten 1-4 eggs a day every day since then and every one of them has been in the nest box. I'm going to leave the golf balls there until all of the girls are laying.
  10. Couture Family

    Couture Family Out Of The Brooder

    SHE DID IT!!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG]
    Oh boy was it a surprise! I'm so proud I don't know what to do!
    2 people like this.

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