Ready to lay eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chanty, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. chanty

    chanty Out Of The Brooder

    43
    0
    32
    May 29, 2011
    Do all hens cower before they start to lay eggs? My two reds, bred for laying lots of eggs, crouch and cower when I come up to them as they think I am a rooster, but my pure breed birds aren't laying yet...a huuuuge buff orpington about 5 and a half months old a chanteclerc and light brown leghorn about 4 and a half months old. They are showing some other signs like earlobe color and hanging around the nesting boxes when inside in the morning, and bright colored wattle and comb, but no cowering...they run when I approach. They get about 23 hours of light and range freely all day. I hope I don't have to wait until next spring for them to lay...at least my two reds started a couple of weeks ago so I get 2 eggs a day. Any comments?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Many do. It is a sign of sexual maturity as they crouch down or squat for a rooster mount them. I sure don't think they need 23 hours light, though. 14 is plenty. They need their rest too!!
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You've got another problem facing you, however, if they range free all the time. Young pullets need to master laying in the nesting box. My guidance would to leave them penned up until noon. Otherwise, you might not notice that they are laying, but out behind or under bushes somewhere. Personally, I do care for easter egg hunts year around.
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Why would they need 23 hour of light a day?

    All of mine did squat for me before laying. Though I only have four old enough to do so.. The rest are still not quite there yet. My girls only squatted a week or less before laying their first egg.

    Oh and they free ranged and made it back to the coop before laying their eggs. This isn't always the case.. I don't have a whole lot of places they could have enough privacy under a hedge or something to lay an egg.. Your could be hiding them.
     
  5. chanty

    chanty Out Of The Brooder

    43
    0
    32
    May 29, 2011
    Fred's hens...that was a type-o, it was supposed to be 13 hours of light...HA! 23 hours would just be too cruel and useless. I don't think they are laying any eggs around the yard because there is no real hiding place and I check regularly where there might be. The 3 that aren't laying yet get to watch my two hybrid red girls lay daily in the boxes before 8:00 am. I think they just aren't ready to lay and maybe they will do the crouching thing when they are really ready. With my last batch of chicksters last summer (the ones murdered by a raccoon), one did try laying in the weeds but I found it, locked her in her run for the next day (as you just suggested) and that did work. Anyway...PATIENCE has to be my mantra right now for those 3 girls [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by