Red in combs and behavior changes = readiness to lay??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 4H kids and mom, May 29, 2007.

  1. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Our 'older' pullets are going on 13 weeks old. I've noticed today that about half of them have increasing redness in their combs. Also, today the same half were heard making quite a rukus out there so I go out to check. They are scratching all the bedding out of the nestboxes and loudly going "bok bok bok bok BOGAWK" over and over again. They've never made these noises before and I'm wondering how close they may be to getting ready to lay, or do these things even indicate a readiness to lay?

    I did gently palpate their abdomens out of curiousity, but felt nothing out of the ordinary. Today is quite hot (90s) so could it just be the heat? They have an electric misting fan in the coop (it doesn't mist all the time, mind you.) to keep them cool, and though a few were panting a little (they had also just come in from the yard) they seem pretty comfortable, other than being all worked up about something.

    I searched the coop and all around the coop for any hidden danger they may have seen (or thought they saw lol) and found nothing. Everyone is accounted for as well. The little chicks are happily bounding around the yard like all is well, but 7 of my 9 older pullets are sitting in or on the nestboxes, accompanied by Big Red (my red and black EE roo) and are all making these odd LOUD noises (even the roo is doing it!) and they keep getting up and looking around the nestboxes and scratching, trilling, then laying down and doing it all over again. So, whats going on? [​IMG]

    EDIT: Udate...Now CHICKENDUCK is doing it too! What the heck am I missing here? lol
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
  2. slystr

    slystr Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Dallas TX
    mine are the same age as yours and yesterday they did the same thing! I looked for an invader, an injured bird, something, but I found nothing. This was the first day I'd heard a b-Guk! from the girls. Cock-a-doodle-roo was also bawking with the gals. I fed them some grapes and they quieted down nicely. I think they just wanted to get out but I couldn't let them at at the time.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Sounds like they're growing up! I don't doubt that ChickenDuck is joining in on the celebration. Who knows what they are celebrating... maybe they aren't. [​IMG]
    Maybe they are mad about something, and if that's the case, ChickenDuck must know the saying, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!" [​IMG]
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Another sign is when you go to pat her and she squashes herself to the ground...We call it the "Super Squat". It's also a way to show a roo that she's in the mood.
  5. chickengirl_23

    chickengirl_23 Hatching

    Apr 3, 2007
    Don't worry about it! My 3 year old hens do the same thing but I always get that its a territorial thing... my Lucy will be laying and then my Negrita will come along to try to either kick her out or sit in one of my 3 nest boxes. A big ruckus proceeds when lucy begins her what we call "warning cluck" and squak till she either feels she has adequate privacy or Negrita is removed. Mine have plenty of nestboxes but they fusss over one! [​IMG] But WARNING: ALWAYS DO CHECK FOR PREDATORS BECAUSE THEY SQUAK THE SAME WAY WHEN PREDATORS ARE AROUND! WHEN THAT SQUACKING HAPPENS, STUDY THE HEN TO SEE WHAT SHE IS LOOKING AT.If its hot, and shes panting, offer her water out of a small dish, in lots of heat i leave it there (spill, refill, spill, refill sighhhhhhh) once youre sure thers no danger or no offender (hen shes squaking at), the best thing to do is leave her alone once she stops the squaks. But if she still squaks, offer her food (and water) and pet her to calm her down. Soothing reassuring words help too.
    I know this is a lot of info, but basically, keep an eye out for danger, sooth the hen, stop the squaking (remember your sensitive neighbors) and DO NOT ENTIRELLY IGNORE PANTING ! OFFER WATER! [​IMG]

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