Signs before laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bthompson, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. bthompson

    bthompson Out Of The Brooder

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    We are new to chickens. Had them for 4 weeks. They are 21weeks old, Red sex links. What are some signs they are going to lay soon. We know the combs get red, they have gotten very red recently. What about any certain behaviors to look for? We noticed a couple fluffy up neck a little and shaking head while walking through the run the other day and laying in a small hole they scratched out. Didnt know if thats signs or we need to keep eye on it for something else.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Check the space between the pointy pelvic bones (both sides of the vent). If the space is more than two fingers width, laying is imminent. They also eyeball and try out the nest box for about a week before the first egg.

    The ruffled feathers and head shaking may be a bad sign unrelated to egg laying.
     
  3. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ruffled feathers and shaking their head could be a sign of anything, just like you scratching an itch. They are probably digging out small holes to take dust baths, which is a good thing. Red combs are a sign of good health, and a sign that they should start laying soon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  4. bthompson

    bthompson Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok. Thank u.
     
  5. LolaDee

    LolaDee Just Hatched

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    Mine adopts a pissy attitude a half hour before she lays.. yelling, pushing things off the counter, pulling the cat's tail.. The she returns to her sweet, cuddly self afterwards.
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    you have a chicken with access to your kitchen counter?
    Not sure that is food safe.
    My wife freaks out if I bring a chicken indoors for a cursory exam.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  7. LolaDee

    LolaDee Just Hatched

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    I have a chicken as a pet, along with the dog and cat. She is much easier to train than the dog. So affectionate and sweet!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
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  8. bthompson

    bthompson Out Of The Brooder

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    So I've been told to feed our chickens layering feed. They are 21 weeks and will be 22 soon. So I've been doing that for about 4 weeks. Since we got them. Now I've read here & there and been told we shldnt feed layering feed until 1st egg. What shld I do. Buy a small bag of starter feed or continue using the layering feed since they shld lay anytime. Im also thinking of getting some oyster shells for them and mix with food when they lay. Thoughts on what I shld do?
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Normally, with increasing day length, chickens will lay earlier than they would if reaching that age in fall or early winter.
    17 weeks is sometimes recommended to start layer but IMO is a bit young for long life. If it were me, I'd get a little starter and feed that or half and half with the layer feed.
    Half and half will give you about 2.5% calcium. That is more of a pre-lay diet. Maybe even a little more than half starter.
    They do tend to use a little extra calcium at this age to pack calcium into the medullary bone to be extracted when each egg enters the shell gland.
     
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