Signs of about to lay the first egg?

theacw

Songster
8 Years
May 7, 2011
426
5
118
MN
I tried to find a topic on this searching but I couldnt think of the right words or was too broad so sorry if this is a common question!

What are the signs of a hen that is about to lay the first egg?? I dont mean RIGHT before and they are loud and frantic, thats obvious. But I think I remember reading that their combs get red or something. What else is something that is common to tell you that they should be about ready to lay?
I noticed my SLW's comb and waddles got so red and big in a matter of a day or two! I am hoping this is saying she is getting closer to that time and not that she may be a he. *gasp*

She and her sister, who has a very light pink, very small comb and no waddles.... are 17 or 18 weeks.
 

chi-rn

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 11, 2011
873
1
99
Combs turn from pink to red, they usually begin to "squat" when you reach down to them as opposed to running away (rooster may also get lucky if you have one), they may begin to check out the nesting boxes... scratch around in there a bit, & they often get more vocal.
 

mommissan

Songster
8 Years
Jul 4, 2011
820
21
161
Adirondacks
I have 9- 17-19 week old hens. I'm trying to be patient. I have seen many pics of hens getting ready to lay, where their combs and wattles get HUGE! Mine are light pink to just a little red. I'd like to know what else would tell.I've been limiting their free-range time to make sure they use the nest boxes. I'm hoping next week. Sounds like you're getting eggs soon too!
 

kittykat01

In the Brooder
8 Years
Sep 4, 2011
77
0
29
Brisbane
One of my Australorp girls layed her 1st egg 2 days ago at around 21/22 wks old. The week before, her comb and waddles increased in size and became a really bright red (much bigger and brighter than her sister who is the same age). She is not the 'top hen' but started bossing everyone around and even pecking at the top hen. She started checking out the nest boxes a few days before hand and 'practising' sitting in there. On the day she layed her first egg she ran around sqwaking for a while beforehand, then layed the egg in the middle of the coop floor.....the next day she got it right!

I guess some chickens just mature faster than their peers (a bit like people)
Hopefully you will find an egg very soon!
 

stcroixusvi

Songster
8 Years
May 5, 2011
782
47
166
Western NC
My Coop
I am in the same boat. i ask the girls every day, is this the day? No song, no interest in the nesting boxes, no squatting, and HUGE red combs and wattles. Mine turned 17 weeks today.
 

theacw

Songster
8 Years
May 7, 2011
426
5
118
MN
Yay I am so excited! They are my first chickens so it will be MY first egg too
Although it'll be sad knowing they are getting older so fast!

I guess hers is kind of small but its RED and a lot more so then her sister. And her sister has always quite a bit bigger! Her whole face is also SO red ...does that ever "settle down"? She just looks so goofy now and she used to be SO pretty (although still is). Oh I feel mean....

I wish I could use the checking out the nesting box to know but they both sleep in theirs at night all snuggled up! I know I should break the habit but its so stinking cute how close and snuggley they are with each other! They are my only two. <3
 

AngelaB

Songster
8 Years
Sep 4, 2011
363
1
101
Michigan
I am also waiting.....patiently.....starting to get impatient....lol I have 2 black australorps. They are the same age (I am guessing around 18 weeks) Apple's waddles and comb are bright red, and Rocky's aren't. I am hoping for an egg soon. My brahma, Omelet, is about the same age too. I don't expect one from her for a long time though.
 

azpenguin

Chirping
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
117
0
89
Tucson, AZ
Ours have been checking out the nesting boxes. The black Sex-link started checking them out a little. Then we noticed that the shavings had been kicked around. A couple of weeks later she actually hung out in there for a bit. 3 days later (yesterday) she laid her first egg. The Ameracuna is spending some time in the boxes and going to them pretty frequently now and kicking the bedding around a lot, so we figure she's about to start any time. The Buff Orpington is just now starting to investigate the boxes a little bit, so she's a way off yet. Pullets don't always understand just what it happening to their bodies when they're going to start laying, so they may be running around like they're confused for a while. After a couple of eggs, they figure out, "OK, time to go lay another egg, anyone got a newspaper, cause I may be in there for a while."
 

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