Signs of laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by michaelapop127, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. michaelapop127

    michaelapop127 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2016
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    I have a few hens that are squatting when I approach them I know this means they are close to laying.. My question is because they free range and have a few places they like to get cozy and relax in, how likely is it they will start laying around the property vs in the nest boxes in the coop? They used to sleep in the best boxes until I put roosts up now they have no interest in the boxes. They are lined with lots of straw and have a fake egg or rock in each... I have a lot of property and would rather not walking around searching for eggs!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might be a good idea to confine them to coop and run until they start laying regularly.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.


    Keeping an 'eye' on pelvic points can let you know if they are in fact laying yet.

    Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
    Squatting:
    If you touch their back they will hunker down on the ground, then shake their tail feathers when they get back up.
    This shows they are sexually mature and egg laying is close at hand.

    Combs and Wattles:
    Plump, shiny red - usually means laying.
    Shriveled, dryish looking and pale - usually means not laying.
    Tho I have found that the combs and wattles can look full and red one minute then pale back out the next due to exertion or excitement, can drive ya nuts when waiting for a pullet to lay!

    Vent:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     
  3. michaelapop127

    michaelapop127 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2016
    Adams Massachusetts
    So she did lay... In the nest box too a perfect little egg. But she hasn't laid again for two days.. Is this normal?
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yep, for some birds it is.
    Most birds don't lay every single day....can be anywhere from 3-6 a week...and that can vary.
    Can take up to a month or so for things to smooth out with new layers.
    Meanwhile, eggs everywhere, some of them can be rather funky looking, soft or thin shelled, huge double yolked eggs.
     

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