Squating or Laying: which comes first?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wild chick, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. wild chick

    wild chick Songster

    I have a June '18 hatch of 7 different breeds, now nearing 6 months old. There are two expected early maturing: an Egyptian Fayoumis and an Ancona. They all free range with the one rooster & 6 hens hatched 2016 and 3 hens hatched 2017 - so a very mixed-age flock. The older ones all went through a pretty heavy molt, quit laying & no color to their combs/wattles yet. No eggs since the first week of November. :barnieI saw the rooster breeding the E.F. today but I've not seen any eggs in the nests. All nests have a fake egg. Will the pullets squat for a while before egg production or do I need to start looking for eggs in the wild? I'm trying this New Chicks every year so I get pullets starting to lay when the elders need a winter break. Those store eggs are awful!!!
     
  2. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

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    Squating. I'd say by a week or two but that might vary by breed.

    I'd also look for some likely spontaneous nesting spots and make sure she's not overlooking the nesting boxes in the coop.

    Have you considered keeping them enclosed for a while and limiting opportunities until they get the idea where to lay?
     
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  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

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    Just because a rooster mated a pullet doesn't mean she squatted for it. Most are just grabbed by roosters. Generally a rooster will start mating pullets before they actually start laying. Their increasing comb size and color will let the rooster see when they are fertile. I would expect eggs in the next week or two, but it could take up to a month. Patience this time of year is needed as pullets mature slower.
     
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  4. Dancing With Chickens

    Dancing With Chickens Songster

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    Squating will occur for a few weeks before the hen starts laying in my experience :)
     
  5. wild chick

    wild chick Songster

    Thanks for the replies. @IamRainey I thought about keeping them up, but once they get that free range brain they don't want to be kept up - especially the E.F - she's as wild as I expected and the Ancona isn't much different. They all go to roost in the coop/pen at dark, but those two get on the highest spots including the rafters. @oldhenlikesdogs - she was for sure squatting, and they say the EF's can lay as early as 5 months, so I've been watching. I won't stand for abuse by the roo! Thanks for the reminder about patience! :)
     
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  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

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    You must have a nice rooster. My end of May hatched pullets are just starting up. It can seem like forever, especially if you need those eggs.

    It seems like there's a custom on BYC, when someone complains of no eggs via a posting about it they suddenly start getting them, so hopefully it works out for you too. My EE were the first to start in my batches usually.
     
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  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    If your birds are squatting then eggs aren't far away.
     
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  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Each bird is different, my earliest layer was at 16 weeks.
     
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  9. Seaecho

    Seaecho Songster

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    My earliest layer was also 16 weeks, but I have two bantam cochins that were hatched April 10th, and are still not laying.
     
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  10. wild chick

    wild chick Songster

    The roo is an angel compared to the one before him. He's seemed a bit on edge the last couple of weeks and I thought maybe it was because no hens were charmed by him anymore. He's been tidbitting less and less & has actually pecked at a few now and then, which he's never done before. Frustration at the dry spell maybe? At any rate when they were all laying in the summer, he rarely tried to jump one that didn't squat for him. So yes, a nice rooster. I'm so happy to hear of the custom of BYC "granting eggs" to those who mention there are none! May I be blessed with fresh eggs once again! I have an EE in the variety pack too - crossing fingers and toes for blue or green when her time comes!
     
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