Tell tale signs of good laying hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ca, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. ca

    ca Chillin' With My Peeps

    812
    5
    121
    Oct 7, 2010
    Wickenburg
    How can I tell which hens are good layers? Don't want to use a trap nest. I think I have a couple free-loaders but am not sure who they are. So if somebody could fill me in on the magic I could check them out [​IMG].

    I am editing to add the great tips that I am getting:


    Who has plump red combs? That's been my best indicator of who is laying. A molting or older hen who is taking the winter off usually has a lighter, paler comb.

    Many times, a poor layer's feather are too pretty. If yellow legged, some the color returns to the legs. Another sign of non-laying.

    So...in the course of this learning curve over the years, I've only found one tried and true method of knowing for sure if they are laying an egg every day or every other day.
    Yes...I stick my finger up the hoo-hoo and palpate the next day's egg through the rectal wall. It doesn't hurt them and it removes all doubt....and saves many a good layer's lives.
    The rest pf those tell-tale signs? Indicators but not foolproof.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    23
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    *insert Laree jokes here*


    Actually, I can usually tell whose eggs are whose. BUT--if all your ladies are the same, that might be kinda hard.
     
  3. ca

    ca Chillin' With My Peeps

    812
    5
    121
    Oct 7, 2010
    Wickenburg
    Quote:Well I know which color is from which breed. But otherwise I don't know. I would say I have too many chickens if there was such a thing (but there isn't).
    I thought there are some tricks like looking at the vent, body build etc. Wish I wasn't a chicken greenhorn!
    All I know is that the percentage of hens laying is smaller than it should be (not a math greenhorn). And of course I have some thieves as well but that's another topic.
     
  4. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    23
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    It could be the changing light. It is that time of year.
     
  5. ca

    ca Chillin' With My Peeps

    812
    5
    121
    Oct 7, 2010
    Wickenburg
    Quote:Laree! I am just trying to keep myself from buying a book! I found this cool book that promises answers to all my burning questions about which hens are great layers. It's from 1930 and back then they knew everything, right? I just thought I should try and gobble up some BYC knowledge before I just run out and get the book (I am a bookaholic besides being a galloholic). But I see my resistance melting away with every second I don't get a constructive answer... [​IMG]
     
  6. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    23
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    Hey, I am trying. If you read that book, it is going to tell you to stick your hand up its hoohah.

    Don't do that, BTW.
     
  7. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,988
    18
    191
    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    I read somewhere on here that you can put a drop of food coloring on their "vent" and the color will show up on the egg.
     
  8. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    23
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    Quote:Lipstick too...but you'd have to do that every day for 2 weeks to get a real idea of who is laying and who isn't.
     
  9. LindsayB

    LindsayB Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,988
    18
    191
    Apr 26, 2008
    Cypress, Texas
    Quote:Lipstick too...but you'd have to do that every day for 2 weeks to get a real idea of who is laying and who isn't.

    Just make sure you don't put that one back in the make-up bag! LOL
     
  10. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    10,884
    23
    291
    Jul 17, 2009
    CA- you could always make a little spreadsheet that lists your hens and tick off who laid each day. Buuut...remember some will take breaks, some might be molting, etc. My EEs stop laying once it freezes, while the other chickens keep chugging away. Then when it is 115+ my EEs lay everyday without fail, while everyone else freeloads.

    ...I am just saying there are lots of factors to consider.

    Or I could come over and we could give your hens chicken-butt makeovers? Shall I bring the margaritas?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by