mirjam

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 13, 2008
91
0
39
Vermont
My first flock of mixed breeds (BR, Australorps, EEs, Wyandottes) is turning 20 weeks come Wednesday and according to the books, they should start laying sometime within the next two weeks?! I'm getting really eggcited and have started wondering if there is a way to tell that they get ready to lay before they are actually in "labor"?

And another newbie question: How long does it take to squeeze out that first egg? Should I take the day off and hold hands (wings)?
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
237
421
SW Arkansas
What I noticed about my hens that were ready to lay, besides the super red comb and wattles, was their sudden interest in anything that looked like it might serve the purpose of a nest box. My very first hen to lay decided that the folding canvas chair on the porch was the best spot. They are pretty comfortable chairs
.
Besides that my hens that had always been super quiet suddenly had alot to say for themselves.
 

redoak

Songster
11 Years
Feb 27, 2008
3,267
40
211
Russia, NY
My hens started to check out the nest boxes and squat about a week before they started to lay. I've read that hens combs and waddles turn bright red when they are ready to lay, but mine were bright red for at least a month before my first egg.

No idea how long it takes to squeeze out a first egg.
 

DouglasPeeps

Songster
11 Years
Feb 26, 2008
1,258
4
171
Colorado
Not only did I notice how "red" my hens combs and waddles turned......but they we also sitting in the nesting boxes. Seriously, I found different hens in and out of the nesting boxes for more than a week before we got our first egg.
 

winekntrychicks

Pooper Peeper
11 Years
Jul 26, 2008
570
2
149
Sebastopol, CA
Hi, I didn't notice any extra red combs or wattle either. But the one pullet that I was soooo sure was a rooster as a chick was the first one to lay(or drop from a standing position as I witnessed today) She layed/dropped her first egg the day after she turned twenty weeks. She gives 3 eggs then day off. She will be 22 weeks Sat. My 5 other girls have not started to lay or show signs. She is an EE/Ameraucana and has been pretty calm and quiet up until she began to lay at that point she began to "search" and talk. Then one day by accident I found it. The shells are green so it looked like an egg that was left over from easter laying in the shavings on the ground. I am patiently waiting for the other pullets to lay/drop. She is using her hung nesting box now. Her name is Eagle
 

debilorrah

The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
39,693
122
423
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
I noticed 2 things: their comb and wattle got really red, and they made a boat load of noise before. My one layer didnt make any noise after, but i hear that is unusual.
 

mirjam

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 13, 2008
91
0
39
Vermont
Winecountrychicks, your Eagle is beautiful! I have two Easter Eggers and am looking forward to their greenish eggs.
I will keep an eye out for the comb/wattle color. I noticed that my silver laced Wyandotte' waddles are quite red, but her comb is still dark.
Thank you all for the insights!
 

debilorrah

The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
39,693
122
423
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
I have to respond to the "how long does it take" question: I asked the same thing when my turken screamed like a banshee for 30 minutes and then went in and sat on the nest while she screamed some more. Then she stopped screaming - no egg. She didn't leave the nest so we sat there and waited. She came out about 45 minutes later - mind you this is about 90 minutes we have put into this so far - and there was the egg. So.... It's probably different with each hen!!
 

CoyoteMagic

RIP ?-2014
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
7,459
30
283
only the shadow knows.....
The thing that I noticed, other than the bright red comb and wattles, was "bloomers". I swear it looked like my girls had actually started wearing bloomers. They got wider and fuller in the butt. My first flock of black sexies and RIR's started laying at 20weeks. My 2nd set of, red sexlinks, started at 16weeks. All got big bloomers and still have them. I get 7-10 eggs out of 10 hens every day.
 

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