Time well spent... who lays what egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Katkumo, May 23, 2019.

  1. Katkumo

    Katkumo Chirping

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    May 13, 2018
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    I wanted to share something I've done lately, and what I have noticed.

    A few weeks ago, I set out to get reacquainted with my chickens, and learn just which egg each hen is laying. I did the 4H chick chain with my daughter a few times, and we had some older hens already, and I had noticed that I no longer could tell who laid what egg. My hens range from 1 year old to 4 years old, different breeds.

    It's funny to hang out in the coop while they're laying. Some come in, sit for 45 min, lay NO egg, and leave. Some take half an hour just to choose a nesting box, then choose one that another hen is already in. It took, me about a week of trying to catch each of them laying.

    So what I noticed, which was cool: The "egg song" does not mean they laid an egg, it is more about calling the rooster to come over. A hen might lay eggs slightly different colors from day to day, but they will be a very similar shape and size. When older hens steel chick starter feed from the baby chicks, their eggs start to look better. All the eggs went to pale with hardly any sheen on them, to rich colors again, smooth, and a beautiful sheen. I noticed a few other keepers of older hens give the starter feed every now and then just for this purpose.

    I also learned that a few of my hens are not well at all. When they lay an egg (about once a week), the egg looks good, but they appear to have internal laying. These are Rhode Island Red hens from one of the online hatcheries, and they are about 3 years old.

    So for what that's worth, I'd say it's good sometimes to watch your chickens, see which egg is theirs, and see what you can learn. I've had chickens for several years, not as long as some of you, and I still find it all fascinating.

    20190504_085507(0).jpg egg comparison copy.jpg
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Same here....but don't have the patience to sit and watch for long anymore,
    but did when I first started and learned the same things as you did.

    Your coop is cool, nice and big.....but I am dying to know what's on the other side of the very high pop door?
     
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  3. Katkumo

    Katkumo Chirping

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    aart - here ya go - this is the outside. The left half of that horse barn is the chicken coop. It was perfect for chickens - plenty of ventilation, plenty of room. barn.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
    Peppercorngal, chrissynemetz and aart like this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Sweet building!
     
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  5. Katkumo

    Katkumo Chirping

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    It's nice, we lucked out on that. Bought the property for the school zone it's in, and the last owners were horse people.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Yeah, my coop shed was here when I bought the place, it's had many iterations.
     
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  7. killeengreen

    killeengreen In the Brooder

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    You'd get along with my hubby! We have 6 hens, he knows them all (we named them) by sight and by sound. He's joked about putting a GoPro in their coop facing the nesting boxes so we can see who lays what egg. At least I think he's joking...
     
  8. Katkumo

    Katkumo Chirping

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    It's well worth it - I was able to hatch out some chicks, and give my friend eggs from the healthier hens, all of which hatched and are healthy, and I know which ones are, well, on their way out. A GoPro was something we considered, but that was once I kinda figured most of it out, lol
     
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