Twenty seven weeks Old

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Katz5617, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have five chickens that are 27 weeks old - I have had them since they were three weeks old. One RIR, one BO, two BR's and one Cochin. The Buff has been laying eggs for just a little over a month. I thought one of the BR's had laid an egg as well - but I am inclined to think that only the BO has laid now since that appeared to be a one time thing - it was in a different location so I assumed it wasn't the Buff. The RIR was sick but have nursed her back to health so I can understand why she may not lay but with them being the same age why wouldn't the other girls lay. We have a few cold days but most of our days are shirt sleeve weather. Every so often we have a really cold day and tonight will be extremely cold - but other than that most days are mild. They all have nice healthy looking combs and are a good size. They seem to be happy and healthy - what would make one lay so much ahead of the others. There has only been two days in over a month that the BO has not laid an egg a day and when she missed a day the next day we got a jumbo egg that wouldn't fit in the carton and allow it to close - double yolks. None of them have gone through a molt - it's not like we need the eggs. We eat very few eggs, but I do so love getting that egg out of the nest each day. I'd love to get more than one. If they haven't laid by now will it most likely be spring before the other girls lay?
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    Possibly. It's not so much how cold it is, but more how many daylight hours there are.

    I take it you are in Winter where you are? If that's the case it could well be that they may hold out until Spring to start laying. That being said, in their first year all of my pullets came into lay during Winter so there is always the exception!

    Can you post some pics of your girls? Just so we can see their comb and face colour. Also, have they started squatting for you, and fluffing around in the nest boxes? These are all signs that the first egg is on it's way.

    The wait is hard, I know. It will come when you've just about given up hope!

    - Krista
     
  3. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is winter here - but mostly our winters are fairly milk. The squatting is one of the reasons I was concerned - I read after they began squatting for you that they were ready to lay - all of them will squat for me so I was really expecting since the BO was laying - that they will lay. It's supposed to be really cold tomorrow - but warmer the following day - I'll try and take pictures then. They just have average combs - but they are nice and red and their face has taken on that leathery look now.
     
  4. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never realized how hard it was to capture a good picture of a roaming chicken - but this is the best I could do to show the faces and combs. I didn't manage to get any good shots of Lady or Lollipop but their combs are not nearly as mature. But I have some shots of Henny Penny, Precious and Molly.
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    This is Henny Penny - she is a Cochin and she is 27 weeks old - I know she is 27 weeks because I counted back on the calendar - her comb is not nearly as mature as the BO or the largest BR.
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    This is precious - she is my dominant girl and ruler of the roost - she too is 27 weeks and she has been laying for a month. In that month she has only missed three days of not laying and on one of the following days she laid a jumbo egg that had a double yolk. She also laid three soft shell eggs in the beginning and the first few eggs were small - but now I am getting pretty much a large egg each day.
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    This is a close up of Molly's face and comb - she is as big or maybe a tad bigger than Precious. She is 27 weeks and is not laying. She is second and a close first to being co-dominant with Precious, but Precious can stand her down when she wants to be first to treats.
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    This is Molly and Precious drinking and you can tell a little more about Molly's size from this photo - I have a solar mosquito zapper in the run. In the deep south near the delta we have loads of mosquitos.
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    This is a little better view of Henny Penny - she is not quite as big as the BR and BO and even though she is the same age her comb is not nearly as big - but it has a nice color to it - she's just much slower to mature.
    [​IMG]
    It's not a good squatting picture - but Molly will squat when I stroke her or get directly in front of her - she has been doing that for well over a month - I thought that was a sign that laying was near. I need to try to get one inside the coop with her squatting - it shows it better - but so far squatting or not - she has not shown any inclination to lay.

    I will take Lady and Lollipop out of the run later to get a photo of them - they are definitely low girls on the totem pole. Lady is the smallest of all five but Lollipop is not much ahead of her. While Lady was confined, the other girls pretty much dominated Lollipop. She didn't get to eat as much - so since we have built the extra run adjacent. I have her in it today and have some extra protein and vitamin water. She looks like in the two weeks Lady was confined she dropped a bit of weight so going to give her that extra bit where she doesn't have to compete with the big girls. The only difference is I am only going to confine her for a couple of days and each evening I am going to put her out to go in the coop with the others. I don't want to get into the same situation with reintroduction as I did with Lady.
     
  5. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not familiar with cochins, but the BR and RIR should start laying soon. When I had a batch of pullets last year, the BO was the first to lay (around 24 weeks of age), while the others (RIR, BR) started laying 3-4 weeks after the BO laid her first egg. You're just seeing differences in the "start of lay" based on breed and individual.

    With my batch of pullets from this year, the BR just started laying last week (at age 27 weeks 2 days). My dominique pullet began laying 3 weeks prior to this (at age 24 weeks), and I'm still waiting for my welsummer to begin laying.

    Your BR is squatting for you - that's a really good sign that she's going to lay soon. With my pullets, I've noticed that they begin laying within 7 to 10 days of when they first squat or crouch down. If she's been squatting for a month, are you sure she isn't laying already?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  6. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's definitely been squatting for a month. I can go in front of her or place my hand on her back and she immediately squats. That was one of the reasons I had mentioned that - everything I have read says after that within a week or so she will lay, but Precious, the Buff is the only one laying. I know it is her because I see her. She is pretty regular about it. One time I thought the BR had laid because it was on the opposite side, but it was Precious. I have searched the run and all over the coop - there is only the one egg each time and I watch Precious go in alone, sit for a while, do her little song and come out and when I check I have an egg. The Cochin doesn't seem to be as mature so I am not really expecting anything from her until Spring. The RIR was recently sick and near death but we nursed her back to health and she may never lay - but she is a pet. The second BR is a week younger and she is low in the pecking order and not as mature so I expect her to lay in the spring, but Molly - she has exhibited the behaviors by squatting, her comb is nice and developed and a healthy shade of red. She is a nice size - but with all that she doesn't lay. I have searched the coop for a second egg, I have checked the run very close since I have straw on the ground I thought she might build a nest outside - but no other eggs other than the ones Precious lays.
     
  7. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Triumph! I am pretty sure Molly laid an egg this morning - it was in a completely different nesting box from where Precious lays and I had seen Molly in that area earlier today and she kept doing a loud cackle this morning. I think this egg is hers. If I have a second one later where Precious lays I will know for certain.
     
  8. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just proudly showed my husband what might be Molly's first egg and boy did he say the wrong thing. He asked me just how much I figured those eggs cost me. I don't think he will ask that again when I countered with how much fish cost us - considering two bass boats, a bay boat, two new boat trailers in the last year, over $3K this year alone in boat repairs replacing a lower unit, electrical, water pump, etc., batteries, gas, fishing licenses, three dozen rods and reels - the expensive ones - five tackle boxes that look more like suit cases and they are filled to the brim, expensive baits, launching fees and trips to various lakes and other areas for fishing trips - including the cost of motels, etc. I think my eggs have a long way to catch up with the price of fish - bet I don't ever hear about the cost of eggs again.
     
  9. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Pennsylvania
    Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!!!

    I heard the same cost complaints from my husband as well, until I used the same strategy you did. I'm sure the cost per pound of venison is pretty high when you factor in travel, guns, ammunition, and a wide array of "hunting accessories"! But I pointed out that hunting is his hobby, chickens are mine. No, raising chickens for eggs is NOT cost effective when you factor in all of the costs. BUT, hens bring a great deal of happiness, they're wonderful therapy, their eggs are much healthier than store-bought eggs, they add to self-reliance, and they're a much more humane way to obtain eggs (when compared to factory farms).

    So - I'm with you 100%. Enjoy each hen and each egg, even if other folks don't appreciate them in the same way you do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015

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