wattle and comb development not always an indicator to start of egg laying..squatting is...

lorain's fids

Songster
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
659
22
141
New Jersey
...for my one hen. I have five chickens, 4 Dominiques and 1 Black Australorp. They are all 29 weeks today.( They were all hatched on June 29th). On December 24, 1 of my Dominiques layed her first egg. She was the last one I thought to lay first as her wattles and combs were not as big or red as the others, BUT she was definiately a squatter. Since then, just about every day I get an egg from her. Now with the other 4- their wattles and combs are devloped and red but they are not squatting. I am thinking they just can't be bothered with egg laying. I am baffled.
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debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,560
6,918
516
middle TN
Not all of mine squatted so I'm not convinced that it's any more relevant than any other sign of sexual maturity. I did see changes in behavior with some of them right before they started to lay (extra chatty, wandering about, making nesting divots, sitting in the nest boxes without laying, etc.) But comb color/growth wasn't all that reliable of an indicator. My Speckled Sussex, for example, developed pinking wattles early (4 weeks) and every time I thought her comb had grown and gone red, she showed me that she had another size/shade to go. She finally laid her first egg at 30 weeks -- 12 weeks past when I first thought her comb had gone through its "nearing POL" change!
 

lorain's fids

Songster
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
659
22
141
New Jersey
Not all of mine squatted so I'm not convinced that it's any more relevant than any other sign of sexual maturity. I did see changes in behavior with some of them right before they started to lay (extra chatty, wandering about, making nesting divots, sitting in the nest boxes without laying, etc.) But comb color/growth wasn't all that reliable of an indicator. My Speckled Sussex, for example, developed pinking wattles early (4 weeks) and every time I thought her comb had grown and gone red, she showed me that she had another size/shade to go. She finally laid her first egg at 30 weeks -- 12 weeks past when I first thought her comb had gone through its "nearing POL" change!
 

PsychoChicken

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 12, 2011
121
3
93
San Diego, CA
I have two 5 month old Black Australorps and one has a nice red comb that seems to be coming in and the other has almost nothing and no redness! They both got chatty about a month ago... I'm not sure what squatting is. Here they are:

 

lorain's fids

Songster
8 Years
Jul 9, 2011
659
22
141
New Jersey
Nice Australorps.
I see your cat stalking them in the backround.
Squatting is when you put your hand over them and then they squat. If they do do a squat you'll know it for sure. Out of my five the only one that squats is the one that is laying eggs. Still waiting for the others to start to squat and then hopefully they'll start to lay eggs.


I have two 5 month old Black Australorps and one has a nice red comb that seems to be coming in and the other has almost nothing and no redness! They both got chatty about a month ago... I'm not sure what squatting is. Here they are:

 

Nonny

Songster
8 Years
May 16, 2011
601
36
156
Brisbane, Australia
Unfortunately squatting, or more accurately NOT squatting, isn't an indicator either.

Of my original three BA pullets, I only had one who squatted before she started laying. The other two just started laying eggs without ever squatting. When the "squatter" died one of the others suddenly started squatting for me. The third BA has never squatted at all. They are now a year old, and have been laying since around 27 - 29 weeks (about a month after their wattles and combs grew huge and red).

The one in my avatar is the one who has never squatted. When this photo was taken, she was still a few weeks away from laying her first egg.
 
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gg706

Songster
8 Years
Jul 5, 2011
1,309
82
158
I have heard that if you don't have a rooster one of the hens will "act" as the rooster. Is this the hen doesn't squatt?
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Feb 3, 2007
79,284
14,010
1,236
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
I have heard that if you don't have a rooster one of the hens will "act" as the rooster. Is this the hen doesn't squatt?

No, the hen who acts like a rooster is something I've not seen here, not in all the time I've had chickens. That can happen, but it's not a given like all the talk would have you believe.

The first year, we had no rooster. Not one hen acted like a male. They all squatted when reaching maturity for the ones in charge, my DH and myself--it's a submission thing. I have hens who will still squat for us and run from the rooster.
 

Nonny

Songster
8 Years
May 16, 2011
601
36
156
Brisbane, Australia
Not in our case. Tuppence (the non-squatter) was only second in charge. The one who squatted for me was top dog in the coop and was always mounting the others to keep them submissive to her.
 

gg706

Songster
8 Years
Jul 5, 2011
1,309
82
158
Thanks for the info. This will be my first experience raising chickens as an adult. I have not order my chickens yet. So I am trying to learn ALL I can!
 

MANNA-PRO

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