what behavior before first egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SOchick, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. SOchick

    SOchick Songster

    May 29, 2009
    What kinds of behavior should I be looking for before my chicken lays her first egg? My oldest is a balck sex link and is about 18 weeks old. The others (2 ameracaunas, and a buff orpington) are about 12-13 weeks old, so I know they are a little young, but the sex link is getting close, right? What should I look for?
  2. RendonRoo

    RendonRoo Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    ft. worth
    I just got my first egg yesterday and didn't really notice any different behavior. I've been busy lately though so i could have missed something. I have read that they tend to squat a bit. Hope someone else can give your better info. Good Luck
  3. ecopepper

    ecopepper In the Brooder

    May 11, 2009
    Orlando Florida
    I wanna know too....I have so many questions!! Then I look thru here and see others have same questions. Hope we get feed back on this!! Or maybe a good suggestion for books to help us! But at least here it's free!
  4. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Quote:They may be ready anywhere form 18-28 weeks, depending on the breed. My red sex links started at 24 weeks.
    Combs and waddle will get really red.
    They may start to "talk" more.
    They may be checking out the nesting box.
    They may squat when you try to pet them.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
  5. foweler

    foweler Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    Chico, CA
    I'm no eggspert but my RIR just started laying at around 19 weeks and it has been an experience. She's out in the nest box waiting for it right now and she went in on her own.

    Here's what I observed: Last week she she started getting more talkative and much more fidgety. She started jumping up on a stainless steel utility table I keep on the back porch under the kitchen window. She let me approach her much more easily than normal. She has a general sense of urgency about her starting about 3-4 hours before she is due to lay.

    I missed the first egg (Thursday) and found 2 last Friday but I had noticed her acting a bit differently early last week and put some golf balls in the nest boxes.

    She wouldn't stay in my nest boxes at first because they were a bit too open and she is still confused so I had to improvise to make them darker and more private. Yesterday I locked her in the run after stuffing her in the improved nest and after a short shouting session upon realizing I had locked her in, she went back to the nest and took care of business.

    She scratches and clucks a bit just before and when she is done all goes quiet. Soon she will come out and get a big drink of water and that seems to be the sign she is done.

    She behaves more or less normal before that and a little while after she's done. The other 2 chickens who haven't started yet appear to be both scared and confused by this and they hide during the whole affair. It takes a while after the egg before everyone gets back to normal.

    I hope once everybody is laying and they have all adjusted to it it won't take such a big bite out of their morning. Currently life is disrupted for 4 or 5 hours by the drama.

    I'm waiting for my 5th egg this morning, actually about 1PMish. I've read that the egg cycle is about 26 hours and my bird seems to be nailing that schedule. 9am 2 days ago and 11am yesterday. After a few days she may take a day off and then start again I read.

    Hope this helps.
    1 person likes this.
  6. BigPeep

    BigPeep Songster

    May 27, 2009
    I unfortunately lost a hen this week due what may be egg problems associated with the first egg. She didn't want to come out of the roost in the morning and then just stood around and wouldn't eat or drink. After a day of this, I moved her to an old rabbit cage and gave her some water and vitamins by dropper. This seemed to perk her up as she flew out of the cage when I didn't latch the access door and was standing over by the door to the coop near the other chickens.

    I put her back isolation but the next morning, however, she was dead.

    Since none of the other chickens are showing any signs of problems and this hen was about due, I am assuming that she was having some sort of problem internally with the egg. She was not egg bound as nothing was showing at her vent.

    You might want to look for signs of listlessess as they could fortell a problem.
  7. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    comb is redder in color
    waddles as well
    squatting when you go near means ready for mating which can also be sign of prelaying
    pelvic bone is 3 fingers from tip to tip
    more talkitive
    scratching in nest box

    im waiting for my girls to lay they are 23 weeks and 2 days old very noisy red combs and waddles the nest boxes have been messed with majorly any day now im pretty sure on my babies all of em except my ameraucana shes not red at all not even pink and shes real small so shes gonna be the last egg layer for sure
  8. foweler

    foweler Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    Chico, CA
    OK, so much for the 26 hour cycle.
    I just went out to check on Red and she was out milling around with the others and the egg was in the nest!

    Much less noise and drama today.
  9. blackwater88

    blackwater88 Hatching

    Oct 9, 2011
    This was soo helpful really! We have been noticing over the past couple of days that the comb on our RIR is getting very red, and today she has been making nest after nest in the back yard. I'm so excited!


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