What I learned from keeping an egg diary

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by vermontgal, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have kept an egg diary since my chickens started laying at the beginning of January. Based on seeing them in the nest boxes (and watching some of them lay eggs), I know who lays which egg.

    In my egg diary, I keep track of who lays when, and I weigh the egg on my vintage 1940s Farmway egg scale. They do lay about every 26 hours; each day the chicken lays a little later in the day. When the chicken would naturally lay after dark, she seems to hold it until the next AM.

    From my egg diary, I have learned:
    • My smallest egg layer BR (small side of Medium) rarely skips a day. She may not lay the biggest eggs, but she lays almost every day.
    • My largest egg layer (XL) NHR, skips pretty regularly. She probably skips about every 6th day.
    • My EE who lays M-L eggs, also skips every 6-7 days.
    • My BR who lays grainy-textured eggs (L or XL) does skip more days than the other BR, but not as many as the NHR or the EE.

    In summary, without my egg diary, I might think my NHR with XL eggs was the best layer, and almost want to cull the BR laying medium eggs. However, I realize that the consistency of the BR laying makes up for the smaller egg size.

    The NHR with XL eggs is my least favorite chicken and I was going to get rid of her until I realized she lays the biggest eggs. The BR laying medium-small eggs is also not my favorite, and I was considering sending her and the NHR off together.

    As the gals collectively produce more eggs than I need, I have decided to appreciate the fact that they have different / unique egg laying patterns, and not worry too much about productivity. I think they will all get to stay here.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2009
  2. allisojo

    allisojo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2008
    Nuevo Mexico
    Good idea. I think I'll start my diary this weekend! Thanks.
  3. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    WOW!! How insightful!! I don't have any laying hens at this time, but I will implement you system when I do!!

    Thanks for sharing!! [​IMG]
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Fantastic idea!

    I've just about figure out who is laying in my coop and who is not.

    I loved the suggestion I got here the other day about putting different food colorings around the vent of chickens and then see who lays what egg.

    We are going to be trying that one soon!
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My SO nagged me until I started an egg diary. I won't admit it to him, but it was a great idea.
    Now I can almost predict how many eggs I'll get each day. I also added the name of each regular customer, what day they bought eggs and how many. Now I don't stress out about having too many eggs in the frig. because I can predict when a regular is going to need eggs again.
  6. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I have had a diary too and got to watch and learn about a few of my hens too...and yes, mine do the same. Lay a little later every day. Now I pretty much know who lays every egg...this helps to know who to watch if I stop getting eggs from them. Possibly catch an illness or eggbound hen early [​IMG]
  7. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    My SO encouraged it too.. it's not as complex as yours but it helped just last night because he came in and didn't see enough eggs on the "journal" so he went out with a flashlight & found them here and there. We can now predict with some accurracy how many eggs we will recieve.

    I also noticed the laying times on a few of them and how the get later and later each day until they hold off till the next morning. It's insightful really... glad you shared the idea!
  8. Hecate

    Hecate Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 27, 2009
    Great idea! I started my egg diary 2 seconds ago! I can't wait to see who is up to what in the nest.

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