Who is laying the eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marie1, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. marie1

    marie1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Hello all. I wonder if anyone has any practical ways of figuring out which chickens are laying eggs and which are not. I have a mixed flock and want to get rid of the chickens who are not laying eggs and keep the ones that are. Its winter here in the UK and just a few of my chickens are still laying , I just dont know which ones. I think they may be laying in the coop early morning.

    I dont want to buy a trap nest as i am trying to keep the expense down so any other practical ideas would be welcome.

    thank you all
    Marie
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sit around the coop on a Saturday and watch. We did that a few times when ours started laying. We used two leg bands to mark who we had caught laying and one to mark who we found in a nest box with an egg. When we got up to fourteen eggs in a day from fifteen chickens, we figured pretty much everybody was laying and put blue bands on them to mark them as 2008s.
     
  4. marie1

    marie1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Thank you for all the info and advice.

    I should have mentioned that my hens are all of egg laying age. They started laying in the summer but have stopped for winter except a few of them.
    Someone is still laying eggs throughout the winter and I wanted to figure out which ones so I can breed them and hopefully the trait will be passed onto their offspring. Trouble is I just dont know who is laying the eggs.

    I wondered if there was a non drying paint (!) that i could put in the nest box or the entrance to the coop so when they sat in the nest box or went into the coop they would brush up against the paint and it would mark their feathers. That way I could tell who was laying the eggs.

    Hope it is OK for a Brit to use this site, I have found it so helpful.

    Many thanks
    Marie
     
  5. Suess hens

    Suess hens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know of a paint that could be used. But I myself have done the sitting and waiting routine. I have two girls that are about to lay I think, they go in the nesting box and go through the motions but no eggs yet. That is the only problem I see with the paint idea, or having them mark themselves. I think if they were laying before the cold then they may still go in the box as routine and then you would have girls marked that aren't laying. The best idea might be to go out there early with some hot coffee and wait to see who does their job.
    Welcome to the site! And you will see there are other Brits around the site, of course you are welcome here....we just love chicken people.
     
  6. pj_elia

    pj_elia Out Of The Brooder

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    What about using a colored powder like the blue chalk used in chalk lines? Sprinkle some in the nest box and check which one has the blue butt.
     
  7. marie1

    marie1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Thank you for all the suggestions. I will try the chalk and see what happens. Failing that I will have to send the children to my mum for a day and sit and watch the coop.....and will try not to fall asleap.

    Many thanks
    Marie
     

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