Who is laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NHchickenflock, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. NHchickenflock

    NHchickenflock In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2014
    Gilmanton NH
    We have about 25 chickens in a large coop, all mixed breeds and ages we have picked up here and there. No real way to tell the ages.
    We haven't been getting the number of eggs we would have thought. (8-12 a day)
    Is there any good way to tell who is laying or how old they are?
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
  3. NHchickenflock

    NHchickenflock In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2014
    Gilmanton NH
    Thanks kelsie2290
    We were thinking about separating them one at a time. I just wasn't sure how long to do it.
    It's hard to figure it all out.
    If they are slowed because they are starting to moult do most people keep them?
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Boy, I wish there were an easy answer for this!
    I too am trying to evaluate my older hens at this time, need some soup and more space in the coop.

    Trap nesting and segregation are stress inducers, which could effect laying....would take a lot of time for acclimation before being able to evaluate and traps would take constant vigilance after acclimation.

    I'm thinking a camera is the way to go...I set up an old laptop and webcam to record activity at the nests, worked pretty good...
    ...the video is so fuzzy(cam not meant to focus that far away) that it's very hard to see who is whom and the reviewing of the video is laborious because of the viewing software controls.

    Have looked at cams online but don't understand enough about how they work....thinks a trip to the electronics/computer store is in order to talk to someone and see if what I need is available...and affordable.
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    You could drop some food coloring into their vents. When the egg is laid, it will come out with a streak of dye on it. However, I'm thinking you'll have a hard time finding 25 different colored dyes. Maybe do a few at a time, with a different color for each and note which colors come out on the eggs. Then move on to a few more when you know who's laying from the first batch.

    If you've already got a camera, that would probably be the best way to go. But the dye would keep you from having to purchase one if you don't and you wouldn't have to buy or build trap nests. I would think separating them would also induce stress and cause them not to lay.

    You could always go old school, pull up a chair and sit and watch to see who's using the nest boxes [​IMG]
    Good luck!

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