Who layed what egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickieeb, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. chickieeb

    chickieeb Just Hatched

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    With a mixed flock, how can you tell who layed what egg if similar colored eggs? I have buff orpingtons, silkies all 6 months old and barred rocks a year old. (Also have ameruconas, but thats easy!)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd imagine that your silkie eggs will be much smaller than the others, so I would think that they could be removed from the equation. Maybe if you do observe a bird laying, and compare it to another from a different breed, then you may become familiar with the subtleties in colour and size.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well, unless they all lay unique looking eggs.....you can't.

    Even then you have to catch them in the act to correlate specific egg with specific bird...
    ....then you have to remember who lays what. haha!

    The more birds you have the harder it is....I've about given up, tho do band some when caught laying and take notes.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Each hen tends to lay the same general size, shape, and color egg each time. Some regularly put “freckles” or something else to help identify them too. So it is possible you can learn to identify a specific hen’s egg most of the time. I say most of the time because every now and then a hen will lay an “oops” egg. It might be a different size, shape, or color than normal. The egg making process is fairly complicated and every now and then any of us can have an off day.

    The more you have the harder it is, as Aart said. I can recognize a few certain eggs as coming from certain hens. Most of them I cannot though.

    I made some of my nests so I can lock a hen in there if I want to. That’s actually come in handy for different things. I mark all my pullets with colored zip ties so I can tell them apart and keep notes. When I’m evaluating a pullet to determine which ones I want to keep, I lock one in a nest when I catch her laying. I always check under them to make sure no eggs are already there. I have seen a hen on a nest like she is laying, but when another hen finishes laying on another nest and leaves, I’ve seen hens change nests. Just because I see a hen in a nest I can’t automatically assume any egg in that nest is hers. Locking them in a specific nest with no other eggs keeps others out and keeps her in so I can be sure which egg is hers.

    I have not done this but I’ve heard of people putting food dye in a hen’s vent in the morning. If you see an egg with colored streaks on the shell you know which hen laid it. Some people on this forum I trust said it worked for them.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Have you found this to be successful a majority of the time?
    I've wondered if it might stress them out so much that they don't lay,
    or might be spooked off the nests in the future.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Kind of the opposite Aart. I almost never have one not lay an egg when I do this. It’s possible they have already laid it by the time I see them and lock them up after removing what eggs are there. Sometimes I see a hen in a nest but they are not really there to lay an egg, but this is rare. Most of the time they lay their egg within a half hour, though with them being stubborn, hard-headed, contrary chickens you always have an exception.

    If they are in a nest that I cannot lock, I move them to a nest that I can lock. They tend to start laying in the nest I moved them to. Not always but often. It does not put them off from using nests. This is how I train a hen laying somewhere not in a nest to start using the nests. When I catch her on her nest, usually on the coop floor in a corner, I lock her in a real nest until she lays her egg. It usually only takes once but some are more stubborn than others. I’ve never had to do it more than twice.

    You are correct to phrase it “a majority of the time”. As you well know, with living animals nothing is certain. But yes, this is practically always successful. I did it this morning. I now know that the red pullet with a green zip tie on her right leg lays a large-for-a-pullet fairly dark green egg. She is a keeper.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Huh. I don't think you handle your birds much, I don't either, but mine freak out when I touch them.
    Tho I did have a floor layer this year, nice olivish egg, finally saw her doing the deed, waited until she was done and still kinda dopey then grabbed her.
    She was NOT happy, banded her(one of my backcrosses-yes!!), then put her in a nest and held her there for a bit, still not happy but she laid in nest ever after(mostly). Babbling. I may split up my nest cover to work singly...hmmmm...now it's just to keep pullet form roosting, covers perch in front too so would work to lock in nest. more babbling.Out.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I don’t handle my chickens much, certainly not to cuddle them. They do sometimes freak out when I get one, though some are not as bad as others. They quickly get over it in any case.

    As a friend once said about me, I can be ruthless with my chickens. Some are just loud complainers anytime I handle them. Most are not. When I’m selecting which ones get picked for my breeding/laying flock I sometimes need little tie-breakers. How loud or how much they complain is not high on my selection criteria but it can be a tie breaker. With my current flock mot are not loud complainers.

    A rooster is more likely to protect a hen that is complaining. I try to not provoke my roosters any more than I have to. There is actually a flock management reason for me to eliminate complainers and not breed them.
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Lol you need an 11 year old kid to WATCH the egg being "born"..

    I'm totally serious, that's how I know for certain who is laying which egg. My daughter literally watches them as they lay eggs; 24 hens and we can tell who laid which egg, minus the two identical ones from the BRs :D

    I've even seen a hen pop one out running for the treats I had just tossed down; talk about priorities :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Oh, the '11yo kid' in me has waited and watched...at least with the first batch of pullets...not so much anymore, I don't have that much time.
     

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