Who's laying and who's not??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ckbythesea, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. ckbythesea

    ckbythesea Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2009
    I have 4 pullets, seven months old. We are getting 2 eggs a day. We think they are from our Buff Orpington and our black Jersey Giant (larger lighter colored eggs, and some with double yolks).

    We also have a barred Plymouth Rock and a gold laced Wyandotte. Of the four, I think three would have eggs very similar in color and size, and the Buff tends to be the broodiest, but does that mean she is laying every day? How can I tell who is or is not laying when I can't be home all day?

    In addition to their laying feed, they get to free range an hour or two most days, vegetable scraps from the cutting board (plus lots of zucchini, we planted too much), whole and ground oyster shells, and grit.

    Am I missing something?
     
  2. joedie

    joedie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    Sounds like you have it covered. My BO's lay very light colored eggs and BA's lay the darkest. Other than watching them lay, I don't know what came from who.
     
  3. blue fire

    blue fire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when they are in the coop in the morning see if you can see the diffrence in poop size under the perch make sure you know which chicken is over it. Big poop = Eggs
     
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are getting 2 eggs a day, every day, then you have more than 2 hens laying. Because in fact, they don't lay every day. They have a cycle. They lay X amount of days, then take a day off. How many days are in the cycle varies by hen. Mine are laying fewer and fewer eggs before the day off as the hours of daylight wane. During the summer, it may be 5 or 6 eggs in a row, then the day off. Now it is more like 3 eggs in a row, then the day off. (I'm leaving my sexlinks out of this equation, because they lay like crazy!)

    It seems to me that all 4 of those breeds could lay eggs that are similar in size and color. While different breeds may tend to lay lighter or darker brown eggs, it does vary by hen. I had 2 Buff Orps, and one laid a very light brown egg, while the other laid a rather dark brown egg.

    As far as the broodiness of your Buff Orp, well, I have massive experience with this! (Sigh.) A hen will lay a clutch of eggs before she goes broody. Mine tend to lay 10 to 12 eggs. All in a row, without a day off, usually. Then when they are good and broody, they stop laying completely.

    As for how to tell which girls are laying when you can't be there to catch them in the act.... Hmmm, that's a toughie. I can always tell with mine because their behavior changes so dramatically. Mine are raised by broody hens, so they aren't terribly friendly to people. Then all of the sudden, they are friendly. To me, that means they are laying eggs. They squat for me every time that I reach for them, they simply beg for my attention, allow themselves to be picked up and held. Like I said, dramatic change in attitude.

    I've read that you can tell by looking at the vent. I really don't know exactly how that works. Not sure that I want to! [​IMG]

    Maybe you could spend some weekend time trying to catch them in the nestbox? Or whatever your day off from work is. Normally, eggs are laid between 9am and 2pm here. I know, that seems like a goofy way to spend your day off...

    Maybe someone else will have another idea for you. [​IMG]
     
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This is true! I forgot about that. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    You can put food coloring on the vent to see which is laying. I would not use red since they like to peck at red things, but blue, yellow, or green would be fine.
     
  7. ckbythesea

    ckbythesea Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 2, 2009
    Thanks for the suggestions . . . I think I might skip the food coloring though~![​IMG]

    I was assuming 3 of the 4 are laying, I don't think I've ever seen the Wyandotte or Rock sitting in the nest box. The Rock makes a ton of noise when any egg is layed, but usually if we get down there right away to check, the Orpington is on an egg.

    I'm going to rethink and design a different set up for the nest boxes over the winter, I have two but they all use the same one.
     

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