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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beelbill, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. beelbill

    beelbill Hatching

    Jan 1, 2010
    Hi. I am new to this forum and rather than spend months trying to read through every past thread, I thought I would just entertain people by asking really stupid questions that have probably been answered many times before. My wife and I just became homesteaders around 6 months ago and one of the first things I did was build a coop. We have had chickens for 4 months now and everytime I go out there, they are still cackling about my carpenter ability. We have 9 hens and a rooster. We get 6 eggs per day. One of the hens lays huge eggs. So here is stupid question #1. Other than setting up a camera and watching them 24 hours per day, how can you tell which hens are laying and which ones are not? If I get hungry for fried chicken one night and randomly picked one, with my luck it would be the one that lays the big eggs and not one of the three freeloaders. They all look the same to me, so even if I had a video of them laying eggs, once they leave the nest, I wouldn't recognize them. I thought about putting wet paint in their nests and then I would know the chicken with the blue butt laid the blue egg. [​IMG]

  2. Quote:There have been those that use food coloring in the vent area of the hens. When the hens lay the egg the food coloring is rubbed onto the egg as it passes. Match the egg to the hen and voila! Dont ask me specifics, I've not ever done this before, but I know its been done.

    If you're hens are laying, and you check them regularly, you can actually feel the egg in the abdomen before it is laid.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Just because you are getting 6 eggs a day does not mean that only 6 are laying. I'd bet that at least 8 and maybe all 9 are laying, just not every day.

    The way I did what you are talking about, when I caught one laying in the nest, I marked her. I used spray paint. You can use leg bands, toe punching, whatever method you want. I still butchered a couple that were laying since I did not catch all that were laying, but I improved my odds.
  4. Cherokeerainbow

    Cherokeerainbow Songster

    Jul 23, 2009
    Turner, Maine
    RidgeRunner has a good point. They are all probably laying, just not everyday. Sometimes weather will be a cause...ex: cold, will slow egg production. Light helps as they days are shorter and they will slow down or skip a day. Age is a big factor, are they about 2 yrs old? Also, their internal clocks may be at diff. times.... ex: Take one laying hen, she lays at 9 am then the next day at 10 am then 11 am ect... on the 5-7 day she decides to reset...no egg that day...and then starts at 9am again.... The process is NOT that precise but, its the easiest way to explain/describe.
    Feed, health, breed ect also play a part...
    If you have older hens, fried chicken may not be an answer...hope you don't mind soup...as they are tough.
    Marking them is easy too... even fingernail polish will help.
    Good luck, and they are not silly questions, we all asked similar too or read them somewhere here.
  5. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    I don't think you you said what kind of hens you have but not every kind would be the kind you might want to grab up and eat.
    There is a lot that goes into a chicken being good to eat especially if you are planning on frying it.
    You might get away with eating any bird if you were making soup or dumplings
    Just because a chicken is edible, doesn't make it good to eat.
    Depending on what you have, you might thinmk about keeping them as layers and make other plans to get birds to eat.
    Just my humble opinion.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    At the worst, you can make chicken broth, pick the meat off the bones, and make chicken tacos or chicken salad. If the chicken is old, just cook it loooong and slooooow to make broth.

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