Eggs?

cwhite633June 28, 2008

When should I expect eggs? I have 5 BR, 3 BO, 4 SLW and 3 Ameraucanas. They are 17 weeks old. Many of them have very red combs and wattles, and "squat" when you pet them (heard that was a sign). I check every day, and am driving myself crazy! Am I starting to look too early? I would appreciate any comments! Thanks.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Hens generally come into lay at the age of around 6 months, give or take a few weeks in either direction. Make sure you provide nice nests for them with lots of straw or other material-- mine have always preferred the dark, 'hidey-hole' type nest, that way they feel like they are laying in a private, secure spot, safe from predators. I use basic wooden nest boxes with a curtain of black landscape fabric hung from the front edge using a staple gun, and I slit the fabric up the middle so they can come & go easily. It ends up looking like a standard stage curtain in a theater.

As for red combs, for me that's the sign of a rooster--a large, red comb and a bold attitude. But it depends on the breed. The squatting IS very hen-like, though.

Be patient, the eggs will come soon. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:44PM
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mailman22(6)

I'm sure most of us can remember the first time we found an egg from hens we raised. You no doubt will be pretty excited when you do. There's also a lot of checking and rechecking the coop. Sometimes multiple times a day!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 6:37AM
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sullicorbitt(z5 MA)

My first chickens were some of the same breeds, the first eggs we got were around 23ish weeks old I think. It is such a happy thing when you get your first egg, I believe ours came from the americaunas :) such special girls.

Sheila

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 7:19PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

...and when you GET that first egg, you almost feel as proud as if YOU'D laid it! *L*

We've all been there. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 8:39PM
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cwhite633

Thank you all for the information. I can't wait!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 9:12PM
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nhsuzanne(z5 SW-NH)

I would just like to add to make sure your nesting boxes are the correct size for the breed. My friend who has bantys made my first set of nesting boxes. We placed them at the correct height, etc and waited and waited and waited. When no one laid and egg at 24 weeks I contacted someone at this forum or another and it was suggested that my nesting boxes might be too small. Sure enough they were. My DH and I quickly built boxes that were 16" square as opposed to the 12" square that we had and wihin a day they were laying up a storm!

Velvet is so right about being proud about that first egg! And for me, every egg since!! Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 11:56AM
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ginni77(z 5)

In most things I've read, certain breeds (sex-links, etc) can begin to lay at 18 weeks and other breeds between 20-24 weeks. They also say it's not good for hens to lay too soon, it's hard on their reproductive organs when they are not fully developed. When I had chickens years ago, they started to lay around 22 weeks.

I agree with Velvet, the first few eggs are so exciting! Then after a while you begin to wonder what you're going to do WITH ALL THOSE EGGS! LOL I have 15 week olds, 14 week olds and 10 week olds...so I've got a long wait for eggs yet but I can't wait either!!!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:55AM
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msjay2u(7)

suzanne just how do you know what the correct nesting box size is suppoed to be. I have asked this question several times and no answer from anyone yet. is there a general reference online somewhere?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 11:18PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

My rooster is mating with all of the hens,,that MUST mean they are ready to start laying soon.??? I am hoping within the next week or so.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:16PM
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cwhite633

I got my first egg tonight! Now I just need to figure out which breed it was. Can rule out the Ameraucanas. You guys were right. I was excited, my husband laughing at me as I danced around! They will be 19 weeks on Friday.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 8:44PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

HI Cwhite, what kind of chickens do you have? Do you have leghorns??? or Buff orpingtons???

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 6:15PM
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cwhite633

Hi Flowersnhens.

I have 5 Barred Rocks, 3 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 3 Ameraucanas. No eggs tonight, but maybe in the morning?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 10:16PM
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msjay2u(7)

cwhite I read somewhere that when the butt area of the chicken starts looking real wide they are ready to start laying. notice any difference lately?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:52PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

WELL,,,I finally got my first egg today. It was very small,,but it was an egg. I guess that means the rest should soon follow. yay

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 4:01PM
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msjay2u(7)

Congrads flowershen and cwhite!!
soon you are going to have more eggs than you can handle!
did you eat the egg?
LOL

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 9:46PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

No, actually I gave it to the dog. It was too small and funny looking for me to consider eating.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 6:43AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

The first egg we got (years ago) was laid with out a shell up on the edge of a pallet leaning against the back of the house, we did not eat it either.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 2:59PM
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msjay2u(7)

LOL I probably will not eat my first egg either. but I will open it to see it it looks darker, the white do not run and all those other claims of fresh eggs.Let us know when you eat your first egg and tell us how it tasted.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 5:51PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

I got two more eggs today. Small again, of course.

Brendan: I have also gotten those eggs before without the shell. The eggs I got today were a tad bit larger than the first, but I will probably still give them to the dogs. The one I gave to the dog yesterday was actually a nice bright orange egg,,,and not runny at all.

I knew they were laying eggs today because they were carrying on in their like they were celebrating.

Msjay2u: I haven't painted the chicken coop yet,,,that is why I have not posted any pictures. We were busy seeding the lawn over the weekend....lots and lots of lawn. Still not done with that yet either. Hopefully tomorrow and then by the weekend I want to tackle that coop.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:15PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

I got two more eggs today. Small again, of course.

Brendan: I have also gotten those eggs before without the shell. The eggs I got today were a tad bit larger than the first, but I will probably still give them to the dogs. The one I gave to the dog yesterday was actually a nice bright orange egg,,,and not runny at all.

I knew they were laying eggs today because they were carrying on in their like they were celebrating.

Msjay2u: I haven't painted the chicken coop yet,,,that is why I have not posted any pictures. We were busy seeding the lawn over the weekend....lots and lots of lawn. Still not done with that yet either. Hopefully tomorrow and then by the weekend I want to tackle that coop.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 9:17PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

Didn't mean to post twice. oops !!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 6:48AM
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ginni77(z 5)

flowersnhens, how old are your chickens?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 11:52PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

My chickens are between 18 and 20 weeks old. The leghorns are the ones who are laying. They tend to lay earlier than any other breed from what I have read.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 9:41AM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

I got my first BROWN egg today !! My Buffies are now laying,,or atleast one of them anyways. I have gotten about 3 or 4 eggs a day for the past week or so. Yay !!...and they are only 5 months old. I was sure they would not lay for atleast another month. Maybe I am wrong about the age??? I bought them from a guy down the road who claimed they were only 8 weeks old,,and that was at the end of April. I guess that would actually make them about 22 weeks old? I don't know, I don't have a calender handy. lol. Anyways,,they are laying, and once everyone is in full swing, we will have about 15 eggs a day.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 2:28PM
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gardengalrn(5KS)

I still only have one hen laying but she is well ahead of her time. I got the chicks on March 29th or so but bought 5 others about 2 weeks before that. Rose was the only 'production' hen so I guessed that it must be her. Sure enough, it was. She's laying about every day, a very small golfball type/shape egg. I, too, was so proud and excited!! Lori

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 3:57AM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

I am finding that if I let my chickens free range, they are laying their eggs OUTSIDE somewhere instead of in the coop. I have to keep them in for atleast half the day to be guaranteed any eggs in their nesting boxes. All of my hens I believe are laying now except for one. I have averaged about 5 or 6 eggs a day if I leave them in until 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon. I have searched all over the yard and woods for their eggs,,but never find them. Anyone else have this problem???

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:48PM
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calliope(6)

"As for red combs, for me that's the sign of a rooster--a large, red comb and a bold attitude." Actually, how red a hen's comb is is an indicator of whether she is laying or not. When they start laying heavily the comb blanches out and gets paler......and I use it as an indicator if I suspect a hen in the population isn't laying and something may be amiss, or to determine if she is past her laying prime.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 12:58AM
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jmjm

anyone have any idea at what age a Blue Swede duck might start laying eggs?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 10:33AM
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