One of the most exciting times for a first time chicken owner is that glorious moment once the hens lay their eggs! Often this moment is going to be a joyous surprise, even while for some owners, the more it takes the more nervous they become –“is something wrong with the chicken”,”are they sick”,”do they need to spend more time in the nesting boxes”,”am I feeding them the wrong food”? The majority of the time these queries only cause unnecessary nerves and frustration, even if what your flock needs most is support and patience. As you await your chickens to lay their egg you need to be composed, calm and caring, not anxious and overbearing. Here are some of the greatest things you can do to help your hens as they get ready to lay their first eggs.
When do hens normally start laying?
Generally speaking most hens will begin laying between 18 to 24 weeks. This having been said, some breeds who are not renowned for being productive layers can endure as long as the year to create their very first tasty egg. Finding out the age and breed of your pullets is a really practical way to keep track of your expectations during these first few months, since you will be able to track their progress and see whether anything is out of the ordinary.
How do you produce the right setting conditions to your flock?
There are a whole lot of variables that affect your flock’s likelihood of becoming energetic and productive little layers. Ensuring you meet all your chickens’ fundamental needs, concerning food, shelter and water, as well as creating a serene and tranquil environment, will ultimately result in your chickens feeling relaxed and healthy enough to lay.
Humans have been caring for chickens for thousands of years. As somebody who cares for chickens it is your obligation to make sure that your hens have a great safe place to lay which will keep them protected from the elements and whatever predators might be lurking on them.
The general guideline is that each nesting box can accommodate 3 to 4 chickens — not in precisely the exact same time of course! Nesting boxes also need to be warm, comfy and quiet, which will aid your hens feel safe and secure, while they attempt to stay focused and lay their initial few eggs.
One of the most important factors is daylight. Chickens need at least 10-14 hours of daylight to get their bodies to create any eggs. This is the reason why the majority of chickens stop laying during chilly and winter months. But if your pullets are not let out of the coop, then they will also cease laying, even if it’s sunny and warm outside. That’s why coop accessories like the Automatic Door are so important, particularly if you’re the type of chicken owner that finds it hard to get out of bed early in the morning.
Pullets need additional protein in their diet, as their bodies aren’t only getting ready to lay eggs, they’re also still doing heaps of growing! Diversifying their diet with some healthy treats is a smart way to make certain they are getting some variety.
It all basically boils down to making your flock feel secure, protected and loved. If your hens are worried about predators or unsure of where their next meal is going to come from, then they are not as likely to feel compelled to lay.
What are a few of the signs of a chicken getting ready to lay?
Though many (not all) chicken owners are unable to speak their flocks”buk-buk” speech, your hens will still offer you a lot of hints that their egg making instinct is about ready and they are gearing up to lay their first egg. Below are a few of the top signs that your hens are preparing to lay an egg for the first time…
Red Combs & Wattles
Look closely in the combs and wattles of your pullets around the time they’re 18 weeks old. Generally speaking your hens’ wattles and combs will turn red and swell as their bodies ready to lay eggs. It may seem somewhat odd but think all of these weird and unusual things that the human body does as it moves through puberty.
Checking From The Nesting Boxes
Some hens will start to inspect the nesting boxes all the time they’re getting ready to lay. They’ll wander around, rummage the hemp bedding and stick their beak in and out. Some might also practice sitting in the nesting box, which may cause any chicken lover an excellent deal of excitement! This being said, even if your girls are checking out the nesting boxes, then they may still be a couple of days or weeks off from laying.
Every time a chickens body is nicely ready to lay, you will see your hen doing a strange little squat at the backyard. This bizarre gesture is a subtle and flirtatious indication to a rooster they are fully matured and ready for some funny business. You might discover that your hens will nevertheless do this funky little squat if there are no roosters around. It is likewise a tell-tale sign that your pullet are going to put an egg at any moment! As soon as you see your pullets doing their squats you may be certain that you will find eggs in route!
These are the very typical signs that a chicken is preparing to lay however most poultry owners possess a profound connection with their flock and therefore are able of intuitively feel when their hens are ready to produce their first eggs.