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We started raising chickens and ducks about five months ago and it has been so fun and exciting! But like many other first-time chicken owners, we found ourselves asking: when will my chickens start laying eggs? Here are some signs your chicken is about to start laying eggs.
Signs Your Chicken is About to Start Laying Eggs
- Reddening Wattle and Comb:
This is one of the first signs I read about. All of our chickens are the same age and we bought four different breeds: Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington and the Silver Laced Wyandotte.
Much to our surprise, one of our Easter Eggers was the first to lay an egg. She doesn’t even have much of a comb or a wattle, but she is the largest of all of our chickens.
2. Chicken Squatting:
This was a sign that I didn’t realize was a sign until my Easter Egger started doing it. Chicken squatting is when your chicken lays down and “squats” when you approach it.
Chickens will squat as a sign of protection and submission, ready for a rooster to mate with her.
I really love that my Easter Egger has started squatting because it makes it easy for me to approach her and handle her. She started squatting about a week before she started laying eggs.
3. Exploring the Nesting Boxes:
Our hen didn’t start exploring the nesting boxes until the morning she started laying. She snuck in while it was quiet and when the others were out free-ranging.
One day I saw her getting in and out of two different nesting boxes until she finally got cozy in one of the nesting boxes and laid an egg.
4. The Egg Song
A chicken might “sing” to alert the world that she has laid an egg. This is how we noticed the first egg! Our Easter Egger was squawking so loudly and oddly that we were alarmed, come to find she had laid an egg!
5. Eating More
Eating more than usual is a sign that your chicken might be about to lay an egg.
Our hen seems to keep to herself and eat more in the mornings when she’s about to lay an egg. Immediately after laying, she goes to get some feed and a drink of water.
What Age do Chickens Start Laying?
On average, chickens start laying around 5-7 months of age. Some chickens will lay as soon as 16 weeks and others may not lay for up to a year. It can depend on their breed, diet, exposure to sunlight and how happy or stressed they might be.
How Many Eggs do Chickens Lay Per Week?
This can depend on the breed, time of year, diet, etc. It isn’t uncommon for hens to stop laying or slow down the amount they lay in the winter months due to colder weather.
If you can, supplement with extra corn in the winter months.
In our situation, our Easter Egger started laying for the first time in winter, but we do live in Southern California where the weather rarely falls below 40 degrees at night.
Hens can lay up to an egg daily, but most will lay 4-6 eggs per week. For the first week, our hen laid one egg every other day. After her first three eggs, she has since been laying daily!
How to Get Colored Chicken Eggs
Chickens lay different colors of eggs depending on their breed. Colors include white, tan, brown and colored eggs (pink, green and blue).
If you are interest in colored eggs, I highly recommend Easter Eggers! We have been so happy with ours! They are friendly, huggable and lay beautiful colored eggs.
Easter Eggers can lay pink, green and blue eggs. However, they will only lay the same color for their entire life. While one Easter Egger might lay blue eggs, another Easter Egger might lay green eggs. That is why we bought three Easter Eggers. They all look different too (their feather colors and features) which is really neat!
There are other colored egg chicken breeds too, but Easter Eggers are a breed that make great pets and are excellent egg layers! How pretty are these Robin’s egg blue colored eggs??
Are you new to raising chickens? So am I! I’ve written a post all about raising chickens week by week so you can learn how to care for your chicks long before they mature into hens. I am adding more blog content as I go and still learning a lot along the way! Thanks for joining along my journey as a “crazy chicken lady” 🙂
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