Egg laying chickens are a popular choice for those who want to keep chickens for their eggs. However, if you’re new to raising chickens, it may be difficult to know which chickens are egg layers and which ones are not. In this blog, we will discuss how to recognize an egg laying chicken and the characteristics to look for.
You may also want to read about the best layer feed.
Characteristics of an Egg Laying Chicken
The age of the chicken is an important factor when it comes to egg laying. Generally, chickens will start laying eggs between the ages of 4-6 months. If you have a young chicken that has not reached this age, it is unlikely that it will be an egg layer. On the other hand, if you have an older chicken that has stopped laying eggs, it may be time to consider replacing it with a younger bird.
- Comb and Wattles
The comb and wattles of a chicken can be a good indicator of its egg-laying potential. The comb is the fleshy red crest on top of the chicken’s head, while the wattles are the fleshy folds of skin under the chin. In general, larger combs and wattles are a sign of a healthy and active chicken that is likely to be a good egg layer.
- Feather Quality
The quality of a chicken’s feathers can also be an indicator of its egg-laying potential. Chickens that are good egg layers typically have shiny, healthy feathers that are in good condition. If a chicken’s feathers look dull, frayed, or unkempt, it may not be a good egg layer. Make sure to provide them with great feed.
- Body Shape
The body shape of a chicken can also be a good indicator of its egg-laying potential. Generally, egg laying chickens have a lean, streamlined body shape with a long, flat back. They also tend to have a wider pelvis to accommodate the passage of eggs. If a chicken has a round or plump body shape, it may not be a good egg layer.
Finally, the behavior of a chicken can also be a good indicator of its egg-laying potential. Egg laying chickens tend to be active and curious, and they enjoy foraging and exploring. They may also be more vocal than other chickens, and they may display a distinctive squatting behavior when approached by humans or other chickens.
Of course, the most reliable way to determine whether or not a chicken is an egg layer is to monitor its egg production. Egg laying chickens typically lay between 250 and 300 eggs per year, although this can vary depending on the breed, age, and individual bird.
To monitor egg production, it is important to keep track of how many eggs your chickens are laying each day. This can be done by checking the nesting boxes regularly and recording the number of eggs found. If you notice that one or more chickens are consistently laying fewer eggs than the others, it may be a sign that they are not good egg layers.
In addition to monitoring egg production, it is also important to provide your chickens with a healthy and balanced diet. Egg laying chickens require a diet that is high in protein and calcium to support egg production. You can supplement their diet with commercial chicken feed or provide them with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as calcium supplements such as oyster shells.
Recognizing an egg laying chicken is not always easy, but there are several characteristics that you can look for. The age of the chicken, the size of its comb and wattles, the quality of its feathers, its body shape, and its behavior can all be indicators of its egg-laying potential. By paying attention to these characteristics, you can choose the best chickens for your flock and enjoy fresh, delicious eggs for years to come.