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Archive for December, 2012

I thought one of our chickens was laying 2 eggs a day but couldn’t prove it, as some days there has only been 2 in the nesting box, they are both in the same place. So I thought that each chicken probably lay in the same place every day. Well today we had an egg in each nesting place at about 10am, then at 2pm the chickens went mental again, so much noise! One was running around the garden and the other was in the nesting box again, sat on her 2nd egg of the day!

My friend that has the other 2 Appenzellers, her hens started to lay on the same day!

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I was getting worried that our Silver Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens were never going to lay, how old are chickens when they start to lay? You are supposed to get eggs after the 1st 18-21 weeks, it has taken our Appenzeller chickens 36 weeks to lay their 1st eggs!

I noticed a few weeks ago that the chickens would squat in front of you when you walked near them. They go dead still and stick their wings out a bit, it looks like they are wanting you to pick them up, almost like chicken submission. As soon as they heard you in the house they run to the back door, and when you go in the garden they squat right next to your feet. I have been able to handle them so easily. I was reading somewhere that a chicken Squatting is a good indicator that the pullet is reaching maturity. So if your chickens are squatting they should start laying soon!

I also noticed that the wattle on our chickens had gone bright red, the Appenzeller Spitzhauben has a comb that is hidden in its upright crest of feathers on the top of its head, their combs had also gone bright red, you see the combs much better when it has been raining and their heads are wet. Apparently Laying that first egg is often a distressing experience for both the chicken / pullet & the keeper. I have to say that we experianced no real behavior change other than the chickens squatting.

On Boxing Day we put the chickens in the enclosure (they normally have free range of the garden) and went to see family, on the odd day and night that we are out, we enclose the chickens in the enclosure that is around the coop, and they put them selves to bed and as we can leave the door open, they get them selves up too. We came home last night, I never thought to check the coop. This morning they were making strange noises, more than normal. They sounded like sheep! I went out at 8.30 to see if there was anything wrong, gave them a stroke, and then went back to bed. About 10ish I chopped up a bit of bread and went out to give the chickens a treat. I could only see one of the chickens. I have never seen one with out the other. I looked everywhere, I panicked, what if she had flown over the fence, been eaten by the ginger cat? I looked in the coop, and there she was sat in the nesting box! I was so excited. I ran in the house got the camera, and took a picture. I didn’t disturb her, and only looked in the nesting box when she had gone out side. There were 3 perfect white eggs. What a nice Christmas present!

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