Monday, November 21, 2011

All Grown Up

It is hard to believe, but my girls are 19 weeks old today.  Ah, they grow up so fast, don't they?  Usually hens come of laying age at about 20 weeks, although anytime after 18 weeks is fair game.  That means that I am fairly giddy every morning as I skip out to the coop in hopes that someone left me a little present; a small token of their appreciation for all of the love and tasty scraps I lavish on these spoiled chickens every day.  Nothing yet, but I remain increasingly hopeful and excited.

They say you can tell a hen is ready to lay by the size and color of her comb and wattles.  So by the look of things, I'd say Penny owes me an egg any day now, don't you think?

The other girls seem to be savoring the last of their childhood and hanging on to those pinkish combs.  I'm guessing we're still a couple of weeks out where they're concerned.  

Last week, my hens simultaneously turned 18 weeks old and finished their most recent bag of "start and grow" chick feed.  This was fortuitous timing, because at this age, it is recommended that hens graduate to big girl food and begin eating a layer mash or pellets nutritionally designed for the egg laying stage.  As an accompaniment to this new, main course, I also added a side of ground oyster shells (calcium for strong eggshells) and grit (to aid in digestion).  They seem to be pleased with the new selections and polished off their layer pellets in record time.

And finally, to further boost morale and comfort, I cleaned up the coop and put an extra layer of fluffy straw in the nesting boxes.  I also left a few wooden eggs (borrowed from my boys' play kitchen) as a not-so-subtle suggestion:  LAY HERE, LADIES.

Let's see if their little bird brains can take a hint. 


  1. Any eggs yet?
    The first ones can be very tiny - marble size.

  2. None yet, but after your post, I did a little digging through the straw to see if I might have overlooked something. No luck. Surely soon, though, right?!


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