By far, one of the most asked questions in the “chicken world” is “When will my chicken lay eggs?” You have done everything right, you have raised your fluffy chicks to be adorable spunky young chickens, you have invested in the cost of the coop, the food, the time, and the love, (just to name a few things!) and you can’t WAIT for that first egg! Trust me, I know how the waiting is!
When I was much younger, well, around 20-23 we had about 3 dozen chickens, Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns, and Black Sex-Link, they were free range because we lived on 5 acres of land, so I honestly couldn’t tell you who laid what first! They roamed the yard, and came back to roost at night and every day was like an Easter egg hunt! We had a LOT of eggs, so many that we gave them away every week and only kept what we needed. But I didn’t really pay much attention to it, one day it just happened, I did not “get to know” my chickens back then.
But now that I am older I have a much smaller backyard flock of 4 hens (plus my 2 silkies), Sophie, Freckles, Camilla, and Penny. The only one who hasn’t laid yet (aside from those adorable little silkies) is Penny, and she is my “Easter Egger” and of course I am (im)patiently awaiting her first egg so I can see what color they are! Her ears are mint green, so I am thinking we might get mint green eggs from her but only time will tell. I can tell you that I am about 99% certain she won’t lay tomorrow. So lets get to it, when will she lay, and for that matter, when will yours?
So if you are waiting for your flock or your pets to start laying their first eggs, and you have, of course, googled it and read up on it and gotten 1000000 opinions and still no eggs! You have looked at their combs, their wattles, maybe they are big, maybe they are bright red, maybe they are not, and those are some of the signs listed when you google “when will my chicken lay her first egg” and they are in many cases signs that your hens will indeed be laying their first eggs soon, but it is unreliable, at least in most of my experiences this past year with two separate flocks.
After much “chicken watching” and hanging out with the girls (hens) I have come to know one thing is absolutely certain, if you walk by your hen or bend to pick her up and she stiffens her wings and squats I would bet the farm that within a day or 3 she will absolutely lay her first egg. This has been true with every single one of my girls, and yes, even my silkies. Penny is still not squatting. She is holding out!
Now I know this isn’t the answer everyone will want because there is no telling when your hen might start to squat, and almost as soon as she does, she will start laying as I mentioned above, you can kinda get a feel for a time frame by checking the combs and wattles, and of course the age of the hen, but as soon as they squat, it is time to get eggcited because that egg is coming its a sure fire way to know! I always get super happy when I walk by a hen who has been “on a break” due to molt, or cold weather, and she instantly squats, then I know she will be starting back up again and it lets me know I can count on her in the coming days.
I currently have one “on a break” and of course stubborn Penny who I keep hoping will do the little squat squat when I walk by, but nothing yet! So we wait, we wait to see the color of her eggs, but again, my bet is on that pretty mint green color!
Good luck with your hens and your eggventures with your backyard chicken flock!