In this age of YouTube videos, we are all experts. So I know that my pullets are getting quite close to laying. Their combs and wattles are more pronounced. Everything about their heads—combs, wattles, and faces—is getting to be a deep red. They are becoming more settled and mature and do not freak out overly when I touch them.
What I do not see is the squatting behaviour. Apparently, when you place your hand on the back of hens ready to lay, they are supposed to do a characteristic I-must-be-mating squat. This I have not seen. Everytime I place my hand on any of them, all I get is an unhappy squawk.
The lady at the farm said it would be December before I got my first egg. So having just a few weeks left, this morning I did all the needful . . . I think.
All these days, I had the nesting area boarded off, to prevent my girls from developing the bad practice of settling down there at night time, not to mention the pain of having more area to clean poop off of. The photo below shows you what it looked like from their perspective.
From the outside, the boards look like this.
This morning, I removed the boards and placed trays with wood shavings in the nesting area. The two used golf balls that I got from an OP shop, for 50 cents a piece, will hopefully serve as visual cues.
I plan on putting the boards back in place in the evenings, at least for a few weeks, so they understand that the nesting boxes are still not for sleeping. Hopefully, they do not lay their eggs at dawn or before I remove the board. I am hoping for 9-5 office girls, and not early-morning shift workers, let’s see.