Clucking Hen, is she crazy or ready do lay?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have 3 hens, not sure what kind. Got them at Easter time, and not a single egg. They have a hen house in enclosed area about 10 X 15 feet. Food and water is always available. I have even put grass clippings around in the hopes that they would make a nest, but nothing. This morning and all throughout the day on hen has been clucking like crazy, but no egg. is she getting ready to lay, or is she going crazy. Is there any way to tell if she is ready to lay?
-- Alanda Smith (email@example.com), September 30, 2001
Alanda, The combs on top of their heads get dark red when they are getting ready to lay. Also, I always thought their feathers looked bright and pretty just before they begin their laying cycle. She probably is just a little confused about what is happening to her. She will settle down and start laying soon. Winona
-- Winona in MO (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 30, 2001.
Alanda, some breeds just don't like laying on the ground. Try putting in couple of nesting boxes into the hen house filled with straw or hay. Be sure they are in a dark location (the gals like thier privacy!!).
-- Karen (email@example.com), September 30, 2001.
Alanda, I use the Booda Loo large cat litter boxes for nest boxes. I toss in Coastal hay and the hens rearrange it to their liking. All the nest boxes sit on the ground, since that's where hens normally lay.
Your hen will lay when she's ready, but if you're impatient, the idea I've heard about that seems to have the most success is to put several golf balls in the nest boxes. Silly birds don't know the difference between the balls and eggs, and the fake eggs will entice the hens.
-- ~Rogo (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 01, 2001.
Save yourself some money and do what I do: I use five gallon buckets on their side on the ground for nest boxes. You need 1 box per five hens. You can get them free from any store or contractor or building site. I put (push with my foot, actually) some straw in the bottom of the bucket and put an old golf ball in each box--that teaches them not to peck and eat them and tells them where to lay and will kill any snake that tries to eat them. Yes, you are right they cluck very loudly when about to lay (wouldn't you?). Best of luck. Tell us the good news when it happens.
-- Ann Markson (email@example.com), October 01, 2001.