Getting ready to start laying

I have never posted so infrequently but there really hasn’t been much to post about recently and the weather has been awful.

It seems to swing between being really wet or really cold. We have had weeks of rain and now a week of freezing temperatures is forecast. I will be going out first thing every morning with water for the girls.

Despite the awful weather I think Shadow is getting ready to start laying soon. Her voice has changed and she is very vocal at the moment. Both Sugar and Shadow have been scratching and pecking in the nest boxes and they both have red faces and combs.

I have been hovering my hand over their backs to see if they will squat which is always a sign that they are getting near to starting to lay. Neither girls were squatting until a few days ago when Shadow started to squat for me.

I have been trying to get a photo but keep missing it. I hold the camera in one hand and touch Shadow’s back with the other then click. Each time the squat is so brief that by the time I have clicked Shadow has raised up again and then bounces out of the way.

Shadow and Sugar are fine for me to get close to them and take close up photos but Shadow doesn’t appreciate me touching her.

Just missed the squat
Lovely red face and comb
Sugar also has a red face and comb

I think that Shadow may be just a bit older than Sugar as her voice is more mature. When we first had these two Sugar was always the first into everything and Shadow would follow her everywhere.

These days they are more independent. They have little spats between the two of them. They run at each other with chests out. Then just recently at bedtime I first noticed that they weren’t always perched together and then noticed that shadow would give Sugar a peck at times during the bedtime line up.

There is no doubt that Shadow has become the top girl of these two. The pecking order always has to be established but it is surprising when such a tight little pair begin to do this. They still spend a lot of time together but they are happy to be apart too. Our youngest girls are growing up.

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10 Responses to Getting ready to start laying

  1. Sophie says:

    Aw they’re beautiful! Hope Shadow lays you an egg very soon. Bubble doesn’t look anywhere near at 9 months old but I think silkied seramas are slower to mature xx

    • Carol says:

      I think these girls are eight months now but seramas in general lay late and silkied later still as you say. My previous silkie girls were around ten months I think. xx

  2. marion says:

    Fine looking girls.

  3. Jenny says:

    Mine are either just starting or just gearing up too. The first of my Dutch bantams, Snap, started last week, and was yesterday joined by her sister Pop. My Campine bantam Camilla is getting very vocal so I doubt she’ll be long. Shirley the Plymouth Rock bantam has been laying every few days for weeks, but only once managed a shell that didn’t break 🙁

    Hope you and your girls are staying cosy and that they provide you with some breakfasts soon.

    • Carol says:

      That’s great that you are getting some eggs already. Snap and Pop, do you also have a crackle? Shame about the broken egg shells. I dread Marmite starting to lay as I am sure she will be the same as she was last year with soft shells.

      I worry about the cold but the flock have remained happy and active so they seem to be managing it fine. I did give them warm mash today and probably will do a few times through the cold spell.

  4. Jenny says:

    Yes I do also have a Crackle 😆 I couldn’t tell the difference between the three of them when they arrived but after a few moults they’ve changed colour enough that I now can.

    People say the cold doesn’t really bother them, but mine were definitely a bit sulky today with a strong wind and the temperature not passing 0.

    • Carol says:

      I thought you must have a Crackle. I know what you mean about the gradual change after moults. Some of my girls have changed so much over time.

      I have worried about the very cold weather at the moment but am keeping a close eye on them and they don’t seem bothered. They were having a dust bath today which made me shudder at the thought of the cold soil going over them but they seemed to be unfazed by it. I am sure they would prefer better weather but they seem to managing it better than I would expect them to.

  5. david says:

    They do seem to cope with adverse weather better than we’d think. Both youngest girls look ready to lay; day length helps and the weather seems not to delay them. I’ve been getting eggs with blood for several days now and we’re up to about 10 or 12 each day, even though snow is bleaching in through the sides of the run. I always feeel that they are snug if they have plenty of clean bedding, but I think we as owners worry more than any concern they would show! BTW, Cotton, at 8 and having laid 8 eggs, is now broody again. I’ve been bringing in the drinkers at night, as it was taking so long to de-ice them in the mornings!

    • Carol says:

      I always worry but the girls are active and happy so that’s great and as you say about the bedding I feel the same and have topped it up to a higher level. Ebony has been sitting in the nest box for short spells today so I think she too is getting ready to lay.

      Cotton, well what can we say!

      I empty the drinkers when I lock them up as it’s easier to go out first thing and just fill them up. The door is opening at half past seven at the moment so I make sure that I go out a bit before that and fill the drinkers. Both ways we do it is by far easier than defrosting. It is supposed to be warming up a bit from the weekend, thank goodness.

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