Great news! The pullets that hatched May 7 are starting to lay eggs! I’ve been supplementing their light in the morning for about at week now, so they get 13 hours of light to encourage them to lay. Hens need at least 12 hours of light to produce eggs. One of the little black hens had been wandering around the barn during the day talking to herself and looking at me like I could do something to help her. This behavior is a good indicator that egg production is imminent.
I set up some nest boxes where the young chickens roost. In each box I placed a wooden nest egg (artificial egg) so the pullets could understand what nests are for. I put the pullet on the nests to get a good look. And today my efforts were rewarded with the first new egg! I’m fairly sure the little black hen laid it.
In the photo above, the new egg (on the left) is shown with a normal size large hen egg. Just a tiny first attempt, but her eggs will quickly increase in size. Sometimes the first eggs may contain only albumen. The shell color is good, dark with some greenish shading. Ameraucanas’ first eggs always have the deepest color. Over time, as the hens lay, the bluish color fades quite a lot.
The hens in the photo below are all the same age and should begin laying soon. The pullet that laid the first egg is the black one toward the back. She is very friendly. I hatched her and her sister from eggs I bought from a breeder in New Jersey and had shipped in the mail. Only three of twelve eggs hatched, giving me two hens and a gorgeous black rooster.