When a pet rooster wears a diaper indoors, you only have to worry about those little pellets. But what about a hen? And eggs? How do you know when she's about to lay her first egg so you can get her "undressed" and direct her to the nesting box?
I put the question to the folks at Backyard Chickens, and "Azygous" filled me in!
"It's easy to tell when a hen needs to lay an egg. She will usually get very vocal (not the egg song), and she will seem to have a sense of urgency. She may act distracted and pace back and forth while she scolds and chatters. Those are usually the obvious ones. Yours may be more discrete.
"Most hens will prefer to lay at certain times of the day, and you'll get to know when that is for your hen."
Makes perfect sense! Laying an egg takes some work and some time. So here's the plan: I'll just watch them, figure out how to recognize when it is about to happen, and let them into the nesting house. Soon I'll have figured out when they normally lay and will be able to get them into their nesting area before they have to tell me, "It's time." I'm pretty easy to train, so they shouldn't have much trouble!
Here's a video from Loriel at Naturally Loriel http://www.naturallyloriel.com/about-me/