First the pair will show signs of bonding. The male will “feed” the hen by regurgitating food into her mouth. They will preen each other.
When mating, the male will step up on the hen’s back and tuck his tail under hers. He will wrap one wing around the hen.
Some signs of getting ready to lay eggs are shredding the newspaper at the bottom of the cage, or hiding under the newspaper. If there is a nest box set up, about 8 to 12 days after copulation the egg laying will begin. The hen will start to stay in her nest most of the time about 2 days before laying. Her abdomen near her vent will protrude noticeably (except in heavily feathered English birds). When she does come out of the nest box, she will have huge poops, about 10 times the norm.