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Marans (I think) just got them. Will they ever lay eggs this winter?

post #1 of 2
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Most look to be 1 to 2 years old. Some of them have the genetic defects that keep them from being true maran like the white earlobes and white beak end. I just got them for free from a guy who had a lot of hens and let them free range and they seem healthy but are thin and have been eating the food and water constantly since I got them two days ago. They have all been sneezing though which I thought was weird. 

 

He did not know whether they were laying or not. Do you think they will lay this winter or at all now that they are older? One of the hen vents looked like it was still fertile but there was a yellow color around the vent.. could this be a disease

 

I'm feeding them probiotics which I hope will help and they don't look like they are moulting so I am not sure what to think about these hens I just got. They eat A LOT of the all flock nutrena feed I have and are very curious, but they are terrified of humans.. Since I don't know any history about them, a first time hen owner, and its getting to be wintertime now, I'm nervous.

post #2 of 2
They will halt to molt, whether they have done it yet or not I can't tell, if they look fresh they probably molted already, if they look ratty they probably haven't, they sound like they need some good food, not sure if the guy was actually feeding them or he just let them try to get their own, and time to recover, hopefully the sneezing goes away otherwise they might have a respiratory disease and require treatment, watch for runny noses and eyes and rattling, coughing and lethargy.

They probably won't lay again until after the beginning of the year, marans aren't known for their laying abilities, but for egg color, so most are poor layers, mine sometimes wouldn't start laying again until March or April.

Hens that are in lay will have bright red combs, otherwise they shrivel and turn pink when not in lay.

My best advice is to get some good quality food into them, let them adjust and recover, and don't expect too much out of them. Most chickens are a bit skiddish, especially when they don't know you or where they are. Good luck.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › Marans (I think) just got them. Will they ever lay eggs this winter?