New to BYC, so glad I found you all!
I live in Hawaii, the Big Island. I have 5 four month old silkies that I got when they were 3 weeks old, I think they are all mommas, but not sure. Then we got 2 pullets, unsure of what they are, all black, and about twice the size of the silikes, they are about 6 months old.
Then took in 2 feral hens (these may need to go, they pick on my silkie babies), 2 barred rocks, a beautiful brown hen and a black hen. The lady who had them could no longer care for them. They were all laying, so she says.
So now we have 15. They've all been together now about 2 weeks and still I've only only gotten 2 full size eggs and 1 small one. I know probably only 6 are of laying age at this point. What's weird is I hear the "I've laid and egg" announcement every morning from several of them, but never find any eggs. I've checked the whole area to see if they've chosen another spot other than the nesting boxes. I've got 2 in one of the small coops, and 7 others in the "outside" coop to give them choices.
Husband is calling them slackers, but I'm assuming they just need more time to adjust.
We only have 2 small coops at this point, but are converting a shed for their coop. I've put up a big tarp that has their nesting boxes, an old ladder and a couple of tree branches for roosting, but they all seem to think they need to fit into the tiny coops. 9 of them all go into one that is meant for 4 to 6 and the babies end up sleeping in the 2 nesting boxes in there. Have to clean the poop out everyday as this is the one place someone is laying. It doesn't really getting cold hear at night, 65ish, year round.
Question is how to do I get them to roost in the "outside" coop until we get the shed completed?
Also, have been asked to take in another 20 or so as the lady taking care of them had to move back to the mainland and the family does not want them anymore. I'm assuming with that many, I'll need a separate area and coop for them? I can't imagine how bad the integration would be for that many.
They have about 1/4 acre that they free range on. It is fenced and covered as we have hawks, owls and mongooses. The area gets larger all the time as we clear more of the property. It's an acre of jungle!
Thanks for any insight, help, suggestions to make my little mommas happy.