Hi there - three days ago I was given five lovely year-old laying hens. We prepared as well as we could for them. But I really know NOTHING about birds! We became the guardians of Mama, a noisy Rhode Island Red, two Brahmas (those birds are SMART!) and two silver-lace Wyandottes. We are naming them as they show their personalities; there's Mama, and one of the Brahmas is Deenie, short for Houdini, because in one day she figured out how to get under a weak spot in our fencing, and I have seen her testing the fence! Wow - not even I am that meticulous . . . All my hens are wonderful and they have added tremendously to our household.
They are laying - 9 eggs in 4 days - and I'm pretty sure that's in spite of being stressed out. They moved away from many sisters, and from their beloved rooster, whom I think they miss, though I can't say why I think that. They moved into a completely different coop. Their caregivers are different. To top it off, here in the Northeast there's an unusually hot spell - temps around 90 (no laughing, Texas . . :-) and they're managing that all right. Still, I don't even know what to expect them to do when they're laying eggs! Is panting and a scratchy gargly bawk normal when they sit on the nest? I keep worrying I'll miss signs of illness and I'd rather catch it sooner.
Oh well - fuss fuss. Any and all support would be welcome! And thanks for being such a great community.
Martha in New York State