8 month hens, 2 eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jessipanda, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. jessipanda

    jessipanda Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 14, 2015
    Hello! I've been reading the thread, but I still have some questions regarding my girls. I have 2 mottled polish hens that turned 8 months old today.

    Monday - Friday they are confined to their coop and run. On weekends, they roam freely during the day in our half acre fenced yard. They always have access to crumble feed, water, and crushed oyster shells. Once a week I give them a treat like an apple or banana. Twice a week, I clean out their hanging feeder, let it dry, then refill and return. Their waterer is cleaned out daily. As far as behavior and visual appearance, they are normal, healthy, and beautiful hens. Bright red waddles and very active. Since I raise mealworms for my geckos, they get a small handful of those once or twice a month--they REALLY enjoy that!

    About 3 weeks ago, I was surprised to find their first egg. No idea who laid it. My daughter was so excited! I told her not to expect much...it may look perfect, but may not be perfect. We cleaned it up and did the water test....still looked perfect. Then we went to crack it and see how the insides looked. That first egg was PERFECT. Perfect shell, perfect colored yolk...just perfect. So we fried it up and shared it...we were in heaven.
    My daughter spent the next week constantly checking for more eggs but finding nothing. I told her that it may take them awhile to start laying regularly. Two weeks after the first one, we got another. The second one looked just like the first--perfect. We boiled that one and shared it. Again...heavenly! It's been a week and we haven't gotten anymore.

    Is this normal for beginning layers? Am I doing anything wrong? Is there a way to help them lay more eggs? Is there a way to find out who is laying? I had chickens when I was younger, but they were regular RIR hens that laid about 2 eggs a day eahc...all I did was collect them. Will our hens lay more regularly when they get older?

    Sorry if I'm asking too many questions or repeating other people's questions. Just want to do everything I can to make sure our girls are healthy and I'm not hurting them by doing something wrong.

    Thank you! Any and all advice or criticism is welcome! :)

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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    My polish are my best layers, I have one who likes to hide her eggs in odd places and can't be changed, by eight months they should be giving you at least 3 a week, unless they are bred for show. Have you looked around for ground nests. Make sure you have appealing nest boxes with fake eggs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Can we get a better pic of the gold laced bird, just to verify gender? pretty sure it's a pullet, but I'm getting an inkling of saddle feathers. Probably just the angle, but a profile shot would confirm.

    What are you feeding them? Grower, layer, etc.
     
  4. jessipanda

    jessipanda Out Of The Brooder

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    By 8 months, if she were a roo, it would be quite noticeable. I'm positive they're both hens but I will try to get some better close up pics this week. They're on layer crumble


    I doubt they were bred for show...They're gorgeous to us, but not perfect polish. Not sure how I could verify that though. They're only out of the pen on weekends, but I have checked around for possible nests and found nothing. I haven't put any fake eggs in their nest box, but I will try that. Both eggs we did get from them were in the nest. I'll pick up a fake this weekend from the shop and try that out. Thanks! :)
    How could I make their best more appealing?
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like they are just going to be poor layers, I have had some not start laying until 8-9 months, back in the day that was pretty normal. I got some buff laced polish from my pet chicken last year that are crazy layers, I expected poor to average. Breeding has a lot to do with how well a hen will lay.

    Appealing nest boxes are usually dark and quiet, 12 inch square and about 3 foot off the ground, with a roost in front.
     
  6. jessipanda

    jessipanda Out Of The Brooder

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    That's what I'm afraid of...poor layers. Either way though we will continue to enjoy them. Maybe just add a few more. Coop has enough room and nest boxes for up to 10 hens, just didn't want that many eggs.
    Our nest boxes are dark, quiet, 12in square, 3ft off the ground with a roost in front lol so they can't be the problem. I'll try the fake egg and see if it helps. Thanks again!
     
  7. jessipanda

    jessipanda Out Of The Brooder

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    Just an update on this, even though it's been a few months...

    Our two hens turned a year old in Feb and started laying at least a dozen eggs a week. Guessing it was just from the chilly weather that put them off, even though we live in central florida. They are now wonderful layers giving us between 2-4 eggs a day. I'm still surprised they're laying white eggs, but they're so perfect and delicious! Nice hard shells, with beautiful dark yolks! Ours girls are finally more than just pets!! Lol

    One thing I can't seem to stop is their choice of laying spot...they've been laying in the roost. Not far for the eggs to fall, but still have had one crack. I'm afraid to put anything under the roost because I don't want to encourage this behavior. I have one of the 3 nests that has a couple golf balls in it and someone laid there once, but nothing since. Should I try fake eggs instead and see if that helps? Or perhaps something other than hay? They're 12"x12" boxes and are nice and dark. Not sure what else I could try.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    If they are laying from the roosts there's a problem, either they can't control it or they don't feel like there's somewhere else to lay. I would try different bedding and ceramic eggs to see if that helps.
     
  9. jessipanda

    jessipanda Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay. I'm gonna try to get some pics of the coop once the rain stops. Maybe I can get some suggestions as to why they might not like the nests. As for trying a different material, what would you suggest? Again, currently using hay. And I'll see if my local shop has any ceramic eggs. Thanks
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I use shavings, sometimes shavings and hay combined. Pictures would help to see if anything looks odd. Hopefully it stops raining for you.
     

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