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Are my hens ready or will they wait until next spring to lay, since its going on November

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SamarasChickens, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. SamarasChickens

    SamarasChickens New Egg

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    I have two buff Orphingtons and 2 New Hampshire reds. I am wondering if my hens are laying age. And if so how can I make their transition into laying a a good one, because I have a nesting box but when i look in it it looks like they have used the bathroom in it. How do i stop this..does the goofball thing really work? Also is it okay to use pine shaving in their nesting box?

    Thank you (Chicken mom of Princess Peach, Kansas, Zelda and Daisy)
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello! Pretty hens! Hens usually start laying at anywhere from 17 to 25 weeks. I'm not sure how old your girls are, but they do look mature enough. One sure sign that laying will begin in about a week or so is the squat. When you reach out to the girls to pet them, they will do this really hard squatting pose.

    Here's what I would suggest. If they're not squatting yet, take out the nesting box and wait until they start squatting to put it back in. See, if the nest box is in there too early, sometimes the young hens like to sleep in it, thus pooping in it. Bad habit.

    So if you re-introduce that nesting box when they feel ready to lay, then they'll get the hint and root around in there, showing interest in the nest box, and one day, TA-DAAAAH! You'll find an egg there.

    And pine shavings are just fine for the nesting box. I've never used fake eggs or golf balls, but I'm sure it won't hurt if you want to. Probably a good idea.

    Take care and don't forget to post a pic of your first egg! It's so exciting!
    Sharon
     
  3. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also if they don't get enough daylight, they will not produce an egg. It helps if you have a light in your coop. They need 10+ hours of daylight a day.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    They will still lay in winter, it might take a bit longer for them to start up. You won't see maximum production until spring though.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Are they roosting(sleeping) in the nests?
    That's usually how nests get poops in them....you need to train your birds to roost on the roosts and lay in the nests.

    Fake eggs or golf balls can help, one of my pullets this year didn't like them tho.

    Without at least 12-14 hours of light a day they will probably not lay until spring...even if you started supplemental lighting now it can take some time to get the light to the reight level(should add light slowly) and more time for it to have an effect.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Make sure that your roost is higher than the nest box. Before they start laying, I would block off the nest boxes for a week or two to stop them from sleeping in there. Being new pullets, they will probably lay well the first winter, but many of us put a small light on a timer inside the coop for a couple of hours in the morning (say 5 or 6 AM) to give them 12 hours of daylight total. Some don't like to do that, prefer to let them have a break during the low light days of winter, but many of us do this. I have always had one golf ball in each nest box, and they lay well in there. Sometimes the new girls will lay in the floor of the coop before they get the hang of the nest boxes.
     

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