11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
Yorkshire, Ohio
I recently purchased 8 Rhode Island Red Hens and 1 rooster, all about 20 weeks old. I modified a section of my barn to accomidate them. Are there any major things that I should avoid doing or things I need to make sure I do to keep them healthy, happy, and laying eggs? They have not laid any eggs yet. I am providing them w/ 14 hours/day of light, but no eggs. Can I expect eggs anytime soon?
the main things to keep them healthy are-a good feed, worming about once a month (maybe.. every other month? depending on the wormer). keep fresh water. seperate sick fowl from the others at first sign of a illness. if introducing new birds. keep them seperate for a month. and.. have fun?. hens usually dont lay until 5 months. some later. some earlier. depends on the breed. individual hen. and time of year. most lay spring-sumer/fall. and quit for the winter. some lay all year around

Do you have straw or hay for them? Are they free ranging? If not, do you have an area for them to dust bathe? feeders, waterers, nesting boxes, roost, ladders..... I need to know more of what you already have to know what to advise you to get.
I have a shallow layer of straw on the floor. I have an 8 foot long roost about a foot off the ground. They are not able to free range yet. That will be my next project. I have a metal feeder handing just below beak level, same for waterer. My nesting box is tiered. There are four openings that the chickens can enter to access the lower or the upper nest. The nesting box is off the ground about 18 inches with a ladder to get into it. I'm not sure what you mean by "an area to dust bathe."
don't stress them keep them feed regularly and rir are a little slow to work. mine are about a month older than urs and only 1 is laying so far. be patient and good luck!
That is a really nice set up for them. Chickens like to dust bathe-dig in the dirst and throw it all over themselves. A large container with some dirt and sand, ashes, etc., kind of like a childs sandbox. Wait until you see it. One of the funniest things they do.
I would guess another month or so and you should have eggs

Just wanted to say also that the straw is ok to have on the floor, but pine shavings are much much easyer to clean if you put a good few inches you can just clean off the top layer of shavings when you need to clean.... Just a tip (works good for me)

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