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Brand new backyard chicken mama here!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PrepperPenny, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. PrepperPenny

    PrepperPenny Just Hatched

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    Dec 22, 2012
    Lacey, WA
    Hi, everyone! I'm Penny from Washington state. First off, this is a wonderful site with great information. I've read so many posts and threads and have gained so much information. But I do have a question.

    I got my 3 girls on Wednesday. It is now Sunday. They are each about 7 months old, and the breeder assured me they were already laying. However, not yet here. I know the move disrupts them. I've read and tried all the things in a feed titled "How Long Can They Hold It." I have a coop with a 12''x4' run. I have a 2 nests in the coop and one outside in the covered run.

    We are getting a lot of rain, which is normal for us here. I have their area completely covered to shield them from the rain. They are getting 13 hours of light (mix of natural and artificial), there is a heat lamp in the coop because temps get to and around freezing at night. They don't appear to be nervous.

    As I understand the "egg making' process (the light a gland in the eye and all), it seems to me that developing eggs is not something the hens can decide to make or not. If I've done everything right, and they have made eggs, could they hold them in without expelling them for a week or more?

    Please, excuse if this is a really crazy question. I've never had chickens before. This is all so new to me. But I have done so much study and research, this makes me worry that they could become ill or injured or something like that.

    I have a real, store-bought egg in both the inside coop and in their run.

    Thank you all so much for helping me.

    Blessings and Merry Christmas!

    Penny
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Frequently 'new' hens will lay an initial one or two eggs. Those are the ones that were already underway on the 'assembly line'. Because of the stress incurred from a change in environment they may then take a break from egg laying. How rapidly they resume laying will depend upon how soon they really feel at home and hormonal levels level out. You are doing all the right things. Be patient new hen mom. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Give them a week or so to settle in and they'll start laying again. They are stressed from the move, plus it's winter. They aren't "holding them in", they're just not producing eggs at the moment. Once they settle in and feel at home I'm sure they'll pick right up. I don't know that I'd leave the store bought eggs laying around in case they get the idea to start eating them. If one gets broken they'll eat it right up and they'll know what to do next time they see an egg!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi , welcome! Some chickens will lay at 7 months. But if they are laying age at the beginning of the winter, they may not lay until spring. Alot of chickens take a break in the winter and a break about mid summer. And also while molting.

    If one were ill with an egg stuck inside, they would certainly look sick enough for you to notice. So I hope you're not going to worry too much. And store eggs go bad. I use golf balls, and I get them nice a dirt-stained first. Just don't come back the next day and try to eat one.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    At 7 months old your new girls don't need the heat and it may be one more thing their not used to. I have 4 leghorns right now and their doing fine with the temps dropping into the 20's at night but the eggs have dropped off a little.
    It seems like whenever I have gotten new girls it takes them awhile to settle in, some do it in a week some take a month. All you can do is wait as long as their healthy and active it's just a waiting game.
     
    1 person likes this.

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