brand new to BYC and to chickens have many questions!

cottonwood23

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2016
72
0
39
Appling, Georgia
Me and my wife are brand new to chickens. We know a little but nothing more than basic knowledge. We bought several chickens in hopes of getting eggs but the process seems to be more in depth than we originally thought. We have 6 hens and 1 rooster in all. We have 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 RIR that may have some bantam mixture but is an Easter egger, 1 barred rock hen and one barred rock rooster. All were said to be around 6 months old when we got them about 3 weeks ago. We also have 3 EE that are 4 months old. We have read a lot and tried to set everything up accordingly. The 6 month old EE has layed a few eggs prior to us getting her but none of the others have layed their first egg. We feed the 6month olds laying mash with a 16% protein from a local feed store with occasional scratch grain and greens. we tried dumor layer pellets from TSC but they wouldn't hardly touch them. The 4 months old will eat anything really but heard grower or raiser is best. the 4mon old are in a separate coop then the others. We figured we would have our first egg by now even from at least the one that has layed before but haven't got the first egg. We know its winter but has been fairly mild so far and we heard RIR and BR would lay year round just less in the winter. Wondering if there was anything we are doing wrong or if there is anything we could do to make them want to lay their first eggs or start laying again. Also we know the smaller will not lay for a few months. We may be just a little excited and impatient. Any help would be awesome!!
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
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Hi and welcome to BYC- glad that you have joined us. Daylight is the main issue affecting egg production and not temperature. Considering their youth and fewer daylight hours, I'd suggest continuing with what you're doing and be a little patient - that's the tough bit, I know.

All the best

Ct
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
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Northern Colorado
Hi and welcome to BYC- glad that you have joined us. Daylight is the main issue affecting egg production and not temperature. Considering their youth and fewer daylight hours, I'd suggest continuing with what you're doing and be a little patient - that's the tough bit, I know.

All the best

Ct

X2 especially about being patient being the hard part.

It seems like a move disrupts them and then the short days can keep them from starting back up.
It has been an odd year. My young ones that were laying in August quit altogether this winter as well.
The days are starting to get longer a little at a time so hang in there.

OH and
welcome-byc.gif
 
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cottonwood23

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2016
72
0
39
Appling, Georgia
Ok well thanks for the reply and yes we have heard the shorter days also play a role in the delayed egg laying and all. I believe we will have eggs soon but may have to be patient. Is their any way to know when they are about to start laying?
 
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cottonwood23

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2016
72
0
39
Appling, Georgia
Well we have 2 of the three that keep laying on the ground .They also keep going into the nesting boxes and doing circles but them come back out and jump down and then repeat.. Also the rooster keeps mounting the hens more frequently as well. Does that seem normal?
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,540
502
NW Oregon
Well we have 2 of the three that keep laying on the ground .They also keep going into the nesting boxes and doing circles but them come back out and jump down and then repeat.. Also the rooster keeps mounting the hens more frequently as well. Does that seem normal?

Sounds like things are picking up...your girls are becoming more interested in squatting for the rooster as their hormonal cycles are starting to kick in again after the move and lengthening daylight.

As to laying on the ground...yes that will happen unless you train them to lay in the nest boxes. Some hens just naturally go there while others need some encouragement.

With that many hens, you should have at least 2 good boxes with current layers, possibly 3 with more layers coming, so nobody has to wait their turn as the less dominant ones will get pushed out. That's when they lay in the yard or run.

Have you placed some "dummy" eggs in the nest boxes? Made sure there is nice, deep bedding for them, and a spot that is relatively quiet and uninterrupted?

Sometimes you have to confine them to the coop/run for a few days until they get in the habit of laying in the nest boxes; otherwise, it can be a daily Easter egg hunt.

LofMc
 

cottonwood23

In the Brooder
Jan 17, 2016
72
0
39
Appling, Georgia
Sounds like things are picking up...your girls are becoming more interested in squatting for the rooster as their hormonal cycles are starting to kick in again after the move and lengthening daylight.

As to laying on the ground...yes that will happen unless you train them to lay in the nest boxes. Some hens just naturally go there while others need some encouragement.

With that many hens, you should have at least 2 good boxes with current layers, possibly 3 with more layers coming, so nobody has to wait their turn as the less dominant ones will get pushed out. That's when they lay in the yard or run.

Have you placed some "dummy" eggs in the nest boxes? Made sure there is nice, deep bedding for them, and a spot that is relatively quiet and uninterrupted?

Sometimes you have to confine them to the coop/run for a few days until they get in the habit of laying in the nest boxes; otherwise, it can be a daily Easter egg hunt.

LofMc


Yes see we built the coop with a "hen house" that is elevated and closed in with good ventilation..for now it has 4 good size nesting boxes that have wood shavings in them.. And recently they have been going in and out of the boxes but doesnt quite seem fully dedicated to them.. None have layed any eggs yet anywhere.. And we have heard of the fake egg trick but havent tried that yet but will get that asap
 

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