chickens are going to start laying soon and I am confused-please advise.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by katharine, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. katharine

    katharine Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2007
    We have two pet chickens. They are in a homemade coop with a sort of second floor. They like to go up into it. we want to make it a nesting area too. Can we just divide it up by a 2' x 4'? And then put straw or hay in half? Should we divide the nest area in half too?


    Also, will they just keep laying eggs every day (or so) and just keep wondering where the eggs go and why they don't have any chicks? Will they now be broody until they are too old to lay? These chicken are pets. We like to play with them. We let them out at least once a day for cuddles and free play. Will this change? Will they not be the chickens we know and love?

    We had chicken before but they we pretty much wild. All we did was feed them and eat the eggs IF we could find them. This is very different for us.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  2. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    Cadiz Ky
    Well first the nest boxes should be lower than the roost or they will sleep in them which is not a good idea. With only two girls one nest box will be enough. A nice 12" x 12" box will work just fine and I would keep it on the lower level with a couple of fake eggs in it to give them an idea of where to lay.
    Unless one of your girls is broody they won't miss their eggs they'll just lay them and go on to other things. Depending on the breed and luck of the draw your girls may never go broody. laying usually mellows chickens out so they shouldn't change too much, some chickens like to be touched some don,t my girls haven't changed in that respect just because of laying.
    As far as how often they might lay it depends on what breed of chickens you have. Some lay 6-7 a week some 2 or 3. If you post what breeds you have someone can give you an idea of what you may expect. the first year will be their best and then start slowing down with age.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  3. Manningjw

    Manningjw Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    A single, small nest box is sufficient for 2 hens. In fact I would not put in more than 1, because the other will be vacant and never used with less than 4-5 hens. Roughly 12"x12"x16" in size is fine, adjust to the size of your hen. Should be able to walk into it and turn around but not much else. I like to make nest boxes external facing into the coop so you can access them from outside the coop, and the hens can access them from within the coop if that makes sense.

    Your chickens behavior will not change much and you can still spend as much time with them as you do now. The only big change is that you will hear the egg song more often either before after or during the laying process depending on your chicken's personality. Whether or not they go broody depends entirely on the breed. Broody means they stop laying eggs and only sit on the nest in an effort to hatch eggs. They aren't smart enough to realize they have laid an egg everyday but do not have chicks.

    Highly productive breeds will lay almost everyday for the first year if exposed to enough light/food/water.
     

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