Couple of Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by anya40, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. anya40

    anya40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2007
    Greenfield, IL
    I'm sure these have been answered before, but I can't find them in the boards. First, my hens are just now a year old. Lately I have seen the small blood spots. One egg a few weeks ago was so bloody inside that it grossed me out. What makes this happen and is there anything I can do about it?
    Second, how old is too old for hens? I cannot imagine getting rid of my girls, but I sell my eggs and don't want inferior quality.
    Third, getting new chicks this week. At what age can I mix them with my older girls?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Oz Chook

    Oz Chook Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 11, 2007
    Western Australia
    I can't help you with the eggs but hopefully with the mixing.

    My 2 hens were about 5 - 7 years old when I introduced my 6 week old chicks, there were 3 babies. Being a newbie at the time, I only left the babies out with the older ones during the day and kept them apart at night for the first month. I watched them pretty close for the first few hours, the babies tended to stay very close together, even though they were all different breeds, you would have thought they were all all from the same egg!

    There wasn't too many squabbles and establishing the pecking order wasn't too bad. It wasn't too long though and the older ones both passed away.

    That was when those babies were 5 months old. One ended up being a rooster so he went off to a friends farm (I can't have roos). So that leave 2 month olds.

    I brought home 6 more 8 week old babies. Since it was now summertime and I was a lot braver about having babies, I left the babies with the older ones day and night straight away, but still going aoutside A LOT to keep an eye on them and they have all been fine (apart from the fact that I'm still waiting on an egg, but that's a whole other thread hahaha)

    So hopefully, it all works ok for you too! [​IMG]
     
  3. bills

    bills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    I can't help with the bloody egg question either I'm afraid, but I'm certain somebody will have an answer. It sounds like a health issue rather than a production issue.
    Could they be fertile eggs? Do you have a rooster??

    As far as age of hens. From what I understand the production may fall off after "laying" for a year. You can force a molt, or let it occur naturally, although now we are coming into spring, with it's longer daylight hours, that might not happen soon. The second year of laying the production will slow down, but apparently the eggs are often much larger. I suppose you have a compromise here if you are into egg sales, You could get more money for the larger eggs, just fewer of them.

    Many egg producers will get all new layers, to maintain the high production, after their birds have layed for a year. At this point the older birds would likely be around 17-18 months old, allowing that they first started producing eggs at 20-22 weeks. Your birds should produce good for at least another 4-5 months, allowing that they are just a year old now.

    Good luck with your bloody egg issue, I can imagine that would effect egg sales..:eek:
     
  4. anya40

    anya40 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2007
    Greenfield, IL
    Thanks for the responses. I have a small coop that I will put inside the big coop. My coop is actually a very large corner of the barn that is all fenced in. Maybe that will get the girls used to the babies quicker.
     

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