Do I need to do any preparations?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by goatkeepers, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Mooresville, NC
    Our 3 RIR hens will be 4 months old on the 19th of July (so a little less than 3 more weeks) and I was wondering if I need to prepare for them to start laying? Should I put a gold ball into the nesting boxes? Right now there is pine shavings as bedding. Does it need to be straw? Or hay? Or something else? I know to give them oyster shells once they start laying and that I need to switch their feed. Am I missing anything? Thanks for the help! [​IMG] I am so ready for fresh eggs! [​IMG]
     
  2. FLchook

    FLchook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine prefer hay in thier boxes...not sure if its just mine, or normal for all. They will lay thier eggs in the bushes before using a box with shavings in them.[​IMG]

    Putting a fake egg, or golf ball in it is always a good idea too. As for when they will lay, I think RIR tend to start early, but cant remember how early. There are a couple of signs to look for that will give you hints...thier faces will turn red, and they will develope thier bloomers. Which are soft fluffy feathers on thier rear ends down to thier legs. They have a technical name, but I dont have a clue what it is [​IMG]

    Good luck, and hope you get your eggs soon!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all that info, FLchook! I will look at them a little more closely tomorrow morning! [​IMG]
     
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Nice dry pine shavings work fine, as well as straw.... keeping a close eye on the girls is key to raising a laying flock that provides alot of good fresh eggs.

    20 weeks is a good time frame for the onset of lay. Collect eggs often as many times a day as is possible.

    It is real important to collect the broken eggs or soft shelled eggs that are layed from time to time by pullets or just a hen making a mistake. They are living beings and are going to make some mistakes. Before the girls discover they are good food.... breaking a egg eater, or I prefer to call them egg suckers, is more work than it is to keep it from happening in the beginning by collecting eggs often, and keeping the coop clean and safe.

    bigzio
     
  5. rebeccakeesee

    rebeccakeesee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read on here that when you reach to pet a hen on the back and she squts a bit, Then you know she is getting close.( I have tried this and believe it to be true.) Also if you feel brave take a look at her tushie and it should be rosie.
    But dont get to eggcited cause the more you wait the longer it takes. I have a new EE hen. An amazing rumpless girl. So the wait is on for my first little colored egg....:[​IMG]
    Mine jump in their nesting boxes as if they always knew they were susposed to. I have Hay in mine Thick on the bottom and cut a bit to help it be more free moving.
    By the way if you think their real close it may be a good idea to start switching that food over to some laying pellets or mash. You wanna be able to keep the first egg as a trophy( well I would) So they need to start getting stocked up on on all those egg making goods.
    Good Luck....
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2008
  6. goatkeepers

    goatkeepers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How would you be able to keep that egg? Just freeze it? I hadn't thought of that. [​IMG] Hubby's gonna looove me! [​IMG]

    Thanks, I'll finish up this bag and then switch them to layer feed. [​IMG]
     
  7. TheMomma

    TheMomma Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2008
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    Morning All! I need advice! Ok, so now I've got a question for the more experienced chicken peeps!?! Out of my nine chicks, brought home in May, one is definately a roo! I don't mind that, he's gorgeous, but now what do I dooo with my rooo??? Do I have to keep him away from all the hens if I want unfertilized eggs? Do they constantly "do it"[​IMG] (sorry, haha) so that's all I would get is fertilized eggs? I don't want to get rid of the roo, he's just learned to crow the other day, sounded like a wounded animal out there, the dogs went crazy! But I loved it! They are all free range, and they go into their little coop at night. I'd hate to cage him, when all the girls are having a great time in the yard. Help! & Thanks for all advice! [​IMG]
     
  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:If you didn't know an egg was fertilized you couldn't tell it without knowing what to look for. They don't taste any different than a not ferilized egg. You won't crack open eggs and have baby chicks in there. You have to actively incubate an egg for 36 hours for the cell division to begin and become something you can see with the naked eye. Collect your eggs daily and put them in the fridge.

    Yes, they do it all the time. Worse than rabbits sometimes.

    It is no big deal. If you have too few hens or he chooses a favorite hen you may start to see some feather loss on her back where he mounts. You can put a saddle on your hens to help prevent the wear and tear.


    Quote:He is programmed, hardwired by nature, to protect his hens. he knows his job and will it very well if you give him the chance. There is no need to pen him up.
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:I would NOT wait and finish this bag , MIX the ramainder of this bag with the laying pellets , and then go straight laying pellets .....

    YOU DO NOT want your 1st. eggs coming out paper thin . SO , do not mix the oyster shells in with their food , just put a bowl out and let them free eat it . I DO NOT give alot of oyster shells for scared to create crop blockage from to much calcium .

    I feed all of mine early morning ,
    I go give them treats about mid morning or mid afternoon . leftovers like rice , bread , Green veggies ..... BUT , late afternoon , Like 4:30 - 5:00 , they get the FEED AGAIN before leading them all into the coop for the night ....
    THEY have only water in the coop , NO FOOD . they free eat all day in the RUN ONLY . I might need to make provisions of that during winter months . Fortunately , WE do not get really cold winters .
    Hubby started enlarging our RUN AREA yesterday . ITS NOW 12x20 and enlarging it another 10 ft. .... 12 x30 . NO , MAKE THAT 12 x32 LOL
    He was given 200 ft of fencing and he has all the extra needed post and wire , SO WE DECIDED , GO FOR IT . MORE ROOM the better .
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  10. TheMomma

    TheMomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks MissPrissy! This should be interesting!
     

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