Eggs, Broodiness, Chicks, Etc.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Scott, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. Scott

    Scott Ozark Bantams

    Apr 11, 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    Alright, I have a few questions about laying behavior for those of you who have more experience with chickens than myself. To begin with, I have a small flock of 11 chickens (6 cochins, 5 brahmas). They are currently four months old.

    By the time that most of my hens are of laying age (presumably 24 weeks), it will be early September. Under normal circumstances (i.e. I won't be using artificial lighting), isn't this about the time that egg laying activity begins to slow down anyway? And as such, can I even expect my hens to lay this year?

    If they will start laying this year, can I expect them to go broody at such a late point in the season? In other words, is broodiness season-dependent? And keep in mind, I do have cochins which are known for their tendecy to broodiness. If they do go broody in the Fall, is it advisable to let them hatch and rear chicks so late in the season (and at such a young age). Will they even attempt it? Will I have to intervene to stop them from attempting it? Presuming that my birds do go broody when they come into lay, are chicks born in the Fall less vigorous than those born in the Spring? If my birds go broody this Fall, would it be best to wait until the following Spring to allow them to rear chicks given the age of my hens (or for reasons of chick health, vigor, and viablity)?

    And lastly, I've read that chickens usually molt in late summer/early fall. Is this true of chickens that are under a year old? It seems strange that birds under a year old would expend the energy to replace their feathers when those feathers are relatively new anyway. What I am getting at is this: should I expect my birds to molt this Fall given they are so young?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light on some of these questions for me.

    - Scott
     
  2. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    whew! scott, i don't know the answers to all that, i am fairly new to the chicken thing to. but if you want another opinion there is a lady named terry her site is www.hencam.com she loves to talk about chickens. you can even watch her chickens in the yard and in the hen house. really neat site, i emailed her and she sometimes responds within a hour. but probably not this late.
    good luck on finding your answers i will check back to see what people say, since i am new to this too.
     
  3. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    hey you changed your avatar! all the other ladies will be sad!
     
  4. Scott

    Scott Ozark Bantams

    Apr 11, 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    Quote:Wendy,

    I'm checking out that site now. Very cool. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'd never seen it before. If no one is able to answer my questions here, I may send an email to the hencam woman.

    - Scott

    BTW, I should have known better than to upload that avatar Hehe!
     
  5. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    Wendy,

    I'm checking out that site now. Very cool. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I'd never seen it before. If no one is able to answer my questions here, I may send an email to the hencam woman.

    - Scott

    BTW, I should have known better than to upload that avatar Hehe!

    [​IMG] to cute!!! yeah, check that site during the day. she has the hen cams on, pretty cool [​IMG]
     
  6. Scott

    Scott Ozark Bantams

    Apr 11, 2007
    Southeast Missouri
    Quote:[​IMG] to cute!!! yeah, check that site during the day. she has the hen cams on, pretty cool [​IMG]

    Wish my coop were closer to the house. I'd set up a cam myself to keep an eye on my birds. I wonder if they act different when we're not around? [​IMG]
     
  7. joannamarie

    joannamarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    133
    0
    129
    Jun 17, 2007
    i read your post, when i first got my hens it was july and they wasnt quite ready to lay, when they started to lay they layed 2 small eggs then stopped as the nights were getting darker. they did moult but i dont think it was a full moult as there wasnt much feathers lost then that was it until may when they layed properly i am in the uk though so dont know if this is different
     

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