Eggs - when and where?


9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
We have been checking our nesting boxes and hoping to find eggs - but no such luck yet. We got our chicks around the 3rd week of May and have Isa Browns, Black Stars, a spotted sussex and one rooster. I had thought I read that it would be around 5 or 6 months before we started getting eggs. Our chickens are free range except they come into the coop at night and then I let them out in the morning. I am wondering if they are laying somewhere outside the coop or is it just too early for eggs? Should I leave them in the coop longer in the morning?
Another question I have is do I need to start giving them chicken feed as the weather gets cooler and there may be less for them to eat? Does the laying feed help with egg production?
If you got them the 3rd week of May, I'd say you have a couple weeks left before they start laying. If you post some pics we can tell you how close they are by their face/comb area.
Another question I have is do I need to start giving them chicken feed as the weather gets cooler and there may be less for them to eat? Does the laying feed help with egg production?


Now, on to your post. What are you feeding them now? If they are only free ranging and getting no other source of food they may not have enough to eat to produce eggs. You should consider chanign their diet a bit, especially as winter is coming. Their main source of food should be a good grower or layer feed free choice with oyster shell also offered free choice. Kitchen scraps, scratch and whatever they can find free ranging should actually be supplemental food, not their main diet. Free ranging will cut down feed bills considerably, especially in Summer, and kitchen scraps are good for that too. Scratch is more like candy for them and really should be used as a treat.
Chickens need plenty of protein to produce eggs. Although they can get a decent amount from bugs when they free range in the good weather, bugs are getting scarce now and still may not provide enough protein and calcium for egg production. I really do think you should start giving them a good grower or layer feed. Good luck.
Well guess what I found today. Was feeding this morning and Miss Princess was way at the top of the hay stack and just making a rukus. Made me think that I have heard that a few times this week. Got out the ladder a little later and low and behold Miss Princess has turned broody and was sitting on 12 eggs! Now what? Do I need to remove the eggs tonight and then keep them in the coop/run longer in the morning? Do I let her hatch them out? I had no idea because she has been coming into the coop at night. Tricky chicken. I have started giving them laying food and hope that we will have more eggs soon.
Well this morning I haven't let them out to roam - I moved the run (PVC and chicken wire - so easy to move to attach/remove) back to the end of the coop and so they can go in the coop or in the little run. I am going to leave them in there until this afternoon and see if we get any eggs. One question I have is should I get some eggs from the nest in the hay and put on in each of the nesting boxes? If Miss Princess has been laying eggs I'm sure the egg for today will have to come out. So will she get the idea to lay in the nesting boxes?
If you use a "real" egg, you'll want to mark don't want to crack open your breakfast egg to find it was actually the old, rotten egg!
I would use fake eggs (ceramic, wood, golf ball, etc) and place one in each nesting box. You'll want to deny access to where your hen has been making her own nest box, and hopefully she'll start using the nest box you have provided. Remember, you may not get an egg EVERY day from Miss Princess...hens usually give 3-5 eggs a week, and take a couple days off to rest.

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