First time owner checking progress

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tabary, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. tabary

    tabary In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2012
    Baton Rouge, LA
    This is my first time with chickens and I just want to check my progress so far. I have 3 buff orpingtons and 3 RIR hens that will be 5 months old at the end of march. I was curious to know what weight I can expect the birds to be at this age as well as what weight they should be when they start laying. I have followed the books as far as diet (mix of grower & layer feeds, oats, corn, and fresh greens and fruits) as well as just finished building a new 70 sq ft coop with 30 sq ft hen house for my flock to call home. From searching BYC topics I gather the girls will go through some personality changes when they are about to lay, is there anything in particular I should look out for? Also I have read I should look for the girls to start "squatting", now how exactly do i tell squatting from the normal 'ducking and weaving' they do when they run around? Everything about raising chickens has so far been a surprise... my mind set going into this venture is that chickens would have the same personality as gold fish in a bowl, boy was I wrong. The individual 'personalities' of the girls has really been an unexpected delight. I will post some pictures when I get this site figured a little more and hope to get some great feedback!

    Tabary in BR, LA

  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    They should start to lay any time now, but don't be surprised if it takes up to 8 months. They start when they're ready. Probably the RIR will start first.

    That squat is unmistakable once you see it. They drop low to the ground and sort of hold their wings out a bit.
  3. tabary

    tabary In the Brooder

    Mar 25, 2012
    Baton Rouge, LA
    all 3 RIR were in the nest boxes this morning scratching and pecking through all the wood shavings. I have not seen any of the girls do this before, hopefully they are building some comfy nests to lay in!...perhaps this is me just getting excited
  4. ScottM

    ScottM Songster

    Re the squat, imagine yourself bending over and pointing your elbows to the sky, looks like that.

  5. jomoncon

    jomoncon Songster

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    I have 8 RIRs and the first one started laying at a9 weeks old. I know all of them were laying by 23 week cause that's when I first got 8 eggs in one day.

    Like other have said, when you see a squat you'll know exactly what it is. It's unmistakeable. This is the posture a hen would take when submitting to a rooster. I was told to just rub their back a few time & them give them a couple of pats on the back. After that, they would stand up & fluff their feather a bit, supposedly to settle the rooster's sperm.

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