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Hello! Advice needed!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MBPD Chickens, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. MBPD Chickens

    MBPD Chickens New Egg

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    I thought I would introduce myself, I am Emily and I own 3 hens (Buttercup, Primrose and Daisy) and a rooster called Mario we originally had 4 hens but obviously Marigold turned to Mario :lol:. I need some advice, I'm quite new to chicken keeping, hence why I am here. I don't know how old the chickens are as we rescued them from a farm, so they didn't have the best of lives before we got them, and i really don't know when they are going to start laying! Two of the hens (Buttercup and Primrose) are similar sizes, maybe a slight difference but overall they are quite similar, however the other hen (Daisy) is tiny compared to the others and especially Mario (the rooster) so I know it will be a while before she starts to lay. Are there any signs to tell if they are going to lay soon? Is the fact that I have a rooster delaying them from laying ? Also, in their coop (they only get locked up overnight and let up to free roam a large fenced off paddock) the nest box isn't divided so they all sleep together in there. They have perches but don't seem to use them :/ so will that have anything to do with them not laying either ? I don't know wether they lay overnight or during the day, I've never really seen any of them go into their nest boxes during the day. They are fed layers pellets and have been since I got them. Thankyou !!!!:D
     
  2. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Hi, and welcome to BYC.

    Stop feeding your hens layer feed until they are actually laying eggs. Feed them grower or all layer feed for now. After they start laying you can continue either of those feeds and offer oyster shells in a separate container; or go back to layer feed then (still offering them oyster shells). Also, a good idea to give them some grit unless you think they are getting plenty when they free range.

    You should probably block off the nesting box and hand place them on the roosts at night. (You might have to do this for a few nights but they shouldn't take too long to catch on where they are supposed to sleep). If they continue sleeping there, they will poop in there, and the eggs with be dirty when you go to collect them. Chickens do most of their pooping at night.

    When they get close to laying eggs, their comb will go from pale to a darker pink or red, and they will squat down when you pet them. Rooster will not cause a delay in when they lay. Chickens cannot see in the dark and some of mine lay in the morning and some in the afternoon.

    Good luck with your flock, and there are a lot of good articles in the Learning Center.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, Emily, and :welcome. Happy you joined us. There could be several factors contributing to your hens not laying. I'm not sure how long you had them but when chickens are moved it might take a few days or even longer for them to settle into their new home. But judging from your avatar pic I think it's about the age of the birds...I can't quite tell on breed but they look small which could mean young, depending on breed. Most hens start laying anywhere from 18 to 24 weeks...to me hours looks under 18. I don't think Mario is keeping them from laying. You mentioned they sleep in a nest box. Hens look to lay in a dark, secluded and comfy place. This takes place in the daytime. The roosts should be higher than the highest nest box or they may roost in the box if it is higher. Chickens like to be up off the ground. If they didn't have access to a roost in their former home they may be used to ground roosting or roosting in the nest box. You might block them from the boxes at night to encourage them to use the roosts. If they settle in on the ground I would go out when it is dark and physically place them on the roosts. They'll get the hang of using them. You asked about signs they are ready to lay. One is their combs turn a brighter shade of red. Here's a great place to pick up some great chicken knowledge https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
    Another great link to post egg laying questions is this forum https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/18/chicken-behaviors-and-egglaying
    Again, my best guess is that they are just a little young and in a few weeks you'll find that first surprise in the nest box. BTW...some folks put fake "eggs" like golf balls in the next box to show the hens where to lay. Another BTW...a good ratio of rooster to hen is 1 to 10. Fewer than that and the hens tend to get over bred...you'll notice missing feathers and maybe even scratches on their backs. Plus the hens get a little frantic from the harassing rooster. Okay, I'm done. ;)Good luck to you.
     
  4. MBPD Chickens

    MBPD Chickens New Egg

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    Aug 24, 2016
    Thankyou ! My avatar picture is a little bit old (maybe two months ago?) but we got them around mid-June time. They are quite small although I have been told they are a small breed :)
     
  5. MBPD Chickens

    MBPD Chickens New Egg

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    Thankyou ! I will block off the nest and keep them on their roosts I think then :) thanks for the advice !
     
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    They may be a bantam breed. If you get some current photos of them - post at "what breed or gender is this."
     
  8. MBPD Chickens

    MBPD Chickens New Egg

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    Aug 24, 2016
    yes! Now that you've said it I think that someone had told me they were a type of bantam chickens :)
     
  9. MBPD Chickens

    MBPD Chickens New Egg

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    Aug 24, 2016
    Thankyou !:)
     

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