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How do you get your girls to lay eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by stphn1825, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. stphn1825

    stphn1825 New Egg

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    Mar 20, 2007
    I have a 6 month mottled cochin with a male one and an English grey male. We built them a large coop and also introduced 2 new chicks. One is female black silkie and the other is a Black or Blue Frizzle male. Someone at Co-op said to continue feeding them starter food but the bag says they should be eating scratch. How do you feed some starter and the others scratch?
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:I'm a bit confused by your post......

    Do you have 2 females and 3 males together? That is way too many boys! One male can handle 10-15 hens (depending on breed and the source you get the information).

    A breeding trio is usually 2 females to 1 male. If you are planning on breeding, I think you should probably separate the breeders.

    You have 3 birds that are 6 months old and you introduced new chicks? Day-olds? Personally, I wouldn't combine two ages without a quarantine period and an introduction period, as it helps prevent lots of disease and problems. Day-olds should be in a brooder set up so that the temperature is constant. Also, the older birds may keep the younger birds away from food and water.

    To lay eggs, the girls will need 14 hours of light per day. Most don't start to lay eggs until they are 4-5 months old. They need proper nutrition and good health. Once they start to lay, provide oyster shell separately from their feed. If they need it, they'll eat it.

    We used chick start & grow and put the flock on layer feed when they were about 16-18 weeks old. Some people feed starter feed and change to grower feed at 8 weeks and then to layer or breeder feed at 18 weeks.

    Scratch is like candy, meant to be a treat, no real nutritional value.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  3. stphn1825

    stphn1825 New Egg

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    Mar 20, 2007
    I have the 2 male and 1 female that are 6 months old. I do not know what to do with the extra male. Then I hatched 2 around Christmas and I ended up with only 1 female and another male. I did introduce them slowly. I kept them in the house under a light until 3 weeks ago and then I covered there box and put them into the coop with the older ones. After 2 weeks I let them out and they are doing great. I just do not know how to set the correct foods for them if they should be eating different things.
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Well, your 6-month old female should be getting 16-18% protein layer feed and oyster shell (separate from feed) and 14 hours light if you want eggs. Although the 6-month old males don't need layer feed, it won't hurt them to eat it and I haven't ever seen my boys (9 months old) ever eat the oyster shell.

    The problem with having your younger (5 wk old?) chicks in with the older birds is that the additional calcium in the layer feed could cause them kidney problems and possibly kill them. They should be getting something like starter feed or start & grow feed until they are about 18 weeks old. Personally, I wouldn't feed scratch to chicks at 5 wks of age, but that's just me. It's fine for your older birds as a treat. If you do feed something other than their feed, make sure you provide grit separately from the feed. The birds will only eat the amount of grit they need.

    It has been my experience that the older birds will keep the younger birds away from the food, as they are usually lower on the pecking order.

    Can you set up a small area for just your smaller chicks; someplace where they could go for their feed and water and a place to hide from the larger birds when they are picked on?

    I'm afraid you're also going to have to decide quickly about what to do with the boys... they're going to start mating the female soon, if they haven't already started, and she'll be too stressed to lay eggs.

    Maybe someone else has some other ideas, but that's all I can think of for the moment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  5. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    i put my young birds in dog crates (the cage type) until they were old enough to eat layer food. if you only have two, you can buy the large one. they'll be fine in there for a while.
     

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