1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How to get hens to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by joeyfender, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. joeyfender

    joeyfender Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    3
    83
    Mar 1, 2013
    Texas
    I do not even have any chickens yet but was curious on how to get hens to lay. I just thought that a few roosters and a few hens and then eggs would be layed. But i was reading about people buying eggs to get hens to lay. I'm very confused.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2013
  2. joeyfender

    joeyfender Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    3
    83
    Mar 1, 2013
    Texas
    And is an incubator needed after the eggs are layed or can they hatch under the hen's care?
     
  3. nikirottmom

    nikirottmom New Egg

    1
    0
    6
    Jan 5, 2013
    We just put a few golf balls in the nest boxes we have since the hens don't seem to like laying in empty nest boxes. Also, if you have a broody hen who will stay in the same nest box (we had one that changed it up quite a bit), the eggs should hatch just fine under her care.
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    35,973
    7,425
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    People put fake eggs and golf balls in nest boxes to get hens to use the boxes. To get a hen to lay you need to make sure she has what she needs to produce eggs. Her needs will be very simple: Enough food (layer mash or pellets is preferred) and food that meets her nutrient requirements. Fresh, clean water, a stress free environment and a safe place to lay her eggs. Most breeds need around 14 hours of light per day to keep them in production as well.
    If you want chicks from your eggs you can wait for your hens to go broody and let them hatch chicks for you. This really is the best way to do it as the hen will do all the work and apart from feeding the chicks and the hens separately and providing a safe place for her to raise her young you don't have to do a thing. If your hens refuse to go broody and you really want chicks you can buy an incubator and hatch chicks in there instead.
     
  5. joeyfender

    joeyfender Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    3
    83
    Mar 1, 2013
    Texas
    The incubator was my first choice but I would not be able to turn them because I will be in school all day.
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    35,973
    7,425
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    You can buy an incubator with a turner that will take care of that for you. Or you can just try and turn them yourself as often as possible. Like first thing in the morning, again in the afternoon and again before just before you sleep.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by