I have a question! (Trying again!)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MistyK, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. MistyK

    MistyK Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2007
    My kids won chicks at the county fair back in April, so I'm thinking mine are around 18 weeks-ish. We've got a fine looking coop which was supposed to be a tractor *but* is immoveable thanks to the lovely heavy lumber my darling husband used to build it, LOL. They are friendly and fat, and have been confined to the tractor because they were pooping on my back porch, LOL. So I guess it's time to switch to the egg developer feed, right? And since I've read a few threads here, I'm thinking that maybe they just newly look like roosters because they're about to start laying eggs. How will they know to go into the tractor (if they're out) and nest box for the first time? Anything I need to do? thanks so much for advice--obviously this is our first set of chickens!
     
  2. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
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    Hi! I'll take a stab at this. Is there anyway you could post a picture of your chickens?
    You say they are friendly and fat. What color are they? Have you heard any crowing or even like a squeaky door sound, that could be an attempt at crowing. When in April did you get them? I can't figure 18 weeks for them, maybe 12 weeks?
    Now if you do have girls is the tractor and nest box adjoining? They will probably go into the nest box to lay if they are confined to the tractor area. They like privacy and some darkness, not pitch black.
     
  3. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they've been living in the chicken tractor for a while they should naturally come back to it at night, chickens are creatures of habit. You can switch to Layer at this point. Yours should be getting ready to lay soon, you might put a few plastic eggs or golf balls in the nesting boxes to give them the idea, and not let them out until later in the day instead of first thing, so that they use them. A lot of people keep their chickens confined to a small run until they learn to use the nest boxes so that you don't have to go on an egg hunt every day.
     
  4. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    Are they meat birds? i ask since you say they are fat at this age.
     
  5. MistyK

    MistyK Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2007
    We got them the first week of April. When I posted here, someone said they were only a few days old. So they should be around 17-18 weeks, I think. They are New Hampshire Reds, and if I had my digital camera I'd love to post some pics! Sorry!
     
  6. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Raleigh
    Last year when my RIRs started laying, I had been keeping the nest box closed off. As their combs and wattles turned redder, I opened the nest box during the day, but closed them off at night so they wouldn't roost inside.

    One day I opened the nest box and the first egg was in there. The nest box was situated in the darkest and most private part of my little tractor. I was amazed that it happened so easily, but it did. In fact, I think I only found one egg outside that nest box the entire time I had them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:whew!

    I always get worried when a new chicken owner gets chicks and describes them as fat and happy.

    They should go home but if you find they are laying elsewhere, lock them up for a few days and they will learn.
     
  8. Motherhenandflock

    Motherhenandflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines of silkiechicken and sara. A lot of people have found out they have meat birds! They weren't meant for eggs and being a pet.
    You could gradually start mixing in some layer feed. Don't just go grower one day and layer the next.
     
  9. CtlisencedArborist

    CtlisencedArborist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2007
    Eastford,Ct
    Wait why are my black:) sexlinks so fat and happy?oh,must be the dogfood!lol
     

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