I have some questions....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by missnu01, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought 3 hens and a rooster a few weeks ago, and it appears that only one hen is actually laying...
    There are 2 white ones with their full comb and wattles and then a big brown pullet with no comb or wattles to speak of...She is larger than the white hen that is laying, but much smaller than the white hen that isn't. I am assuming that the brown one is too young, and the big white one is too old. I just don't get it because the brown chicken is really big...She looks like she should be old enough to lay, but no comb, no wattles, no eggs...I don't know how old she is, but she is a big girl...I'll take some pics later perhaps so I can get some thoughts on her age. That or she is a hen with no comb or wattles.
    Also, I don't want to keep feeding and cleaning up after a hen that isn't laying, but I also don't want to kill one if she might start laying in Spring...I also recently acquired a hen and her 7 chicks...The lady said the chicks are about 2 months old. They are fully feathered, but mama still is right on top of them all the time, and she appears to be some sort of bantam mix, so she is really small, and the chicks are almost her size, but they still try to huddle under her, and they just look like they are carrying her on her backs...When will she stop fooling with the chicks and get back to the business of egg laying...

    And one more question...how do I keep the chicks from eating the layer pellets? I bought 25# and the chickens have hardly made a dent in it...after they finish this I will get grower food and then add dishes of oyster, but for now, will it hurt the chicks if they eat a few pellets here and there? Or is there some way to keep the chicks away from it?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    You will have to post pics of your girls to give us an idea of breed and age etc. Usually a bright red comb and wattles are a sign that the hen is laying. Some of the larger breeds take longer to "grow up" and start laying though, so they may just need a bit more time. Also this time of the year, with the shorter days, hens slow down and take a break over winter before starting to lay again in Spring.
    As for the hen and chicks: if they are 2 months old it's high time they get weaned. Put them in a separate coop/area, away from mom. That'll also stop them eating the layers food, which isn't good for them. A few pellets here and there won't hurt, but too much will damage their organs. Rather keep and feed them separately.
     
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can look at these chicks and tell that they are way too big for mom to still be momming them...but she seems perfectly content to round them all up and sit on them still...even though they are the size of pigeons, and she herself is the size of a pigeon and a half...let me go get some pics real quick. I'll be right back...

    I have a few other questions as well...

    Alright my chickens don't seem to want to come out of the coop...they will sneak out for a little bit, and then back in they go...

    It doesn't help that my small dog chases them when they are in the yard, but when he and I go in the coop he is fine...just chilling with the chickens. He won't hurt the chickens, even if he catches them...We know this because the brown hen with no wattles or comb is part ostrich...when he chases her she runs to anywhere she can stick her head and just lays down, and he sniffs her and then walks away...

    But, will the chickens get brave enough to come out of the coop eventually, even with a 4 lb dog intently following them?

    Ok...off to get pics, this large brown hen with no comb or wattles, and no eggs is perplexing me. She is larger than the smallest white hen that is laying, but alas no eggs.
     
  4. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I was going to use photbucket.com to upload my pics, but it seems to be having some issues..yeah...it won't do crap
     
  5. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Notice the size of the brown hen compared with the others.

    [​IMG]

    and her absence of wattles and comb

    [​IMG]

    blah blah blah there they are again...

    [​IMG]

    Our rooster

    [​IMG]

    Kind of dark, but the only hen that is laying is on top of the hay bale in this pic...rooster up front with his huge non laying girlfriend right behind him...






    [​IMG]

    Momma hen and large chicks




    So there they all are...

    So what's the deal if anyone knows or can tell anything about the age of these chickens by the picture...some of the chicks have more of a comb than the large brown hen has...
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I see what you mean about the chicks! Can you get a close up of that brown hen? Sorry, but I can't tell much from the pic and it blurred a bit when I enlarged it.
     
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  7. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll try here in just a bit...She is really skittish, so she runs away. But she has a rig above her nose but no comb at all...the tiny little flap she has is slightly red, but nothing to speak of. She is just so big that I feel like she is old enough to be laying...but nothing, and again the missing comb and wattles deal...
     
  8. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    There she is...you can see the ridge better in this pic...
     
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    O.K. that's a nice pic. I had a few hens that also had small combs like that, but mine was a right old barnyard mix LOL They laid well though. Your girl looks young. I'm not going to guess her age, but I think you must give her a bit more time.
     
  10. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If I had to guess she is a random mix...I think they all are. The larger ones might be leghorns like the guy said, but it's also possible that they are something entirely different...
     

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