I'm new and clueless!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Honucreekmom, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Honucreekmom

    Honucreekmom Hatching

    Jun 22, 2008
    Hey all! I'm sure that I have done this the wrong way, but on a recommendation we went to our local flea market to the "chicken lady" (everyone I know calls her that ) and bought 3 hens of indeterminate age. Clearly, I did not ask the right questions or many questions at all. (duh!) I think I was way to excited about the chickens!!! Anyway, we have had them for a week in their coop and they haven't laid one singe egg. How long does it take for them to get comfortable? We let them out a couple of days ago and had to chase them down before dark to get them back into the coop. Now I'm scared to let them out again. How long do I have to leave them in there before they realize that they need to go back at night? Also, (last question) my white orphington is losing feathers. I'm hoping that she's just molting and not sick; however, how would I know the difference and why would she be molting now? As I said, I'm very new and these poor chickens are going to have to put up with me for awhile!! Thanks a bunch for putting up with me and I look forward to getting to know you all.

  2. JimnJanet

    JimnJanet Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    S.W Pa.
    Hi Holly, welcome to the ward [​IMG]
    When i got my first girls i left them in thier coop for two weeks before turning them loose. The first time you let them out, do it about 20-30 minutes before sundown. They will go back on thier own.
    As far as yer other questions, allmost impossible to answer without know thier ages,breeds etc.
    I would highly suggest that you go back and address yer questions to the chicken lady. If she's on the up and up she will know and give you all yer answers.
  3. TundraChick

    TundraChick Songster

    Aug 6, 2007
    West Viriginia

    Hi there!

    Give them some time to adjust for eggs. Could be awhile. I moved some girls over a month ago and still no eggs, and then others never stopped. Go figure.

    Looked up in the coop for a week usually does it for returning back a night. maybe they were not cooped at night before. i would leave them for another week and round them up at night if they don't return in the evenings, they will get the message eventually.

    Don't know about the molt thing. Maybe someone else will come along to help you with that one.

    WELCOME, and good luck!
  4. 3peeps

    3peeps Songster

    Jul 4, 2007
    Another thing that crossed my mind is physically examining them to see if their abdomens are soft, fluffy and supple, or firm and inflexible. The softer and more pliable the pelvic bones, the more likely they are just waiting to calm down before laying again. If the bones are close together with a firm abdomen, they may have halted laying for whatever reason...age, molting, etc. I'm a bit of a novice, but with some observation, I can tell the difference with mine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: