Initiate egg laying question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newhenstein castle, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. newhenstein castle

    newhenstein castle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Vancouver
    Hi,

    Now that my chickens are around 17 weeks old and the golf balls are in place I am wondering what else I could do to give them a good start to laying eggs.

    Right now they have the freedom to leave the coop at any time in the morning and enter at any time during the day to go back inside for bed time. When they go in for the night they go straight up the ladder and cuddle themselves to sleep.
    Do you recommend I lock them in until a certain time in the morning? In which case they would be forced to hang around the nest boxes in the coop? Or will this come naturally? Do I have to turn on the light after they come in at night and then shut the hatch for more night activity?

    Also should I feed them oyster shells like I've read in other posts?


    Thanks!!
     
  2. erikajoe

    erikajoe New Egg

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    May 29, 2009
    My chicken just started laying all over the place as total free rangers. They will still lay, but will you find their eggs? It took me awhile to find their nests. If you can watch them for a day, you will notice that someone will slip away. Then you have to find where they are hiding. My chickens started laying around 20 weeks and only 2 of them are laying. They are 24 weeks now and 2 are still not laying. So I think you might have a little time left.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'd suggest trying it to see what happens without locking them up. If they are laying somewhere else, then you can try this to train them.

    As far as the food, the layer has extra calciumin it. Most hens do not need additional oyster shell, but that can depend on how many treats they have and the rest of their diet. You can approach it two ways. Wait and see if the eggs are OK when they start to lay, remembering that the first eggs can be kind of strange. Or you can offer oyster shell on the side. I would not mix it with their food on the theory that you maybe forcing them to eat too much. Excess of anything has the potential to be harmful.
     

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