Just started laying! NEED ADVISE PLEASE!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by magoochie, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. magoochie

    magoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    Hey folks. This is my first year with chickens, and I have 2 hens that just started laying. I got them this past July as chicks. I have 5 roosters and 7 hens in total, all different breeds and a couple mutts. The 2 hens started laying just 2 days before Christmas!

    Now, I live in NW WI and its been cold up here, and we have over a foot of snow. Is this normal for hens to lay this time of year? or BEGIN laying when its 12 degrees outside? I have even had to lean plywood against the coop to keep the snow from drifting in.

    I am averaging 2-3 eggs a day. Of course the roosters are still in with them, so a few of them had been fertilized. But I dont have a bator and I dont know that I should let them hatch when it is this cold?

    I know the hen should be able to do her job, im just worried about them hatching at the end of January when its still below 0 temps. I cant bring them in the house because i have 3 cats and a dog, and there is no place to put them.

    Do you think I should throw the eggs out until I can get the roosters separated? Should I let her try to hatch them?

    We will be building a new coop in the spring and my husband says he will build a room on it for a hatchery. [​IMG]

    Here is a picture of the coop. (summer and winter) I have hay on the inside along with a heat lamp, but it isnt draft free by any means. Please help. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    The hen that is sitting on the nest is a Black Australorp, and there is one other mutt hen that the roosters have been mating with.

    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    Um...why not just chuck her off the nest and eat the eggs? So long as you are gathering the eggs everyday, they should be perfectly edible.
     
  3. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Just eat the eggs! [​IMG]
     
  4. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Blue Ridge GA
    I'm new, but I would eat the eggs until I was ready to have chicks. If you are concerned the eggs are not fresh, cook them up for the chickens -- they love them. I would not throw eggs away. I did not let my hens collect clutches and sit on their eggs because I was afraid they would hatch in the winter. They hid some eggs but I found them.
    To protect them against the cold you could put tarps around the coop. It's likely some more experienced people will disagree with me on this and I would like to know since I have put tarps to serve as windbreakers.
     
  5. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rock Hill,SC
    I agree with Attila,put tarps around your coop for winterizing.chickens can put off 5btu's of heat per bird.

    We have a 20 mil used vinyl billboard around our coop and run.
     
  6. magoochie

    magoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    I did that and the first few were great. The problem was, we dont eat them everyday, and after 3 days there was dark spots and blood in the yolks(even in the fridge).

    Thats why we wanted to separate the roosters, so we could just eat them. But we dont really have a place to move them to. Neither my husband or I will eat the eggs if there is spots in the yolk like that.
     
  7. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    It is likely the blood spots are due to the new layers...It does not necessarily indicate a chick in progress.
     
  8. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm fairly new, too... But; that rather LF, four legged, one out there looks like it is in a very heavy molt! Probably should leave that one outside at night like that. I don't see a single feather on it!
     
  9. magoochie

    magoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    Quote:They were not just spots, they were more clots, and had texture to them.
     
  10. magoochie

    magoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    Quote:HAHA Yeah we have deer come in and they eat the left over scratch that got thrown out.
     

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