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maybe they're laying now?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aimeeinwv, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    We knew it was getting to be time, but hadn't really seen any "signs" The chickens are all free range, well, they were until yesterday when they came under a Husky attack. This morning I didn't get them out of the big pen to range. These past 2 weeks my Roo's have started to get frisky with the girls now.. driving me crazy! Anyhow, today one hen got in a nesting box and made herself comfy. The rooster got in first and fixed things up. Kinda "nested" the bedding. I'm going to keep them in the pen for a week or so to see if they are laying, and if so we're going to go ahead and build a 50' X 50' SQ run for them. They aren't interested in hopping a fence and they're really too fat at this point so I think that much room is good for only 14 chickens.

    The strangest thing today was that I tossed one of the Roo's back in the henhouse so I could put the pen back up against it, and he started yapping clucking and stuff. When I opened the door, he didn't come out, but the hens went back in like Robots! Really weird! As if they were answering his call? Is that what they were doing?? Will the Roo's only start to get lovey dovey (actually butally lovey dovey of course) if the hens are laying?

    I don't really feel like going on a egg hunt into the weeds and woods behind my house, too much space to cover. Does this seem like egg laying behavior to any of you? They are 17 weeks old today.
     
  2. skywatcher

    skywatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    seems like normal chicken behavior to me,since your chickens are a heavy breed I would think they would maybe start laying sometime after week 22 My chickens are big fakers practicing the egg song still no eggs found at week 22 they are rhode island reds & white rocks. [​IMG]
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Average is 24 weeks to begin laying. 17 weeks is pretty young...you really don't want them to start too awfully young, because they can have laying issues later as a result. What kind of feed do you have them on? I do not feed layer feed until they begin laying.
     
  4. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks!!! No matter what you read, advice from experienced folks is great! I'll keep my eye out... in a few weeks!!
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Not to say they are not getting ready to lay, though...some do start early, I didn't catch what bred they are, and if they're a production-type breed, it could be they're getting ready to start. The tell-tale signs are redness in their combs/wattles. [​IMG]
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Mine started laying miniature eggs at 18 weeks. You can see the breeds in my signature. I've seen posts where they have laid as young as 16 weeks, but I agree with Wynette. I'd prefer they grow up a little first.

    At 17 weeks, I'd start looking for eggs and certainly open up the nesting boxes and put fake eggs in, but there is no real telling at what age they will actually start laying.
     
  7. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great advice. We do have some fake eggs ready for them that I found on sale one day at Cracker Barrel after Easter. They are made of marble.. may be a little cold!

    They're pretty big chickens. The grass n bugs must be great around here! We just started them on the laying feed a couple weeks ago, and they have oyster shell too.

    My MIL had chickens all her life and says they're the biggest chickens she has ever seen. Old timers in the neighborhood say the same. I had Red Roosters back in the day and they are much bigger than them. Much larger than an NFL football... I'd like to weigh one sometime. My black sexlinks hens are the biggest.

    I don't think it's anything I'm doing for their size.. I blame the people around us (hehe!) the eatin' just must be really good here! No competition for the goodies... plus the neighbors and family that live around me likes to feed them goodies (healthy ones of course) they bring them cantalope, watermelons, pumpkins.. corn on the cob.. plums, peaches, apples....

    They also eat their fill of fresh veggies umongst them every couple days too. Salad bar veggies from the local Middle School. It has to be thrown out each day so I drive over and get about 5 gallons of lettuce, carrots, cottage cheese, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes. The cooks only add all those goodies that are safe for them to have, nothing from the can either. They also get a big pot of oragnic Oatmeal as a treat every sunday morning and a pot of spagetti noodles 2 sundays a month for dinner. (as does the family!)

    Oh, and they also have the run of the pumpkin patch... spoiled little brats aren't they!?

    I have 6 SL Wyandottes, 4 Sex link Hens, 2 Production reds & 2 Accidental Roo's both Amber Sexlinks.
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    You started them on layer feed too early...you really shouldn't start layer feed until they begin laying. At the very earliest, 18 weeks. Just an FYI!

    It's probably the production reds, as they're bred to lay early & lots! Enjoy those fresh eggs when you start to get them!!
     
  9. aimeeinwv

    aimeeinwv Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ah ha! I can tell my husband he did wrong! Finally! I prevail! I wasn't sure.. but he wanted to get them started on it. I'd better check the bag 1st to make sure that's what he put them on before I do my "I was right" happy dance. [​IMG]
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    You're funny! Maybe he was just mis-informed. [​IMG]
     

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