Multiple questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BUG126, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. BUG126

    BUG126 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2008
    WA State
    My chickens are pulling each other's feathers and eating them. I've read its from a lack of protein. What can I feed them to fix this? My MIL told me I have to cut their beaks to make them stop (did I mention she's wacko?) Yesterday I noticed our roo Mr Deeds doing the ummm...deed. They are only 15 weeks old, is this normal? Does it mean they will start laying soon, or is he just practicing? My MIL said that I would have bloody eggs because he is fertilizing them now. Is this another one of her wacko ideas? Last one...I put nesting boxes in this weekend, but they avoid them like the plague, will they ever sit in them?
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    Cockerals mate at very young ages. Some even around 2 months. It has nothing at all to do with the pullets or hens and their point of lay.

    You can have blood spots in eggs without a roo ever being around the hens. Fish them out and cook the eggs. The spots are from tissue or capillary ruptures during the formation of the egg. Also, your rooster cannot fertilize an egg unless the hens are laying eggs.

    When the time comes that your hens start to lay you will have to teach them where to you would like them to lay. A golf ball or a plastic egg in the nest and they will learn.

    As they are not laying you do not want them to get into the habit of living, sleeping, sitting in the nest boxes. You will have messy, poopy material that will get all over your eggs. the nest boxes are for egg laying and serve no other purpose. Block them off and keep them out until you see some eggs then teach them to lay there.

    Your MIL is indeed full of old wives tales.

    The feather picking and eating is an indication of a lack of protein and could be a problem with being confined to too small of a space.

    Boost their protein with some gamebird feed, meat scraps from the kitchen, even a handful of kitty kibble. Make sure they have food and water available 24/7.
     
  3. BUG126

    BUG126 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2008
    WA State
    Thanks for the help...if you cant tell this is our first chicken adventure. I put the nest boxes in because we have a few that are 18 weeks so I am hoping they will start laying soon. They are standards so little Mr Deeds cant catch a ride on them [​IMG] Our 6 yr old daughter has been going a little overboard with the scratch lately, so I told her no more for a while. I will get high protein chow and see if it helps.
     

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