My Girls are now laying, but the eggs are small

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by niccichick, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. niccichick

    niccichick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI Everyone;

    This is Niccichick and we now have eggs! Woohoo! Out of my 6 Buff Orpingtons and my 4 Black Austrolorps we know for a fact that 3 buffs and 1 Black are laying (we've seen them do it). All the girls show great interest whenever one of them goes into one of our nesting boxes to lay. They all stand around and softly cluck encouragement and then once the egg's laid they all strut about and crow their excitement and imitate the egg squat; so I figure they ought to each be laying soon enough. Oddly 2 of the four laying eggs do not have really pronounced or red wattles yet....theirs are light pink! Their eggs are on the tiny side, but yummy. I am wondering how long it should take before their eggs are on the Large to X-large size? Is there anything I need to be feeding them? Right now I feed them organic lay pellets that are 17% protein, oyster shell calcium, plenty of water, and we let them free-range our backyard most of the day. Although....they have absolutely killed our veggie beds, eating everything is site! They loved my Mom's lettuce beds and mowed them down in one day flat. We do give them greens, cut up left over veggies, cut up fruit, and organic plain yogurt whenever our local healthfood market donates a box to us; usually once a week. Is this too much?

    Thanks for all your help. I love being able to log on and ask a question and immediately get an answer. Our Buff who had a cold is all healed and back with the flock happy as can be. And, our other Buff who sprained her leg badly is finally back with the flock and laying every day! Thanks to everyone who helped us with advice on these two as well. If I need to do anything to help my girls lay eggs that are larger let me know and I'll try it. I LOVE all my girls and am having so much fun with them.[​IMG]
    Thanks,
    NicciChick
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    My experience has been that some of them lay larger eggs with in a month or so, and some take a lot longer. I have one pullet who is nearly a year old who still lays a medium egg at best. I don't think you usually get the really huge, bigger than the egg carton kind til after about 1 1/2 years and the first heavy molt, at least not as a regular thing.

    The extra foods sound pretty healthful except for protein. If it were me, I'd add a meat or fish protein source at least some days if they got a good quantity of veggies that day. Well, if your layer pellets don't have a source of animal protein, I'd do it anyway. Actually, I do.
     
  3. niccichick

    niccichick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much. I fed the ill ones chopped up hardboiled eggs to boost their protein while recuperating and these two are actually two of the daily layers now, so perhaps that helped them. I feel bad essentially feeding them their own eggs, but will try it. I'll also try the fish idea. Any other sources of protein that are good, how about soy and tofu?

    Blessings,
    NIccichick
     
  4. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Feeding them their own eggs won't hurt them.I feed mine the egg shells and this is good for their calcium.I place my calcium in a container so that they can get it at free will.They know when they need it and it helps to keep their egg shells hard and in good shape.I give them table scraps and fruits,greens,etc.This helps with the flavor and texture of the eggs.I have found that as their body gets used to laying eggs they seem to get bigger as they go.I don't know that for a fact;but it seems that this is what happened with mine.Be something worth keeping an eye on.Good Luck.
     
  5. niccichick

    niccichick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much! My girls love their healthgrit and their egg shells are very hard; in fact my Mom commented that she really has to work hard to crack them so I know they are good and healthy. I found out I can feed them meat of any kind as well so I'll try some cooked lean ground beef later this week. I feed the dried mealworms twice a week and buy them crickets at the local feed store which is really fun to watch them chase and eat. My nesting boxes are being built this week and by the end of the week I ought to have 4 boxes the girls can all choose from to lay in. Perhaps this will help the others who have not laid yet get in the mood.

    Blessings,
    Niccichick
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


    Soy and tofu are fine as long as they are cooked. Raw soy is toxic to chickens.

    Eggs are perfect food for chickens, as that is what the baby chick had to eat to survive until hatch. Just make sure they are cooked so they don't start egg eating and crush the shells beyond recognition. If you like you can see my BYC page to see what I feed to get some idea of some other treats.

    Be sure to let the tofu cool (I have fed this) first to prevent cropburn- that can really take a chicken down.
     
  7. trooper

    trooper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Some people crush the egg shells.I don't and I have never had any problem with them eating their own eggs As a matter of fact I have cracked them fresh to cook and taken them straight down to their run and fed them the shells.If you are going to feed them meal worms,Buy some and then raise them to feed your chickens.I don't,but what I have read on here they aren't that hard nor expensive to raise.If your egg shells are as hard as you say they are then They are getting plenty of calcium.Some people feed them meat.That's up to each individual.I don't.You want to make sure that whatever you feed them that it is a well balanced diet.You want it to balance .This will keep them happy and healthy.[​IMG]
     
  8. niccichick

    niccichick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much!

    NicciChick
     

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