New chicken owner

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by nate5678, Jan 30, 2016.

  1. nate5678

    nate5678 New Egg

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    My 10 year old daughter wanted to get some chickens for our backyard. I successfully distracted her for about a year until 2 weeks ago. We bought a small 3x6 coop and i bought 3 rhode island red hens. I have a few questions to start. How often should i change the straw out in the nesting boxes. How long until they lay eggs. I have also noticed they stay in the straw in the nesting boxes all night long. They do have roosting bars but it seems like they dont use them. I have noticed their comb and waddle is a light pink color but one of them is starting to become more red. Would this be a sign they are not as stressed from the move and are becoming more comfortable at their new home
     
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! So glad you could join us!
    And welcome to the wonderful world of Chooks. [​IMG]

    How often to change straw?
    It really depends. If your chickens are messy or the ground is muddy they may need cleaned out every few days, otherwise, you don't need to change it until it gets smelly, musty, wet, or too dusty.

    How long until they lay?
    A hen will begin to lay soon after it gets a bright red comb, between 15-25 weeks of age in most instances (or 5-7 months). Do you know their age?

    Sleeping in the Nest box?
    My chickens do it too. Some people discourage this in their chickens, as it can be very messy for the nest boxes (it certainly is in our barn). However, if there are good perches available, once the hens are old enough to learn perching is more fun they should change over. Young chickens like the security of a nest box over a perch.
    Make sure the perches have plenty of room for the hens and are comfortable on the feet. If they are too close to the wall then the hens may not feel balance on them.

    Changing comb color?
    This is a great sign! Light combs mean no laying, bright combs mean lots of laying! Your hens should be laying soon. [​IMG] A bright comb is the sign of a healthy chicken.




    I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have. Best of luck with your new flock!
     
  3. nate5678

    nate5678 New Egg

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    I was told from the seller they have been laying for 6 months. So im really not sure how old tbey are
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi and welcome to BYC - glad to have you join us. Gitabooks has already answered your questions. I would add that ensuring that the roosting poles are higher than your nesting boxes should encourage them to use it. Also, if you have only just got the birds, its likely that they are feeling a little stressed by the move, so don't expect them to resume laying for a little while. I'm sure they'll be popping them out any time soon!

    All the best
    CT
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome to Backyard chickens. From the description of your hens - light pink comb and the other just starting to redden, I wonder if the seller mislead you. They sound more like pullets that haven't started laying yet - at all. If you could post a photo of them we could probably tell you more.

    Generally nesting boxes are closed off to young birds - because they learn to sleep in them and later will poo all over the eggs. They either learn to roost or you have to put them on the roost each night when they are locked up in the coop for the evening.

    Pullets coming into lay generally exhibit enlarged, reddened combs, and will squat if you touch their backs (as they would for a rooster). This is the time to open nest boxes so they can inspect them - a good visual prompt is to put a golf ball in each next ball. so they know where eggs belong.
     
  6. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Hello!
    [​IMG]
    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to joined the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC. X2 on drumstick diva.
     
  7. N F C

    N F C eggnog time! Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG]

    You've already been given some good advice so I'll just say hello, it's nice to have you here!
     
  8. nate5678

    nate5678 New Egg

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    Jan 30, 2016
    [​IMG]
     
  9. N F C

    N F C eggnog time! Premium Member Project Manager

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    Very nice, thanks for sharing a photo!
     
  10. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    They remind me of the double mint twins! :D Double you pleasure, double your fun. :gig
     

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