New Hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rose Family, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Rose Family

    Rose Family Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    Hello.
    I have just bought my first two hens yesterday. They were bought as egg laying hens and we were told they were about 5 or 6 months old (they came from a big hatchery). We settled them into their new home last night and they both went up to the coop to sleep, although neither used the roost rails. I did notice that they were in a pen that didn't have roost rails at the hatchery so do they even know what to do? Anyway, ther haven't been any eggs today and I have told my little girl that maybe the hems need a few days to settle in. Can anyone offer me any insight into whether this is correct or how long after a hen is rehomed do they start laying. There are no other hens in the coop. Just the two we bought and they seem to get on well with each other. Thank you.
     
  2. Rose Family

    Rose Family Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    Oh, p.s the hens are a light Sussex and a buff Sussex.
     
  3. lilypad

    lilypad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there! :)

    Here in England some breeders exaggerate the age of the hens, not sure if it's the same for hatcheries, but a good indicator if they're laying/very near laying is if their combs are bright red and usually they will stoop when you lean over them/go to pick them up.
    Some hens take a few days to settle in laying after being moved, some can go off lay for a few weeks, just one of them things really! Hopefully you will have eggs very soon :)

    Some of my hens roost, some don't, I let them go where they please. After dark you could try popping them on the perches, they will usually stay there and may get the hang of doing it on their own after a short while [​IMG]
     
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It can take a couple of weeks for them to settle into the new surroundings. I have had hens that slept on the floor until laying age.

    Do they squat when you reach out as if to pet them? Are their combs and wattles bright red? Those are signs of being laying age.

    I assume you have a suitable nesting box for them.

    Just being patient is hard for children.

    Chris
     
  5. Rose Family

    Rose Family Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    Yes we have a coop with three nesting boxes lined with straw. The light Sussex likes sleeping there :-(. We haven't been able to try to pick them up as they are still in their littlish coop, but their combs are bright red. Still waiting but it has only been a little over 48 hours. Tonight is their third sleep in the coop.
     
  6. bramble16

    bramble16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Hi there. Out Sussex chooks have never roosted properly over night. I have seen them perch occasionally during the day so I know they can. They sleep in their nesting boxes, sometimes together and sometimes not. They lay in the same boxes and we just clean them every day. I used to be concerned that they never roost but they are happy, friendly well behaved chooks who love to dust bathe and lay about 6 eggs each a week. I have been told that it can take upto 3 weeks for chooks to lay after going to a new home. Hang in there and good luck!
     
  7. nab58

    nab58 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may want to block off the nesting boxes to discourage sleeping in there. Open it back up when you get your first egg and put an egg or golf ball in it to show the hen that's we're you lay not sleep. Otherwise, you'll have a nest full of poop and dirty eggs.

    Making nesting boxes available doesn't make them lay. They'll lay when they're ready regardless of the comfort of the site.

    I think of egg laying in a new home like going to the bathroom when you're on vacation. You know you have to go eventually, but the interruption in your daily routine coupled with unfamiliar surroundings makes the process a little unpredictable. :)
     
  8. bramble16

    bramble16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 8, 2013
    Yep. Blocking off the boxes is what we should have done. I did do it one might but felt too mean as they slept in a bundle on the roost tray and still didn't roost. I should have been a bit tougher I think and kept at it. We now do have to clean the nest boxes each day but the eggs still come so I think the chooks are fine. We just made a rod for our own backs, I reckon.
     
  9. elginburgchix

    elginburgchix New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2013
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    We got our first hens (6) last Tuesday evening, and had 6 eggs the following morning. Since then, though, we have had 5 per day, and today I have collected 4 so far. I am guessing it is the stress of being in a new place. the transport to the feed store where I picked them up, etc. I was told the chickens I would be getting were 12 weeks old, but since they immediately started laying, I think they are older than that? Their combs were pinkish to start with, but are slowly turning a bright red. Last Sunday, we started letting them out of the coop to forage, so I am hoping everyone will be happy and good and healthy very soon, and will ALL be laying!
    I think it's just a matter of being patient, and letting them adjust to their new surroundings; good luck with your girls!
     
  10. lilypad

    lilypad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello there! What hens did you get? :)

    If they're laying already I'd say the youngest they could be is 16 weeks, likely a bit older [​IMG] Also as you're letting them forage around make sure no cheeky ones are sneaking off to lay in a plantpot/under a bush etc hehe! x
     

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