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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by brodalick, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. brodalick

    brodalick New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2012
    I am a newbie to the forum and also when it comes to raising chickens. Two months ago I acquired 6 Rhode Island red hens and 1 unknown variety rooster. I have them in an 8 x 8 coop with an 8 x 21 run. I kept them contained to the coop and run for 3 weeks before I turned them out. They stayed out for 5 minutes and ran back in. I have been turning them out about 3-4 times a week and now after 1 month, they will stay out an hour before returning. Now my concern is this. NO EGGS. All the hens were laying when I received them. I know I have disrupted their lifestyle but I figured after 2 months I would have seen at least 1 egg. I live in South Eastern North Carolina and we are having 10-11 hours of daylight now. Should I be worried or just let them roam, be happy and play the waiting game?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  2. Kickin' Chickin'

    Kickin' Chickin' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are happy and healthy with no parasites or molting you must try to out wait the chicken![​IMG]
     
  3. brodalick

    brodalick New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2012
    Here is the huge problem I have. These chickens have been free roaming their entire lives. When they are out of their enclosed environment they are fairly calm and will get reasonably close to you. Inside the coop or the run, they do just that, RUN. You can't get close enough to them to check them. Are the parasites visible from a distance and I am not really sure what molting is.
     
  4. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wait until dark, you can then simply go in and pick them up.....no problem. try not to shine a bright light on them or that will stir them up. But once you have picked them up you can use a flashlight to examine them. Look under wings and around vent for "bugs".
     
  5. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] First of all welcome to the forum. Are sure they aren't laying outside the run, because they are confused with their new surroundings. You can try to put a fake egg in the nesting box. They run around because they don't know you yet. It will take a long time. I have pullets that took a long time to feel safe. Try throwing scratch in front of you while you are squatting down, then hold your hand out to see if they take it. My Rhodie is skittish around me and I raised it from a chick. With patience, they will run up to you every time they see you, if you have goodies.
    Michele
     
  6. brodalick

    brodalick New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2012
    Thanks. I was hesitant at first about the forum, but I know absolutely nothing about chickens. Funny cause I was raised around horses, hogs, cattle, etc. but chickens were never part of it. They are without a doubt not laying outside the run area. I stay with them when then are turned out to help watch out for the many hawks we have in the woods behind us. My chickens made no noise what-so-ever for 2 weeks. Now they cackle like there is no tomorrow. As far as trying fake eggs or golf balls, they only throw them out of the nest and onto the ground. Guess they will lay when they get ready and not before. One more question. They have a porch or 2-2x4's as a walking deck in front of their nesting boxes. I have to clean it off every day and was wondering will this start to house bacteria and can I clean it with a Clorox solution to kill anything that should not be there?
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't clean my boards with bleach, I just scrap them twice a day (a least try to, the morning scrap only happens if time allows before work) I have never used bleach and probably never will, due to, they will poop on it again in 10 mins or so. If they are going in the nest boxes and pushing out the fake egg, they will lay for you soon, they are investigating the boxes, good thing. Do you know how old they are?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  8. brodalick

    brodalick New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2012
    I don't have a clue how old any of them are. I have 2 hens with spurs. 1 with 1 1/2 inch and the other with 1 inch spurs (if that has anything to do with age). The other 4 hens look to be young with only small knots on their legs and alot of very light colored young looking feathers.
     
  9. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    When you say you acquired them are you saying you don't know who owned them before you? If you do know them, I would ask how old they are and how many eggs a day they were producing. You may have acquired someone's "spent" hens.
     
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most hens don't have spurs.
     

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