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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Annmarie G, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. Annmarie G

    Annmarie G New Egg

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    HI! I recently got 2 Rhode Island Reds from a pet store local to me. I feel they may have sold me older hens because neither of the hens have laid since I've got them. I've had them for 2 weeks now. I know it takes some time but I've read just a few days. From the start one of the hens I had got wasn't as active as the other....and just yesterday when I went out to let them roam my yard, I found her dead. This was extremely disheartening seeing as they were my first two chickens and I have no idea why this had happened. The other hen I have was extremely more curious in foraging and ate so much more compared to the hen that died. I don't know if they were just older and have past their days of laying or what. But if my other hen dies as well it will definitely be sad. The first picture is of my hen that is still alive. The second photo is of my other hen that died (this is her "sunbathing" or so I read when I looked it up as I thought this behavior was strange) but she was alive in that photo! Maybe that isn't a normal behavior and something I should have been more concerned with? Now I am wanting to get 2 pullets...since I've done some more research but idk if my hen will respond to them well. Although I have looked up how to introduce them! Please let me know what you all think! Thank you!
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  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Hi, Annmarie....just popped over from New Members to see what you had posted here. Really sorry to hear about your loss. [​IMG] Yeah, the fact that they have been with your for two weeks and have not yet given an egg is suspect. How positive are you this did not happen? Could one or both have done so, just not in their coop? Not sure to what extent they free range. Another factor this time of year is the molt which knocks back egg production - don't where you are geographically, but as the hours of daylight dwindle and the molt occurs, egg production can sometimes come to a standstill. But I think what I am most wondering about is their age. It's hard for me to tell but they look mature, that's for sure. I think getting new pullets might be a good investment. Here is a method of introducing new birds into an existing population https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/introducing-new-chickens-using-the-see-but-don-t-touch-method
    There is also the consideration of quarantining any new birds for a few weeks so any diseases they may may don't show up in your other bird.
    One question...have you thought of starting with baby chicks? Lots of reputable breeders and hatcheries out there. Just a thought. Good luck to you!!
     
  3. Annmarie G

    Annmarie G New Egg

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    Yes! I've definitely looked into many of those things. At first I thought maybe they were molting. I live in South Florida and as you can see the sun is shining bright. Other than the daily rain showers we do get quite a bit of sun! I definitely think they are maybe too old. When we first got them one of the employees said "they are already laying" so I got extremely exciting and was expecting to see eggs right away! The area they range isn't the biggest and I've definitely checked around and I'm usually out there when they're out. Are there certain times they lay? I thought I read dawn and dusk??? I'm a bit hesitant in getting new chicks as I've read they are a bit more hands on and don't want to take too much on at once since I am still new at this! But definitely in the future! I actually live right across from a full on farm. So I may go by there and see if they sell any or anything like that! Yes, I've read about quarantine and keeping them separated by a fence so that they can see each other and all that jazz! I will definitely be doing all that! I want to succeed in this! haha
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    You asked when during the day do they lay. Here's an excerpt from a great article in the Learning Center about eggs that answers that.
    • From the time an ovum leaves the ovary, it takes approximately 25 hours for the egg to reach the vent for laying. During that time period, the yolk will grow larger while being surrounded by albumen (egg white), wrapped in a membrane, and encased in a shell. Pigment is deposited on the shell as the last step of the egg production process.
    • If sperm is present, the yolk will be fertilized before the albumen is deposited.
    • As a chick embryo develops in a fertilized egg, the yolk provides nourishment and the albumen cushions the embryo.
    • Although a hen has only one exterior opening (the cloaca or vent) for egg laying and elimination, eggs are not contaminated during the laying process. Two separate channels, the oviduct and the large intestine, open into the cloaca. As the egg nears the end of the oviduct, the intestinal opening is temporarily blocked off. The egg passes through the cloaca without contact with waste matter.
    • The typical interval between eggs laid is about 25 hours, so a hen that lays an egg every day will lay a bit later each day.
    • Hens don’t usually lay eggs in the dark, so once a hen’s laying cycle reaches dusk time, she will usually not lay till the following morning.


    And baby chicks aren't really all that time intensive after the first two or three weeks - and not even then if you do your prep work (which really only means have a brooder, food, water, and a heat source). I know I'm sounding Iike a salesman for baby chicks but they are fun, you can order what you want, and you know what you are getting. And they are so CUTE!
     
  5. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very strange that the bird would die like that. It didn't look sick, nor did it look like a predator kill? I'm all for baby chicks. The first two weeks you have to pay a lot of attention to them to make sure they stay at the proper temp. but they are very little trouble and you bond with them. Of course then you have to wait 20 weeks for eggs but it is very exciting to get the first egg from your girls. Your on the right track finding this WEB site it's so valuable for newbies.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    First I would be totally set up to raise Chicken...Coop/run...And gather as much knowledge as you can about Chickens...
    Chickens carry lots of disease and can not handle stress very well...
    Research Chickens before you commit to having any...They take time and money to care for them properly...

    Just my thoughts...
     
  7. Annmarie G

    Annmarie G New Egg

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    Chicken really: Yeah, I've definitely done my research before just jumping into getting chickens which is why I chose not to start with chicks. Even with all the research in the world nothing tops good ol experience.

    Little Fuzzy: I definitely don't think it was a predator kill since what I read from those that there is usually blood and lots of feathers everywhere and there was neither. Maybe I simply bought old hens and the move was too much for the one hen who may have already been on her final days???? I may just cave an prepare to get some chicks! Thanks for the response
     
  8. Annmarie G

    Annmarie G New Egg

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    Here are 3 more pictures of my hen, anyway anyone could gauge her age?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    As I stated in your other thread, it can take several weeks, even up to a month for them to get started laying again after a move. How bright the sun is during the day doesn't have as much to do with molting as the hours of sunlight. As the days shorten, molt starts. At least here in the Upper Midwest. I'm not sure how many hours of sunlight you get down there. It may be entirely different.

    My guess with the chicken that died is that it may have had something wrong to begin with if it was never active or curious or out eating much. I don't have pavement here where I live, but when mine are laying around like the one in the picture, they're usually laying in a hole they've dug for a dust bath.

    You are right that even with a lot of research, nothing beats good old experience. This chicken keeping thing is an ongoing learning experience for most of us. Even those of us who have had them for many years. It's a fun hobby, but sometimes frustrating. Sometimes they up and die for no obvious reason, sometimes a predator or disease can wipe out a flock in no time, and sometimes you can go for years without any problems. Good luck, and enjoy your new hobby!
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop

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