New to chickens, Have Questions.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by missusduray, May 20, 2007.

  1. missusduray

    missusduray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2007
    Northern Minnesota
    Hi All,
    I did a bit of reading on the boards before I decided to become a member. I wanted to know somethings but I was unable to find them on existing forums.

    I just got my chickens about a week ago and I have 3 hens and a rooster. I am not sure of the breed but they lay brown eggs and are red in color. They are very gentle and good around our other pets and our kids.

    I am having trouble getting them to lay eggs in the same spot.
    So here are my questions:
    1. How do I get them to lay eggs in the nesting boxes in the coop? They layed in there the first day we had them and now I have to hunt the yard for eggs everyday. I have tried decoy eggs and they just kick them out of the nest.
    2. Do I need to be feeding them a certain mixture of feed? I let them out every morning and they wander around the yard happily all day until night and after they go in the coop we shut the door. Do I need to be feeding them calcium? We have been feeding them corn because that is what we had on hand.
    3. Do hens lay eggs every day? How many do they lay a day?
    4. How severly does molting affect egg production?
    5. How do I get them to sit on eggs? I would like them to hatch their own chicks. I dont really want to mess with an incubator and all that, yet.

    If anyone has advice for me it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    missusduray
     
  2. catballou24

    catballou24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i'm still a novice compared to others here, but i'll take a stab at a few of your questions..[​IMG]

    1. my experience with my flock from a couple years ago was that if i wanted them to lay in the nesting boxings all the time, i had to keep them confined to the coop for about a week. i did put a plastic easter egg in there as a decoy and it did seem to work, but before i did that they were free ranged and layed eggs all over the place..LOL once they got the idea that they had nests, 3 of my rir's would lay there consistantly. the 4th decided that the top of the window a/c unit was the perfect spot...[​IMG]

    2. i always had layer feed in their feeder available, even though they free ranged. it was my understanding that they needed the variety for better production and health. we never offered them extra calcium...but that doesn't mean we weren't suppose to, i just don't know the answer to that one..LOL

    3. my experience, 1 egg a day almost everyday from my black austrolops...the rir's were good too but didn't lay everyday...most days though.

    4. my girls were taken by predators before they could actually get to molting, i learned my lesson about fully free ranging...we lived on alot of land that had a lot of predators at the time..anyway, my understanding is they usually stop laying while molting, but again i haven't experienced it myself yet...my new babies are only about 7 weeks old..[​IMG]

    5. i think only a broody hen will sit, and not all hens will go broody. our bantam buff cochin was super broody, but the other girls were not into it at all. i don't know that you can actually force a chicken to sit on eggs...

    i'm sure others here will have much more complete answers, which i'm anxious to learn from too! [​IMG] welcome to the wonderful world of chickens though!! they are addicting..hehe
     
  3. missusduray

    missusduray Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2007
    Northern Minnesota
    Thanks for the answers, just one more. What is a Broody Hen?
    missusduray
     
  4. catballou24

    catballou24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2007
    Austin, TX
    a broody hen is a hen who will sit on eggs....can be any breed, but some breeds are more broody by nature than others. [​IMG]
     
  5. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    You may need to keep them in the coop in the mornings for a while until they get use to laying the eggs in there. As for the feed you should be giving them layer feed I give mine stratch gains mixed with layer pellets. You can also have free choice of grit & oyster shells for them during the day. I'm not sure how many they lay a day each. I have 15 chickens right now that lay about 10/13 eggs a day. You have to have a hen go broody for them to sit on the eggs. I've have chicken for 5/6 years and have had only one go broody and that was just two months ago. A bantam and she just hatched two babies from eggs that where from my other hens.
    Maybe someone else can help you on the molting.
     

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