New to Chickens- Laying Hens & Feed Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Teacherpea, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Teacherpea

    Teacherpea In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2013
    Hi all, I'm new to the world of chicken raising, so I have serveral questions of you, please.

    1) One of my girls started laying on Thursday. The first egg was not completely formed. The second and third egg are; however, she is laying in the poop board. My dad and I literally built the nest box yesterday, and one of my other girls, who has started laying, used the nest box. The one hen did not, this morning her egg is in the poop box. We put golf balls in the nest boxes; they're full of nesting materials. My question is this, is there anything else I can do to persuade her to use the nest box instead of the poop board?

    2) We started the girls on laying feed. Do I still need to include additional calcium?

    3) My girls free range more times than not. Do I still need to provide them with grit?

    Thanks y'all!

    Below is my daughter holding the first egg!
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If you're confident they have access to a variety of sizes of small stones then you don't have to provide grit. Grit is cheap though and it doesn't hurt to provide it in a separate container.
    It is also best to provide crushed oyster shell in a separate container.
    Weird eggs and laying behavior are common with point of lay pullets.
    As you've found, it is best to have the nest box ready well before laying commences.
    She's probably in a cycle when the egg is ready during the night so she just lets it go. Once the cycle gets to the point that the egg is formed during daylight she'll probably start using the nest.
    Having the others use it with golf balls or fake eggs helps.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Teacherpea

    Teacherpea In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2013
    Thanks so much!

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