new to game

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by patvetzal, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. patvetzal

    patvetzal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Bancroft, Ontario
    We just made the jump into the "free" eggs game...Soon learned that the chicken comes before the egg!
    We built a raised 4x7' coop overlooking an old overgrown 20x20' dog run. Then we picked up 6 hens from a local farmer. Got 3 "white ones" and 3 "red ones". (He didn't know the actual breed) I believe that the whites are leghorns (large floppy combs, white eggs) and the reds are RIR's. He had raised the LHs last spring and bought the RIRs from an old guy going out of business.
    We initially got a few white eggs and a few brown ones but then the white ones stopped. After a 5 day settle-in period we opened the coop to the run and the RIRs finally wandered out.(now they tend to fly/jump/run out as soon as I open the coop each morning)
    Yesterday 2 of the LHs also ventured out but we are down to one brown egg a day in the egg boxes. Lotsa fresh water, full feeder of crumbles plus garden snacks and the odd handfull of mixed birdseed. The crumbles bag says that it has everything needed as far as calcium, vitamins etc and the run floor is a mix of sand and dirt in different areas. Using pine shavings in the coop and nests.
    Should we be expecting more eggs by now?
    The RIRs are very sociable, running to meet us if we are carrying anything that MIGHT be food but the LHs are very shy and don't associate with the RIRs or us. Is this genetics or past enviroment?
    The plumage on all the birds is very poor to our thinking but apparently normal for "commercial" birds that live in the basement of an old barn 24-7. A bit of rain yesterday has cleaned some of the crud off the RIRs. They seemed to enjoy the sprinkles until the thunder and hail started then they headed into the coop.
    Tomorrow I will be heading for the Co-op to check the DE situation as I'd sooner try it before the Rotonone that another local egg raiser suggested. We already have Dawn detergent (and nail clippers for the LHs) but I'd like to let them settle in before I try to "pretty" them up.
    Seems like a long thread but we have a lot to learn.......
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It may take them a month or two to really get settled. Since they were in intensive egg laying, they are probably letting their bodies build back up. If they are older, they won't lay daily. LH's are much more flighty than the RIR's by nature but will eventually think you're a walking treat container given time. A side dish of oyster shell never hurts if they get treats and after moult which should occur this fall and a winters rest, I bet they'll be happy egg laying machines for you in the spring if not sooner.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by