New to The site. beginner hen keeper Questions.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bergz2k, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Bergz2k

    Bergz2k New Egg

    Apr 1, 2009
    Hey all. I have just recently got myself in to the chicken keeping game. I thought i would join the site as you all seem like nice and helpfull people and i could do with help niow and again.

    I Bought myself 4 hens at 20weeks old, two rhodies (pure breeds)and two black rocks. i converted my old 8 x 12ft shed and build a run off it fully meshed with ample room for them.

    I have a few Questions tho. I have had them for about 2 weeks and they still havent laid. i know i am inpatient but whats the longest i could be waiting for my 1st eggs? They all seem happy and healthy!!

    Also i have noticed to like to sleep on the floor in one corner. ther are nesting boxes about 2ft off the ground and a couple of roost at varied heights. should i be worried about this?? the only reason i can think of that they sllep on the floor is because the shed is windowed and they like to be hidden against the wall wile they sleep!

    I have noticed on there feathers in the last couple of days dust specs on there bodies, as they arnt used to be handled its a struggle to pick them up to inspect them. i am worried about mites as there run floor is bark chippings. The dust spec are like dandruff sized but i use dust free sawdust so dont think it could be that.

    my last question (finally i hear u say [​IMG]) around there vents there feathers are slightly mucky with what looks like their poo. As said befir i cannot get close enough at the moment to check them, but i wonder if this is because they sleep on the floor in the coop.
    thanks for reading i hope you can put my mind at ease!
  2. old mill poultry

    old mill poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    Most hens won't start til about 22-25 weeks so just be patient. It will be slow to start but eventually once it warms up you will be getting all those eggs(e g g s) you are dreaming about. No they don't need a roo to lay just to have baby chicks. They could have some dust mites you could try using some of the powders such as sevin powder.
    Don't be afraid to pick them up, first get to know your hens I give my treats, such as veggies and they will love to see you coming. When you go to pick them up if the squat good sign they should be laying soon.
    I have boxes for my hens they sllep there but rarely give me eggs. They usually pile onto a nest or two of eggs. I keep a large muck bucket filled with straw and they lay all their eggs in their. Good luck with your babies.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  3. spydertoys

    spydertoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Munfordville, Kentucky
    Also..after dark..put them up on the roost poles..they are much easier to handle in the dark. Then pet them and talk to them. They probably just need to learn to roost if they haven't done it before.
  4. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008
    Hi and Welcome,

    Firstly I have some Black Rocks too. They are excellent birds, you will enjoy them and their E G G S, I typed that way due to some gliches on the site.

    That word keeps coming up as a rooster... lol. Just today don;t worry.

    Your girls are quite young, I had mine in Spetember and they took until November before they started laying, but they have not missed a single day since. It will also take them some time to get used to their new home, and believe me it is great for you to get them used to being handled and to you being around.

    Also it could be that they have neverhad roosts before so they may need a little encouragement, Mine were the same at first, I had to lift themonto the roost for a week and then they were fine, now they just take themselves to bed. It is not a good idea for themto sleep in nest boxes as they make quite a mess in them.

    Good luck and you will soon be enjoying lovely brown E G G S.

  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] On average a pullet will start laying between 20 and 24 weeks. Some may lay sooner and some may take longer. Give them treats. Eventually they will follow you everywhere.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  6. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    Bergz2k, just for future reference when getting day olds put a small roost about 6" off the brooder floor. Mine have never had a problem going to roost. My now 3 week old EE's are roosting at night and stand on it during the day to see out. By the way Welcome you will love it here. John

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