Newbie here..General questions...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Faso, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Faso

    Faso Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2012
    Pompton Lakes, NJ
    Hello,

    I just got my chickens saturday so i'm less than a week in. I appreciate any feedback. I read an ebook and researched a ton but i think i have a few issues. Hopefully they aren't issues. :)

    1) I have 2 hens. One is a bit larger than the other. They are almost 8 weeks old. How can I tell if the larger one is a rooster? Would he be making noise by now? I really hope not but I'm worried about it. I don't see the extra toe nail but I don't know what else to go by. The tail feather isn't long either. Any thoughts?

    2) The larger one of the two has gotten a little odd just today and yesterday When you go to touch it, it seems to want to peck at your hand. My daughter fed it from her hand and all was ok and it was nice to see but i was thinking now the chicken thinks there is always food in our hand...Or, is it really trying to hurt us? does it hurt? lol How can i stop this behavior?

    3) I catch the two always sitting by each other. It's not too cold out, maybe 50 in the morning but nothing crazy. I could swear i saw the smaller one sitting under the bigger one. Is this normal or could the bigger one be a rooster? lol

    4) I have a coop with a door and closed in run. I open the door after the first 24 hours(so they knew where the food water and sleeping spot was). They really don't care to come out. I opened it for the past few days. I come home from work and they aren't out. They are sometimes peeking out but they don't seem like they are dying to get down and eat the grass. Do i force them out or keep opening the door and leave them do what they want?

    5) Last question, i swear...hehe Do i block the egg laying boxes or leave them? Ok, two part question..when will they lay? I hear 20 weeks but not sure. Do i put golf balls in starting now even though they are young?

    Thanks all. Any info is much appreciated!

    Mike
     
  2. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    hi faso.
    i haven't been on in a while. hope your chicken adventure is going well. if your two "hens" are from the same batch & the same age & one is bigger, the chance the bigger one is a rooster is pretty fair. you probably don't have that information, so there is just no way to tell yet. for me, it became quite clear when they were old enough who was rooster & who wasn't. it's a wait & see kind of thing. i have a hen that loves to shove her head under whoever is nearby when she is nervous. she seems to think if her head is covered, nobody can see her. it doesn't matter to her if it's the rooster or one of the other girls.
    chickens are quite cautious creatures. if they're not coming out, i think something is making them uneasy. it may be the exit, there may be something flapping nearby, it could be a number of things. i think i would not force them out. i would let them make up their little chicken brain minds.
    i had to cover my nest boxes because some of the girls wanted to nest in there at night. i like my eggs nice & clean so i didn't want poopy eggs. i've never put golf balls or anything else in the nest boxes. they just seem to pick that place as a good quiet, safe place to lay eggs.

    good luck & hope you have fun. i think chickens are the most wonderful creatures. they never cease to amuse & amaze me.
     

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