Newbie to BYC and newish to chickens!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by kellicorsano, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. kellicorsano

    kellicorsano Hatching

    Oct 14, 2014
    West Sussex
    Hello all,

    I have just joined back yard chickens, however since I first started with my chickens in August I have read through countless of threads to help me on my way!!

    All in all the hen keeping seems to be going quite well and everything I am not sure on I seem to be able to find out quite easily here.

    I initially had 5 hens, 1 sadly died and 2 new since then so I now have 6.

    I have a light Sussex called Peggy sue a barred rock called dotty a silver not sure what hybrid called smokey a black not sure what hybrid called George a silkie called bell and a freebie Rhode Island Red called phoebe.

    I have overcome lots of problems so far and lots of learning!! From chickens roosting in the trees and having to get them down and in coop, chickens escaping having to clip wings, making sure they are clean and mite free ect ect!!

    Few problems I have...
    First and Foremost is what's best to do with the egg laying. They seem to change where they want to lay. It has got to the only eggs I find now are about 1 a day in there house to the right of there pop hole, they used to lay in a black upside down compost bin with a hole in the front. I was getting about 4 a day in the nesting box and in random places sometimes self made little nest by trees ect but all completely stopped for quite some time.

    The other thing I'm not sure about is whether I should be covering the enclosure with tarpaulin or something for the rainy weather? They have a big tree and bushy areas in enclosure, there coop that is supposed to sleep up to 10 (I wouldn't want to have more than 6 in it) and a little hut I made from an old dog kennel for there food and water, what is everyone's thoughts?

    Thanks all
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. Radioactive Egg

    Radioactive Egg In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2014
    Perth, Western Australia
    Welcome to BYC!
    We've had chooks for about 5 years now (some consider that newbie) and to get our chooks to lay in the nesting box, we placed an egg-shaped stress ball in it. It worked like a charm. Put anything in there that looks like an egg and it should (don't quote me here) work.

    As for the rain protection...
    We hardly get rain in Australia, but with our chooks, they stay out in the rain most of the time. They can go into the coop if they really want to, but getting drizzled on is no problem for them. I guess it is England there so you could make a small, covered and open tarpaulin shelter for them. During a large thunder storm, you can leave them inside the laundry (we did that when one of them insisted on sleeping outside for the night!)
    Radioactive Egg over and out.
    1 person likes this.
  3. N F C

    N F C snowing & blowing

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    The run attached to our coop has a dense mesh cover (for shade and flying predator prevention). If it rains hard, water does go through the mesh but even though our girls could go into the coop to stay dry, they seem to prefer staying outside for the most part. You probably should put some sort of cover over your run, more for protection maybe than rain.

    If you want some help identifying your chickens breeds, there's a forum here that could help. Post pictures (close-up of entire bird) on
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] As the above poster said, putting something resembling an egg in the nest box should do the trick. I had a bantam hen that laid her eggs wherever she happened to be at the time. I couldn't find my fake egg so I put a gold ball in the nest box. She started laying in the nest box immediately. Really, chickens don't know any better, I've heard of a determined broody trying to hatch a lemon once (I kid you not!).

    As for the rain and wet, have you considered putting some sand in the run to help keep the mud and icky stuff under control? See here:

    Otherwise, if you can cover it, it would help, but it's not essential. I've kept chickens in sopping wet Ireland with no cover except in their coop and they were fine. Enjoy the site!
  5. kellicorsano

    kellicorsano Hatching

    Oct 14, 2014
    West Sussex
    Thanks all. Sand seems very interesting.. Is this something I could consider putting all over there run instead of the mud and straw/pine shavings as well as in there coop or are they best to have normal bedding?
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    X3 on the fake eggs in the nest boxes. A hen loves to lay her egg where she thinks it will be safe for her to do so and when she sees an egg in a nest, she knows that must be a safe spot to lay hers.

    Oh, SAND! I worship the stuff!! Use it everywhere! I use it in the coop, run and even the nest boxes!! It stays dry when wet, it is soft on the foot pads, it absorbs poop and the smells, repels flies and you can hose it down in the summer time to keep the birds cool. Cool feet mean cool birds. But it is advised to use a covered run when you use sand. Definitely stop by the Got Sand link that Sumi left for you. Lots of help with getting started with sand. You will want to use 4 to 6 inches of it all over. If you cover only one area, it will disappear fast as the chickens scratch it all out. Sand is great for dust bathing and grit and gizzard stones.

    Good luck and we do welcome you to our flock!
  7. kellicorsano

    kellicorsano Hatching

    Oct 14, 2014
    West Sussex
    Thank you, much appreciated.

    The area in my garden fenced for the chickens is 12x20ft. It has 2 big trees so I just think it will be really difficult to cover! So maybe sand isn't the route for me! [​IMG]
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    The other posters have given you some good advice already. Good luck with your flock!
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Glad you joined the flock. Sorry I can't think of anything to add that was suggested already. Are you sure, no preds are stealing eggs?
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

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