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Newbie to chickens and Got to see for the first time a laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Campinrob, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. Campinrob

    Campinrob Just Hatched

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    Jun 28, 2016
    North Georgia
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    Got my chickens in February and its been a long road to get to where I am. I have two of my five chickens laying and yesterday I seen one of the chickens in the runner standing in the corner with its head kind of arched back and half way squatting down. After a few seconds she dropped her first egg. The Schell is real soft and did not harden. Its her first egg. Exciting for me to get to see this.

    I am still trying to get educated on the nesting boxes. They won't lay in them. Tried two different approaches. Did some looking around the BYC and I am going to try another method. Any suggestion would be appreciated. If I need to post some pictures of my coop I will.

    THANKS
    Campinrob
     
  2. AustralorpsAU

    AustralorpsAU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations. My chickens didn't start laying in the nesting boxes to start with but once i put golf balls in there they did! Try golf balls and see if that works.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Cool Beans!!

    Eggs come out soft or hard.....they don't harden after they are laid.
    The do come out wet, but dry in less than a minute.

    Yes, fake egg/golf balls in the nests can help.
    But new layers can take up to a month or so for everything to smooth out.
    Meanwhile, eggs everywhere, some of them can be rather funky looking, soft or thin shelled, huge double yolked eggs.

    More info on what you've tried and pics of your nests might help us help you find a solution.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Campinrob

    Campinrob Just Hatched

    11
    2
    16
    Jun 28, 2016
    North Georgia
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    I have a solar exhaust fan in set at 86 deg. to come on. I also have a window on the other side for ventilation. I have Five chickens in a 12' x 6' coop. The running area is 3-4 times bigger than the inside coop. The nesting boxes to the right in the top picture I took the top off to see if they will nest there. They are 12" wide 16" deep. Guess I will have to give them more time to mature to get settled. Any other suggestions will be helpful.

    Can you eat the soft shelled eggs after washing?

    Thanks
    Campinrob
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I would not eat a soft shelled egg......you'll find they are probably pretty hard to 'wash'.....I usually just throw them out.
    They often get eaten by the chickens before I even find them-just a wet spot left behind, which will not necessarily lead to egg eating.

    Fan looks good, does it help?

    Ramp and roost look a bit narrow.
    Roost might be a bit low too, a foot higher than nests is good.

    I'd put a board about 3-4" high on front of nests to help keep bedding, and eggs, inside nest.
    Put some fake eggs/golf balls in all but one nest to entice them to use nests to lay.
    I say 'all but one nest' as I had a pullet refuse to use a nest with fake egg in it at first.

    ETA: waterer hanging from roost not great idea, will end up with poopy waterer.
    Not sure why you have heat lamp in there but put it away, no sense in it becoming caked with dust.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  6. Campinrob

    Campinrob Just Hatched

    11
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    Jun 28, 2016
    North Georgia
    Thanks so much. I will be working on these improvements right away. I have some fake eggs, Had them in all the nest, will do what you say. I will relocate the water. It's all a new structure, plenty of room for me to move. I will make a new ramp to the roosting as well. I am going to put a trail cam in there to kinda see what they doing at night. This may help me see what they doing and if there is something I need to improve on.

    Any other suggestions are welcomed. THANKS SO MUCH
    Campinrob
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    No problem...there are almost always changes to be made with with coops once they are in use, I use screws to fasten everything due to that.
    The roominess of your coop definitely makes things better for the birds and you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Each Chicken will have their preference, I have 5 new layers just started a week ago, 3 went to the nests right away and layed eggs, one layed egg in the run in the middle of everyone while eating, she must not know it was coming since it was a pullet size (ping pong), the other one made her own nest in the corner of the coop. I kind of anticipated they will be laying between 16-20 wks so I have offered oyster shells all over the run just placing it on the stumps and on bricks here and there, learned from 2 springs of keeping layers to supplement with oyster shells avoiding lots of broken and rubber eggs. Since I have 3 generations of layers integrated, I offered flock raisers and layer feed. They have 6 different stations of feeders and 4 waterers so no one get bullied out of food and water. I 2x @aart re: the lamp hanging from the roost, also on golf balls in the nests, I have ceramic lifelike eggs and sometime they kick those out but it does help on "egging" them to lay in the nests. I have also placed some curtains in front of some of nests for some hens prefer dark and private place. Congrats with those precious eggs, it's always exciting to get them. It's my 3rd spring (2nd year of keeping chickens) but the run and inside of coop been modified and rearranged multiple times to accommodate new chicks, new layers and their roosting habits.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  9. Campinrob

    Campinrob Just Hatched

    11
    2
    16
    Jun 28, 2016
    North Georgia
    Thanks so much for the advice. Will be doing some modifications this week to improve my coop and making my chickens happy layers.
     

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