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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TurkenDuck73, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. TurkenDuck73

    TurkenDuck73 In the Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2010
    I have to Turken Hens hatched 01 Jun. I know they should start laying soon and will do so on their schedule. I originally got the chickens for eggs but have since decided that I like them. If they lay, yippee.... Anyway, I want to do what I can to, I guess make them happy. I turned my kids play fort into a "coop" and they seem to be satisfied with it. I put a "laying box" next to where they roost at night and as soon as I did, the hen with the bigger comb, and lighter feathers, immediately started clucking, for the first time ever. I got excited but they just walked around where I had made changes to their home and "Original" clucked. I forgot to mention, their names are Original and Extra Crispy. The darker one is Extra Crispy. Got lucky with the coloring, named it before she got dark. I'm going to try and post pics here of them and their home and ask for advice. I don't have a big yard and neighbors close by. I also have two Pekins, a Mallard/Rouen duckling that is attached to my youngest daughter, a rabbit, two cats, two dogs and some fish I think.

    The chickens go to be normally right at dusk but get up at the same time every morning. Light or no light their up at 0430 now but use to be 0530 before time change. Is that normal? Do I need to turn a light on in the morning to help with laying? I have a patio light about 30 feet away and there's no "walls" really so any light they see.

    Hope the pics work and please, any and all feedback is appreciated.

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  2. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    chickens are up dawn or a bit before to dusk and a bit after. Your girls should start laying soon. They might till the days start getting longer. I dont mess with extra lighting just cuz. nesting boxes need to be someplace safe and kinda dark. The bird wants to feel safe and like it is hiding. You nest box might be a bit too open.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I see your somewhere south. At least south enough for palm trees. I've no idea what predators you have in your area but am assured they lurk in every corner of every continent. Your privacy fence and chain link will keep out dogs and perhaps stray cats but not much of anything else. One thing to always remember is everyone/thing likes chicken. The reason why they lay so many eggs is they are low in pecking order in the animal kingdom [​IMG]

    I say this as it's happened to me and many others. With so few birds losing one or two is a big loss so having a shelter for night time roosting is ideal for flock longevity. It can be very simple but must have a wood floor and no accesses an 1" or more. Rats, weasels, snakes, etc. can either dig under or fit through small openings.

    You can see what I did and quickly learned about having a floor. I've not yard fencing so went with a tractor and when able let them free range.

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    These kids houses work great, just screw the roof tight and a railing/2x2 board inside for a roost. Hardware mesh fastened inside would be preferable to whats shown here. The plastic mesh with shutters snaped shut worked for me and I had the old shutter lying around. The 4 week olds were in it for almost a week, bought the material to build a tractor on a Sat. and awoke Sun. to 3 mink attacked birds. All I had to do was rest it on the old plywood I had for tractor coop floor and it could have been avoided.

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    This is the tractor I built that Sunday. All was well as they went into it to roost at night and I shut the door before dark. This worked great to move about the yard for fresh grass when not out free ranging yard. Used this set up right until a few weeks ago when I finally finished the permanent coop for the tractor.

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    For the sake of space I attached the flip top nesting boxes to back of tractor and used the PVC feeder idea for early morn food before I let em out into run.

    Where your nesting box is is fine, grass clippings or what have you to nest the bottom of it I bet they use it. Perhaps may take a cover too for that instinctual secure hiding place.

    Good Luck and Happy Turken Raising.
     
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    Other than doing a lot of predator-proofing I don't have any advice, just wanted to say I absolutely LOVE your turkens. They are gorgeous.[​IMG]
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

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    South Georgia
    Let's hope the clucking means they saw it as a nest and not something new and therefore scary. You just never know. Most people use some sort of nesting material straw or whatever; maybe you just hadn't gotten that far when you took the pic. Golf balls tend to say, this is a good spot to lay, as someone already did.

    In case you didn't know, usually they will start squatting and their combs and wattles will redden when they are about to lay. In that first pic, the close one might be red, hard to say from the lighting.

    They'll lay where they want to lay. Some like nests more hidden, some not, you never know. I have simple open-front nest boxes like yours, as well as a plastic bin that is open on the top, and two scraps of board leaned against the coop wall. One Sussex like the open top, the Leghorn likes under the board, the BA likes the open front boxes. You might find your first egg under that step!
     
  6. TurkenDuck73

    TurkenDuck73 In the Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2010
    Thank you everyone. The lighter one, "Original", has gotten a lot redder and her wattle has gotten bigger. I had the fort all wired up with a door on it that I took down probably a month ago. There are two cats that come in the yard but they just hang out. I'll sometimes catch the cats and ducks laying around each other while the "Ladies" peck and scratch away like nothing. The cats keep away snakes and smaller critters. I haven't seen anything else but I know critters are out there. I guess I've been lucky I just hate cooping them up at night or at all. I've discovered that I really enjoy the chickens and ducks and I like to let them be as free as possible, I guess. As for being in the south, Florida, Space Coast. Yeah, it's gotten cold at night and I've wondered if my birds will be warm enough.......down in the 50's. Cold to me. I saw someone post that it was -3 and they were feeding their chickens warm oatmeal. I have put Timothy Hay in the laying box and within a half an hour there was a little round smooth spot right in the middle of the box. Guessing someone got up in there and tried it out.

    I've recently been laid off and my birds have done me a world of good. I never would have imagined that I would have any fowl much less as pets. And Thank you True Grit....my Ladies are quite beautiful. I actually argued with my Grandmother yesterday because she kept saying I had ugly chickens.
     
  7. TurkenDuck73

    TurkenDuck73 In the Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2010
    Yaaaaaaaaaay!!!! First egg today. Finally. Little small but it's an egg.

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