ok newbie with lots of questions....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by supermommy, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. supermommy

    supermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    central ny
    Some may be silly, but I really dont have the slightest clue what I am doing. Learning as I go along!

    How will I know when my hen's are ready to start laying?

    Should I make any changes to feed/other things?

    How do I know if they are edible or hatchable? (meaning If I leave them in there will they hatch, or if I take them will they be edible and not have baby chicks?)

    I should check for eggs daily right?

    How long after they do the deed should I expect eggs?




    Ok thats all for right now but I would appreciate any help. I know some may seem silly but Im a farmen girl in training..lol Thanks everyone in advance!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The only silly question is the one not asked.

    How will I know when my hen's are ready to start laying?

    There are some physical signs, like a red comb, but the main clue is you see eggs. Some may start laying around 16 weeks, but the average is probably aound 20 weeks. Some take longer.

    Should I make any changes to feed/other things?

    When you first see your first egg or at age 20 weeks, whichever happens first, switch to layer ration. Do not switch before as the layer ration contains extra calcium and extra calcium is not healthy for growing chicks.

    How do I know if they are edible or hatchable? (meaning If I leave them in there will they hatch, or if I take them will they be edible and not have baby chicks?)

    This could get complicated so I'll try an abridged version. If you have a rooster with the hens, the eggs are probably fertile. Fertile eggs are as safe to eat as non-fertile eggs. If a hen goes broody and sets on the eggs for 21 days, fertile eggs will hatch.

    I should check for eggs daily right?

    Many people check for eggs 2 or 3 times a day. There are reasons to do this, but this does not fit everyone's schedule. My experience is that if you gather the eggs once a day, preferably in late afternoon or the evening, they will be safe to eat. If you want to hatch eggs, my recommendation for many reasons is to gather the eggs daily and, when a hen goes broody, put them under her. I cannot think of any reason to not gather eggs at least once a day. Check out a tremendous number of threads on broody hens for further information.

    How long after they do the deed should I expect eggs?

    Hens will lay eggs whether a rooster is present or not. Doing the deed has no effect on egg production, only if the eggs are fertile.
     
  3. supermommy

    supermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    central ny
    Thanks so much!!
    So If I dont want chicks, then check several times a day? I hear some people put golf balls in the box, whats that for?


    I really apreciate all your help!
     
  4. andehens

    andehens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2008
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    [​IMG] from California!!

    Ridgerunner gave such good answers!
    I have fake eggs, same purpose as golf balls to show them where I want them to lay their eggs. They seem to view them as eggs and if another hen found that spot desirable, then they will too. I also believe it gets the pecking at the eggs out of their system harmlessly!
    You will need to have a rooster to have chicks, I check for eggs several times a day b/c I enjoy it!
     
  5. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Michigan
    I have three recommendations:
    1) Read all you can in the BYC learning center.
    2) Visit feathersite.com
    3) Go to the library & check out whatever thay have on chickens.

    Good luck!
     
  6. supermommy

    supermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    central ny
    Thanks again!!!
     
  7. n2h20

    n2h20 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pasadena Ca
    spend some time reading posts on here., those questions have been answered a billzion times.
     
  8. supermommy

    supermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    central ny
    Quote:wow thanks for the welcome here!
     
  9. CATRAY44

    CATRAY44 Lard Cookin Chicken Woman

    [​IMG] from S. Michigan!
     
  10. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    YOU ASKED THESE QUESTIONS

    Some may be silly, but I really dont have the slightest clue what I am doing. Learning as I go along!

    (1 How will I know when my hen's are ready to start laying?
    (answer there will be several eggs laid each day and in a row. This will tell you how many are laying. as each egg is made between 24 and 28 hrs depending on the hen and the breeding she came from on egg laying of strain.
    Should I make any changes to feed/other things?

    (2How do I know if they are edible or hatchable? (meaning If I leave them in there will they hatch, or if I take them will they be edible and not have baby chicks?)
    (answer well they will all be edible as if you don't have a rooster there is no fertility in eggs
    Even if you have a rooster you will still be able to eat eggs. fertility does not maje them un edible.
    Generally the eggs should be gathered daily and not left for the hen to become broody. They should be stored in egg cartons for the week to be ready to incubate in incubator
    IF YOU WANT CHICKS and want hens to set, you need to put setting hens seperate from layers
    as hens lay where there are eggs present in the nest, thus making new eggs not ready for hatching. The older laid eggs will spoil before the hen sets

    I should check for eggs daily right?
    (3 answer yes bring eggs in daily

    How long after they do the deed should I expect eggs?
    (4 are you speaking of roosters mounting hens? generally they mate when the hen is laying
    still they will lay their egg and the roosters do have favorite hens they mate a lot with.
    I am sure you will get eggs and only when the hens are ready to lay
    Go and read on my web site the article of
    egg composition on the Avian site
     

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