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Older hens, New Free Range Home

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BullMtnFords, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. BullMtnFords

    BullMtnFords In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2018
    In late April, early May, a Kelpie puppy showed up. Tried to keep him tied up, but all seven of my chickens were killed. 2 roosters, 5 hens. To satisfy already established egg customers, I bought 4 laying hens, off CL. One hen has Feathered feet, 2 others are Red..I'll find pictures, post
    Bottom line, it took weeks to get eggs out of them, now I may get 6 a week out of all four? I feed scratch, some layer feed, Bread and whatever they'll eat from the kitchen. ( I make a lot of salads) The smallest hen I brought home seems to sit in the place they were laying for 2 hours a day, 'roosts' there overnight. :idunno:confused:
    I've had chickens for years, have given Electrolytes, vitamins.. There are 14 4 mo old chicks running around now also, brought them home about the same time..
    Any ideas on why they aren't laying would be great, Have customers Waiting for Free Range Eggs!! :th:hmm:rolleyes:
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Insufficient nutrition.
    Have the layer feed available full time and cut out the scratch and other stuff.

    Tho if they are free range, they may be laying out in range area.
    Do this test, then if they appear to be laying, lock em until they use coop nests regularly.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for a week or so can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop and maybe run 24/7 for a few days to a week, provided you have adequate space and ventilation, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
  3. BullMtnFords

    BullMtnFords In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2018
    Thanks. They ALL are free range. I've hiked the area frequently used as alternative laying spots, No Luck. Will pick up More layer next trip in. Usually they have scratch available 24/7. Always have calcium/shells out. Will drop scratch from list.

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