Our first eggs!! Questions, questions, questions!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MarieNC, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our "early bloomer" Dora (the Explorer) just gave us our first egg yesterday. She's just over 5 months old. But she is not laying them in the nest boxes, she is dropping them off the roost onto the poop tray! One had a little dent in it while the other one is OK. How do I get her to lay her eggs in the nest box? Here is a picture of my setup - wondering if I should move the boxes to the ground. At one time the girls used to sleep in the nest boxes so they can get to them, but they haven't done that in awhile. Another question - yesterday I just bought a new bag of starter chick food. Since the other 5 girls aren't laying eggs yet, do I need to switch them all to layer feed for Dora or can I keep Dora on starter feed until everyone else catches up? We are very excited about this.

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  2. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    take that egg and put it in the nesting box.as far as switching Dora i would wait and continue with the starter with free will oyster shell
     
  3. LeghornLisa

    LeghornLisa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    put some golf balls in the nesting box, she will catch on quick
     
  4. beachchickie

    beachchickie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    nest boxes should be lower than the roost. Put fake plastic eggs and golf balls in the nests to help them know where to go. Leave them in for about 2 mos then you should be good to go.
     
  5. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second the golf balls in the nest, seems to have worked pretty well for mine that have started laying.

    You might also try to be out there when she's about to lay, and if she'll allow you to pick her up, put her up by the nest boxes and show her the golf balls. I had one laying in the corner of the coop and she seemed to catch right on after I did that.
     
  6. crosbygroup

    crosbygroup Chillin' With My Peeps

    I put fake, but real looking eggs in our nest boxes. The girls see the eggs and think "gee that must be a great spot to lay -look at all those other eggs in there." I bet it wont take her long to catch on. I just leave the fake eggs in and they move them around form side to side. My husband put in a cowry shell (egg shaped with brown spots) and which ever nest box it is they seem to want to lay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  7. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have fake ceramic eggs that I bought years ago just for decorative purposes (brown and white ones) that I am going to put in the nest boxes, along with one of the real ones. Fingers crossed!

    Also, I do have a roost higher than the nest boxes (you can see it in the picture) but they prefer the lower one.
     
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    If you can, lower the nest boxes or raise or remove that lowest roost bar (if it's even with or lower than the entrance to the nest boxes).

    The faux eggs will help a lot. I use golf balls because I had 'em handy, and they work fine.

    I don't feed layer feed to my flock, because I have several ages of chickens. Youngsters 8 weeks or younger get chick starter. Once they are moved into their integration/segregation coops, I mix starter with general purpose (grower/finisher) feed. I feed the same grower/finisher feed - the equivalent of "FlockRaiser" - to everybody, and provide free choice crushed oyster shell.

    The first time I added younger birds to my flock, I had been feeding layer feed to the first group, and continued to feed layer feed in the Big Girls' coop, putting the grower/finisher feed out in the run for the youngsters.

    Riiiiight. The Big Girls liked the grower/finisher, or maybe they just didn't feel like going back into their coop to eat/snack. Had a couple soft eggs because of that... so I started putting the crushed oyster shell out free choice, in two separate places. There's an empty tuna tin nailed to the coop wall with oyster shell, and I drop a handful of it in one special spot in my yard (now that they all range freely). Solved the soft egg problem right away.

    And so I don't try to feed anything different any more (except for the chicks under 8 weeks of age), but they're in the brooder and nobody else will get their feed, nor will they get the other feed.
     
  9. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I start all my young ones on layer right around 14-16 weeks so they get the extra prtien and calium. needed it start egg production with no ill affects of any kind. I WOULD switch over right away. Starter is only for the first month or two. Then they should be switched to grower untill about 16 weeks give or take a week or two. good luck If you can return it I would if not mix it with layer just to get rid of it.
     

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