Question about preparing for egg laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mjdtexan, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
    My chicks are 11 weeks old today (20 pullets). I have a few questions.

    1. ¿When do I put the fake eggs in their nesting boxes?
    2. ¿When do I start to put straw in their nesting boxes?
    3. ¿When do I start to feed the laying feed?

    Thank Yall in advance for any answers that I may recieve.

    Mike D
     
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    You can put straw and the fake eggs in the boxes when your pullets are 17 or 18 weeks old. You don't need to put fake eggs in the boxes, most hens figure it out just fine.
     
  3. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
    Quote:Thank You

    Mike D
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ID/WA border
    You may not want to open the nestboxes until they are really, really close to laying. They can develop bad habits like roosting in the nests and you want them used only for the purpose intended.

    Laying feed can be given a week or so before they start to lay but since you may have a problem knowing (guessing [​IMG]) when that is - just wait until the first eggs show up. Perhaps, a little layer feed mixed in to their starter will help get them used to it, prior.

    Steve
     
  5. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would wait to give/open there nesting boxes till about 15 weeks. I only say this b/c I have 2 RIR that are 15 weeks old and started to lay. With chickens you just never know.
    Sign that they are close is squating and redder combs and wattles.
    As far as feeding goes I would hold off till you get eggs then start with the layer.
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    I don't feed layer until the first one begins to lay. I wouldn't open the nest boxes until 15-16 weeks. And, put fake eggs or golf balls in as soon as you open them. I've done without and with...and I've personally had far better luck with them getting it right the first time when I use something to show them where to lay.
     
  7. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
    Wow, I've never considered closing the nesting boxes off. I just never thought that was an issue. At night, they are all on their roosting branches that I have put up for them. They all go to the top branch too.

    I've got the nesting boxes so that you can collect the eggs from the outside. Occasionally during the day when they go in to rest or what not you will see one or two in the nesting boxes just hanging out.

    Is it to late to shut them out of it or do I just let it go?

    Mike D
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  8. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2009
    Massachusetts
    I would use golf balls when you open the nesting boxes, because you don't want them to look for other places to lay. That means you have to look for their eggs. It can't hurt to prematurely open the nesting boxes: it will get them used to it, and they will be comfortable laying their eggs there. Try and wait until you're consistently getting eggs for giving them layer feed. I would do this to avoid prolapse, because I experienced that with my chickens and it was pretty unpleasant.


    Good luck!
     
  9. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    Houston(ish)
    Quote:¿prolapse? ¿Que es prolapse?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ¿Que es prolapse?

    "When an egg is laid, the vagina everts through the cloaca to deliver the egg. If there has been injury to the vagina, such as from a large egg, or if the hen is fat, the vagina may not retract immediately. . . . A high incidence has been associated with excessive/premature photostimulation, early laying (inadequate body size), large eggs, double-yolked eggs, and obesity." Merck Veterinary Manual

    I don't know what prolapse has to do with layer feed. Starter probably has more calories than layer feed, promoting obesity. It certainly has more protein, promoting early maturity.

    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't allow 11 week olds to have access to nestboxes if it was easily prevented.

    Steve
     

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