Questions about new chickens and first egg...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by irisshiller, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. irisshiller

    irisshiller Chirping

    110
    28
    91
    May 20, 2014
    Israel
    Hi everyone, I have some questions for you chicken experts..!

    We recently got 3 chickens from friends, who had got them from a battery. I'm not sure how old they are exactly, but they said they got them because they were sort of past their 'egg-laying prime'. They did still lay eggs, though. Anyway the chickens have been with us for about a week now and they seem happy! I was wondering what type of chickens they are... they are not very big, white with grey legs and some have some brown feathers. Here's a picture:

    [​IMG]


    It seems that the one with the most brown feathers is sort of the lowest one in the pecking order. The other two are constantly chasing her away from the food and the nest boxes. She also keeps crouching low to the ground, as if there is something the matter with her legs, but when I look, her legs look completely normal to me. I thought maybe she is afraid? Is this normal behaviour?

    They have just now laid their first egg :) I'm not sure which one it was! Anyway the people we got them from told us to leave the first couple of eggs in the nest box. I'm not sure if this is usually done, and if so, how long to leave them for?

    Also, they are in a cage/pen inside a larger yard for now. I wonder when I can let them out to free-range in the yard? They can fly up to the branches in their pen. There is a fence of around 2 metres around the yard. I do hope they can't clear that.

    Anyway thanks for any input you can give me!

    A first-time chicken keeper, Iris :)
     
  2. chickenhound

    chickenhound Chirping

    172
    22
    68
    Jul 2, 2014
    Hello Iris. I am not an expert but I will give it a shot anyway. I suspect they may be a mix of some sort. I have some leghorn chickens but I don't believe that your birds are leghorns. The combs on your birds are too small to be leggies. You were probably told to leave the first few eggs in the nesting box because your birds are in a new environment and will have to be re-introduced to your nesting boxes. When they see an egg in the box this will help them to lay in the same place. Good luck with the flock.
     
  3. mortie

    mortie Songster

    2,249
    413
    201
    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    Welcome!

    I am not sure what breed your girls are, sorry. They sure are cute though!

    You don't need to leave actual eggs in the box. I use golf balls. Others use plastic easter eggs, ping pong balls, or wooden eggs. Real eggs run the risk of being accidentally broken and encouraging egg eating- but I imagine you are anxious to start indulging in your own fresh eggs as well! Go collect your egg and put something else in the nest box and enjoy!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. chickenhound

    chickenhound Chirping

    172
    22
    68
    Jul 2, 2014
    Good advice Mortie. Golf balls work well.
     
  5. irisshiller

    irisshiller Chirping

    110
    28
    91
    May 20, 2014
    Israel
    Thank you all for your replies! That's actually a good idea, I have some plastic toy eggs from the children that I could put in the boxes :)
    I suppose the chickens are some sort of mix bred for their egg production... never mind, it doesn't really matter!
    I didn't really get them for the eggs, more for fun and as pets, but fresh eggs would be a nice side effect :) yes they are cute, I enjoy watching them potter around. I hope I can let them out to free-range soon.
     
  6. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    The golf balls are better than real eggs, I agree. Regarding their age, usually they keep them for about a year, or until they get their first molt, so I'm guessing they could be anywhere between 1-2 years. Usually some sort of Leghorn based hybrids are used for commercial egg laying, so you'rs are probably something along those lines, with not a too big leghorn content as stated earlier.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: