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Ready to lay an egg!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ZaneyMama, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. ZaneyMama

    ZaneyMama Songster

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    Feb 2, 2010
    Boulder, Colorado
    Heddie, the chicken that just last week got attacked by my dog and survived with nothing more than ruffled feathers, just started lowering herself when my husband reaches for her! Then two others did it! They are almost 18 weeks old and have the biggest reddest faces.

    How soon should I expect an egg? They are allowed to roam under their coop - should I block it off for a while so they realize where the nest box is? Is there anything else I should do in preparation?

    Can I keep feeding them grower until all of them are laying or should I switch to layer as soon as the first one lays?

    Thanks,
    Sarah
     

  2. Tiramisu

    Tiramisu Got Mutts

    May 3, 2008
    Milan PA
    Mine layed a few weeks after starting to squat, so they should be laying soon [​IMG]

    Im not sure about the coop though.
     
  3. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    Mine started laying a week or two after beginning the squat. You might see them starting to check out the nest boxes soon.

    You are going to get a variety of answers on the feeding schedule. I fed mine Purina medicated Start and Grow until the first one layed an egg. I knew they were getting close to laying and so I was letting the feed supply run low and had already purchased a bag of Purina Layena pellets. The only had a couple of days of Start & Grow remaining. I let it run out and then switched everyone over to the Layena even though only one was laying. Within a few days some of the others started laying. I have read that if you are using medicated feed that you need to let it clear out of their system for a couple of weeks before eating any of the eggs.

    This year I plan to switch my new flock to Purina Flock Raiser when the oldest ones are 18 weeks. After that bag is gone then I will switch them to Layena. I just realized that it is getting close! I better rethink which feed to buy when I go to the feed store in a few days... I plan to integrate my two flocks when the oldest are around 18 weeks. I don't want the laying flock to eat the medicated chick starter. I won't hurt if they eat some flock raiser. By the time that bag is gone I suspect that a couple of birds in the new flock will be laying.
     
  4. simpsoncj

    simpsoncj Songster

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    Dec 27, 2009
    I fed mine layer feed at 18 weeks because I ran out of grower feed and it didn't make sense to buy another big bag of it when they would only be on it for maybe a few weeks more. The week I started the layer feed my barred rock bantam laid her first egg! Good timing, huh? Sounds like you will be getting egg(s) any day now! As far as blocking off the run, you should do what ever is most comfortable for you. Sometimes chickens go for the nest boxes right off and some times they don't. If you feel like you won't be able to get the eggs or know if someone is actually laying then you can always try to make it so there is no other comfortable/hidden spot for them to lay. You can also try placing them in the nesting boxes periodically to get them used to them. I used to put mine in and then stand there and talk to them about the process they were about to go through, just for fun mind you because I'm pretty sure they didn't know what the heck I was saying! [​IMG] The thing is though I always knew the day all my girls started laying because they all spent the better part of the day walking around and squawking really loudly before they actually laid the egg! Then, they all sang their own version of the egg laying song after. I'm happy to say they don't still squawk before laying but also happy to say they do sing their song after and I love it! Congratulations and I look forward to seeing your first egg post!
    CJ
     
  5. Tiramisu

    Tiramisu Got Mutts

    May 3, 2008
    Milan PA
    Quote:I had the same thing happen lol. I was worried at first feeding it because I had no idea if they were ready to lay yet then [​IMG] but a few weeks later I checked and found 2 eggs [​IMG]

    With the feed, most feed bags tell you what you should feed-although you dont necessarily need to follow it. I still get the same brand but they changed the bag and not sure if they just changed that or more, but it says to feed the starter/grower until onset of laying, then switch to layer feed. But I was feeding it to me hens a few weeks before laying because its all I had. So, I would say just finish the grower, maybe mix it with the layer feed once one or more lays. Unless you have a lot left maybe you could just save it for the next chicks you have. Whatever you feel is best.

    Mine found their nest box...it was a crappy taped together cardboard box [​IMG] but that didn't last long so I just switched to cat carriers we had, so idk with that part, they just went in them [​IMG] they are outside now so they either lay in their run or 'coop'. Nowhere to hide eggs though.

    Im not sure, but does putting golf balls in help them find it ?
     
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Wales
    Sounds as though your girls are going to be laying very soon. Some hens wander around looking perplexed before they lay, and almost always like to find a private place to do so.

    Oh and it sounds as though they think your husband is a big and attractive rooster.................!

    Good Luck,

    Sandie
     
  7. david-1682

    david-1682 Hatching

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    Jun 14, 2010
    The eggs my chickens lay have very soft shells. Does anybody know why?
     

  8. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

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    Wales
    Soft eggs.....usual culprits are :
    a) Young hens just starting to lay.
    b) stress
    c) calcium and/or vit D deficiency.

    a) and b) should right themselves with time.
    c) Supplement with calcium and vit.D (oyster shell, cuttlefish bone, powder and liquid supplements form your vet. or pet store, or fortified margarine on bread in an emergency).

    Lots of other rarer causes from infections to ovarian problems.

    There are lots of threads on this topic on the site. I would have a look at these too.

    sandie
     
  9. david-1682

    david-1682 Hatching

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    Jun 14, 2010
    thanx for that i will look into getting something sorted out for them today.
     

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