Ready to lay an egg!!!

ZaneyMama

Songster
9 Years
Feb 2, 2010
236
0
109
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
 

Tiramisu

Got Mutts
12 Years
May 3, 2008
2,341
5
206
Milan PA
Mine layed a few weeks after starting to squat, so they should be laying soon


Im not sure about the coop though.
 

felidaet

Songster
11 Years
Dec 10, 2008
987
16
141
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.
 

Chick CJ

Songster
10 Years
Dec 27, 2009
454
40
181
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!
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
 

Tiramisu

Got Mutts
12 Years
May 3, 2008
2,341
5
206
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
but a few weeks later I checked and found 2 eggs


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
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
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 ?
 

pgpoultry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
2,290
37
191
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
 

pgpoultry

Songster
10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
2,290
37
191
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
 

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