Waiting on my first eggs!!! Help

towen91

In the Brooder
Sep 9, 2015
90
3
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i have 3 SLW hens, and 1 SLW rooster. They are 23 weeks old. Waddles and combs are red and they should be laying any day now. I understand it may take longer because of the shorter days tho. Is there anything I need to do to help them along? Feed, extra light, anything like that? Also, I am using fake eggs to show them where to lay, but they have started throwing them out of the laying box, and one of them even sleeps in the other laying box. Does this behavior sound like anything any of you have seen? Thanks for any advice or tips!!
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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Hi - I think we all get impatient when it comes to waiting for that first egg. If they squat in front of you it's a sign that they are almost ready to lay but to be honest they will lay when they are good and ready. I live in Kenya so don't have to deal with winters so I will let others suggest what you can do on this subject.

If your hens are sleeping in the nest box it's likely that your roosts may not be high enough - they should be higher than your nests. If they are indeed lower then I would suggest blocking access to them on a night time - soiling nest boxes is not desirable.

All the best

Ct
 

towen91

In the Brooder
Sep 9, 2015
90
3
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CTken, it seems that the squatting would be because the hens would view me as the rooster. Am I correct in assuming this? If this is the case, should I still expect them to do this; sense I have a rooster? Or should I look for them to squat for him? Thank you for replying!
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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You are correct, sorry i forgot to mention why they would do this. If you have a mature roo then they should not squat for you, he should be mating with them without an invitation - particularly when you let them out of the coop on a morning.

Ct
 

towen91

In the Brooder
Sep 9, 2015
90
3
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My flock free ranges at their will most of the time, except for nights, when I close the gate to their run that is attached to their coop. Also, you said a mature roo. My rooster is the same age as my girls (23 weeks). They have all been raised together sense they hatched. It may be worth mentioning, that he is not yet crowing, if this matters at all? It may not come as a surprise, that my roo was supposed to be a hen. He's been so well behaved and friendly, that I decided to keep him around.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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It sounds like he has some growing up to do. He will for sure be crowing before he starts getting amorous with the girls (well normally at least). I hope he continues to be nice once his hormones kick in
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. You may wish to take a look at managing roo behaviour in threads here on byc in advance.

Cheers

Ct
 

towen91

In the Brooder
Sep 9, 2015
90
3
43
I have done some reading on roo behavior. I don't treat him the same as my girls. I move him out of my way, I don't move for him, and I guess you could say I'm more "bossy" with him. My grandfather raises chickens, and he said that he normally only had trouble with the "game" roosters. Is there any truth to this?
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
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Jan 30, 2015
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Id say no - i had a roo that attacked me and he was not a game roo. He went in the crockpot. I should say that i was not aware of how treat roos so had i known what i know now maybe things would have been different.

Ct
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
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Jul 9, 2009
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CTken, it seems that the squatting would be because the hens would view me as the rooster. Am I correct in assuming this? If this is the case, should I still expect them to do this; sense I have a rooster? Or should I look for them to squat for him? Thank you for replying!
Since you have a male in your flock, the hens may not squat for you. Very few of my pullets squat for me, they get enough from the rooster. Watch for him wing dancing them and/or mating them. Pullet practicing in the nest box is another thing to watch for.

Other than making sure they have feed, water and oyster shell available - there is nothing more you can do to get them laying. They will lay when their bodies are ready.

I have done some reading on roo behavior. I don't treat him the same as my girls. I move him out of my way, I don't move for him, and I guess you could say I'm more "bossy" with him. My grandfather raises chickens, and he said that he normally only had trouble with the "game" roosters. Is there any truth to this?
Always good to make the male yield to you. It shows him that you are top rooster. My males always yield to me, I don't walk around them, I walk directly where I am going and they get out of my way.

Game roosters are definitely more aggressive, but you can have issues with any male. I had a mixed breed that only attacked me. He was fine with my husband, my kids, my dog, strangers.......but with me, it was game on. The day I bent over to fill a waterer and he went for my head, he was gone. There are too many good males out there to put up with a bad one.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Pullets throwing fake eggs out of the nest is a good sign of impending lay....
but also you should make sure you are using fake eggs heavy enough to deter that,
and have the fronts of the nests high enough to keep everything(fake eggs, real eggs, bedding) mostly inside the nest.

The fact that your birds free range most the time...I would suggest you keep them confined to coop and run for a few days to a week.
See if the cockerel is mating, see if you find some eggs ....also habituate them to the coop nests and to being confined in case of predation event.
 

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