When will my other hens lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChillyChicken, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. ChillyChicken

    ChillyChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    Chiloquin, OR
    I have 4 hens that I got at the end of April as day-old chicks (originally there were 6). One is RSL, 2 are BO, and 1 is RIR. The RSL has been laying for about 14 days now. (14 eggs)[​IMG]

    I discovered my first egg as a nest of 9. [​IMG]The nest is in pine needles under a fallen branch under a sagebrush bush. I can see the nest from my yard. Each day since then I have discovered an egg in the nest, except today when I left them in the night coop/run past noon, and then egg was in the nest box.[​IMG] The girls have been free ranged, and I know it is the RSL because she is the one going through the barbed wire fence to the neighbor's brushy yard where I found the nest. She was making a bee-line for it when I let them out for the day, then within 20 minutes she comes to join the others, who sometimes wait for her nearby. One of the BO's has occasionally sat on the nest for a bit, but it's always empty when she leaves. My neighbors on that side are only part-timers, visiting a few weekends during the summer.

    Because RSL left the egg in the nest box today, I will leave them in the pen past noon to train her to lay in the next box instead of the neighbor's yard.[​IMG] I am in the process of making a run for them in my yard, with pine trees as fence posts and a wild plum bush beside one of the trees. They love to scratch and dust bathe by the old stump beside the bush. I will move the current "coop/pen" into the run when it is completed.

    I lost one hen when they were about 6 weeks old, a friend brought a dog for a visit, and I was unable to pen them before the dog got loose.[​IMG][​IMG] I was sad, but it was my fault for not penning them up beforehand.[​IMG] The second loss was while I was on vacation. The stupid hen flew over the fence into the other neighbor's yard where one of their Schnausers proudly presented it to mom & dad in their house.[​IMG] They were afraid to tell me, but practical person that I am, was only upset that they didn't have chicken dinner.[​IMG] Since then I have had to prevent the girls from roosting on the fence.[​IMG] They love to tease the Schnausers. My 2 Chihuahua mix mutts have no problems with the chickens, and the chickens have no problem with them. [​IMG]

    I also have 6 mutt chicks from a surprise clutch from a friend of a friend.[​IMG] I have had them since they were less than a week old, and are about 8 weeks old now. They are almost fully feathered, all different in appearance. The rooster from the flock they came from was a RSL, and the hens the eggs could have come from included BO, RIR, leghorn, and a couple others. At least 2 have bumps on the back of their legs, telling me that there will be at least one chicken dinner in a couple months.[​IMG]

    I hope to eventually have all my lower yard fenced in for the chickens so they can free range most of the time, and be self sustaining (keeping a rooster from the mutts). I plan plenty of bushes for the yard as well, to provide hiding spaces from the bald eagles that we have in our area.

    I am curious as to how much longer it may take for the BO's and the RIR to decide to lay eggs.
     
  2. J-Sanders

    J-Sanders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2012
    Usually around 24 weeks. But can be sooner or later depending upon the hen's attitude.

    Jim
     
  3. ChillyChicken

    ChillyChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 9, 2012
    Chiloquin, OR
    Thank you for your reply.
    This morning got an egg much lighter than the ones the RSL is laying, and am now I get to figure out which of the others is laying. It is much too early in the day for RSL, Now I'm off to check the color range for BO and RIR. This egg is a light tan, the RSL has been laying medium to dark brown. Some of her eggs have been "shaded" as in darker on the rounded end lighter on the pointy end. She has given me an egg every day since she started laying, with the exception of 2 days. I think the eggs are out in the brush of the neighbor's yard. I let them free range during the day, and the neighbors fence is barbed wire, so that brush is very enticing. After a couple days of morning lockup to reorient her to the nestbox, I have not had the anxiety of searching for what she has hidden. I told friends that she thought it was spring and was sending me on an easter egg hunt.
     

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