worried i'm not doing something right.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by t_4_turtle, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. t_4_turtle

    t_4_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    Ok, so I’m still new to this wonderful world of chickens. We got our first one (who turned out to be a rooster) and fell in love with the idea of possibly having fresh eggs from our back yard. Turns out you need HENS to get fresh eggs. So at the end of May we got twin barred rock pullets, 3 weeks later we got our last and final barred rock baby pullet. We built a chicken coop from scratch and now they even have a chicken run that takes up half of our backyard! I feed the girls chicken feed mixed with scratch that I get from the feed store. I also give them fresh fruits and veggies every now and again. The older girls are 21 weeks now and the baby is 3 weeks behind them, what should I be doing in preparation for the big day? I am so excited and I don’t want to do anything wrong, what do my girls need from me in order to lay for me? I understand the days are getting shorter and laying might decrease, but does this mean they won’t lay for me at all? Any tips on feed or extras, or tips on nesting boxes, or anything really would be so helpful and appreciated!

    this is their coop...and the baby back in august (10 weeks )
    i never seem them lay in the nest side, they roost on the pine tree branch but
    they mostly roost on the top of the "T" wood and poop where i think they should be laying.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  2. t_4_turtle

    t_4_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    [​IMG] Ask me anything you need to get accurate information,[​IMG] pictures, and details,[​IMG] anything you need ill get it to you.. [​IMG] just somebody please help me be a better chicken farmer [​IMG] [​IMG] i love my chickens!!!
  3. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2011
    Well, it's kinda hard to tell from the coop pic what kind of complete set up you have, but the roost needs to be ABOVE and to the side of the nests. They will roost in the highest spot available. If your roost is right above the nests they will poop in it.
    My Barred Rock hen was 6 months old when she started laying, so you might still have a couple week's wait on the two slightly older ones, a month or so on the younger one. Of course, chickens lay on their own schedules, not mine, lol. Other than that you might soon want to start feeding layer feed, give them oyster shell if you want, altho layer feed is calcium fortified. I myself give mine oyster shell "free-choice". Put some golf balls, plastic easter eggs, egg shaped rocks, etc. in the spots where you want them to lay......it's not 100% effective (at least not in my case), but it'll kinda give them the idea where they should lay eggs.
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    I would give them a wide flat roost, like a 2x4 flat side up. Slender perches like the "T" part may lead to pressure sores (bumble foot). I would also switch the girls to laying crumbles. I use Layena from Purina. My Dominique girl laid her first egg ever yesterday and she is 20 weeks old. I had her on medicated chick crumbles until she was 4+ months and switched to Layena. Her first ever egg is so perfect! Otherwise I think you are set for a wonderful chicken experience.[​IMG]
  5. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 19, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I agree, build them a roost about 4-5 feet up and maybe one at about 2 1/2-3 feet they will learn to sleep on the highest roost.

    The nestboxes should be fairly small, just comfortable enough for one chicken and have just one opening for them to get into out of.

    I would also make sure you are feeding a layer feed. Cut down on the scratch and give them it just as a treat every now and then. I would offer oyster shell free feed, I just put it in a dish and if they want it it's there.

    Egg production does slow down in the winter, and it's still possible to get eggs, but sometimes they wait until spring, just depends on the particular chicken. [​IMG]

    Also I ALWAYS use golf balls/ fake eggs, it helps teach them where they should be laying. [​IMG]

    Here are my pics for examples;

    Here is my baby coop (they don't need nestboxes until they are moved into the big girl coop);

    ANd here are my nestboxes; please excuse the poo, I had broodies and didn't want to disturb them by cleaning... [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
  6. t_4_turtle

    t_4_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2011
    Thanks everyone. We have a small back yard so we went with a small kind of chicken coop... Now the chickens have a 16x15 predator safe pen, but they still sleep in the coop. should I put nest boxes in the pen? How big should the nest boxes be and where should I put them? Should the nest box be close to the ground or higher up? I will switch them to "laying" feed and ill give them some oyster shell.
  7. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The nest boxes should just be lower than the roosts but we have ours on the opposite wall. So there's no confusion for the chickens as to what is for laying and what is for sleeping.

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