Young laying hens

rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
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I purchased 4 new hens ( 4 to 5 months old at the time ) about one month ago. Integration with my existing flock and rooster went pretty well. They are all free ranging during the day. No matter where they are out in the yard my older hens instinctively go to the coop when the urge to lay hits them. My question.. should I keep the new younger hens cooped until they start laying so that they will instinctively return to the coop to lay as well? I don't want them to start and get used to laying in the yard. Thanks
 

aart

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Hmmm....that's a toughy.
With older birds around and plenty of nests, the young birds grown up with the flock should follow the leaders and lay in nests....but with the youngers being new to the flock that might not happen.

Do the pullets look like they are laying?
Has the rooster mounted them?
You could do a pelvic points check...then decide whether to confine them or not.
 

rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
48
55
94
Hmmm....that's a toughy.
With older birds around and plenty of nests, the young birds grown up with the flock should follow the leaders and lay in nests....but with the youngers being new to the flock that might not happen.

Do the pullets look like they are laying?
Has the rooster mounted them?
You could do a pelvic points check...then decide whether to confine them or not.
No signs of any of them laying yet. My rooster has mounted the 2 smallest and youngest, RIR's. The 2 older and biggest newbies, 2 Buff Orpingtons, seem to be the most intimidated by my rooster and older hens. I have not witnessed him mounting them yet. They seem to keep a distance. The whole flock likes to gather under a copse of trees together and it is the orps that I find 'sitting' out there. I do a sweep of the area every evening and haven't found any eggs..yet.
 

rwilliams296

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
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55
94
Pictures of face and comb can also help us determine if they are getting close to egg production.
I know that all of the newbies will eventually start laying at some time, and soon. They do seem to enjoy a 'hen party' inside the hen house while the older girls are sitting. Lots of vocals.. LOL
 

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