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How long will it take for the girls to settle and start laying?

15 replies

Yorky · 30/10/2013 10:21

We adopted 4 chickens at the weekend and the kids are loving feeding and talking to them :) But so far each time they have checked the nest box they have been disappointed - I've told them that the birds need to get used to their new home, but I don't know how long that will take?

The girls are about 18months old, and were laying at their previous home

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quoteunquote · 30/10/2013 13:05

Get the children to dig holes and collect worms, snails, lift stones and rocks, collect all the creepy crawlies they can find, the rich lively input will trigger a well being response,

But some of ours give up for the winter.

ChocolateBiscuitCake · 31/10/2013 11:09

8 weeks in here with 5 chickens and not one bloody egg!

Thinking if buying a fox!

Yorky · 31/10/2013 15:56

Oh no Chocolate - don't say that!!
DH will be stocking up on paxo if we get to that stage!

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Bramshott · 31/10/2013 16:04

Ours never lay between about October and January - sorry!

Yorky · 01/11/2013 07:59

An egg! AN egg! we have an egg Grin
4 chickens, 6 days and 1 egg - the start of great things and home grown quiches!

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ChocolateBiscuitCake · 01/11/2013 17:07
mummymeister · 02/11/2013 14:00

they lay according to light levels that's why battery hens are in sheds with 23 hours of light so that they keep on laying. between November and around mid Feb to mid March depending on whether you live north or south you will be lucky to get more than an egg every now and then. sorry but they only carry on laying all year when the light is artificial. 1 egg a week from 4 chickens sounds about right to me tbh. come the summer you will have more eggs than you can shake a stick at though.

Yorky · 02/11/2013 22:59

And another egg this morning Grin
Go girls!!

Thank you for the logic behind it mummymeister, I like knowing why. But it is SO nice seeing the excitement in the DC's faces when they look and there is an egg there, and the 3yr old thanks them so sweetly [gooey mummy face!]

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Hazelbrowneyes · 05/11/2013 13:23

This time of year is difficult for the girls - dark days never help & they may be in moult too. I've gone from 3 eggs a day (3 birds) to 1 egg a day and I'm lucky if it's big enough to use!

They need a little more attention this time of year. Mix their pellets with a little bit of warm water to create a mushy porridge and if you have some, mix some poultry spice in with it. Make sure they're getting poultry spice once a week. If mine need an extra boost I cook spaghetti and mix some spice in with it.

Yorky · 05/11/2013 22:14

We had another egg today, that's 4 so far, 1 a day since they started laying with Sunday a day of rest Grin, and they've been good sied eggs - comparable to supermarket large
I will look for poultry spice when I next shop, I already have a tonic which I add to their water as it said it was good for them while settling to the new house.
Interested by the spaghetti tip, I thought too much starch was bad, I've been restraining the DC from deliberately having 'leftover' toast

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Hazelbrowneyes · 06/11/2013 08:47

Spaghetti is a treat - once a month maybe & they don't get much. After cooking, I wash the spaghetti in cold water, wait for it to dry out a bit then add in poultry spice. Bread is bad for them as it can clog up their crop.

We put a splash of apple cider vinegar in their water pretty much every day, their layers pellets are mixed with baked, crushed egg shells (which they throw on the floor) and oyster shell.

Corn is an afternoon treat (not every afternoon either) but my neighbour gives hers mealworms (mine won't touch them for some odd reason)

Chickens are great fun, I'm gutted that I'm not getting to see much of my girls at the moment as they're usually in bed by the time I get home.

Yorky · 06/11/2013 10:25

And another 'Doh!' moment - of course I can use their own egg shells as their calcium and grit. So clever, so obvious - but I needed it pointing out to me!
Thank you Hazel

Do you put all their food - pellets, grit, corn - in their feeder or scatter it so they can play hunt the pickings?

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Hazelbrowneyes · 06/11/2013 10:37

Pellets & grit in the feeder, corn is scattered so they can run around a bit. DH used to put the corn in the feeder and one of the chooks would throw the pellets out and just eat the corn. She got fat. Blush I made him stop mixing the corn in with the food and she's back to a "normal" size.

Sometimes I'll throw oyster shell into the coop as they can peck around at that but they don't go mad for it.

Anything that is a treat should be given separately and only in the afternoons so they get a good amount of pellets before filling up on treats. Smile

Make sure you bake the egg shells for 10 mins or so and I crush mine to different sizes - some are tiny little bits and others are a bit bigger. They do generally ignore this in favour of anything else though.

mummymeister · 06/11/2013 11:59

I do my eggshells in the microwave much quicker to do and easier to crush up as they go very brittle.

trooperlooperdo · 13/11/2013 10:43

cook up vegetable peelings (NOT onion or garlic) and mash them up with a little bran & feed when still warm....perfect for your Sunday lunch leftovers which normally end up in the bin.

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