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B.B.

Beginner's luck!

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I have to share. First time chicken keeper here, and yesterday I brought home 3 hens.  All hybrids, two are based on the rhode island red, and the third is based on an auracana.  I have them in an Eglu Go Up at my allotment.  I rocked up to the plot around 10pm last night (dusk) and they were all three in the eglu!!!  I was shocked, I closed the door and that was it, done. Easy Peasy.  I read so much about how difficult it may be, I had a torch and broom ready just in case.  

This morning I left the eglu door shut after cleaning it out (rookie mistake), but when I checked on them at lunch the araucana hybrid had laid an egg on the ground!!!  I thought it would be weeks before they started to lay eggs.  She was slightly older than the other two by a few weeks, but does this mean they are happy and the move wasn't too stressful?

A few other questions if anyone is willing...

1. Do they need water overnight in the eglu? The country store owner where I buy my chicken feed sounded shocked that nothing was provided with the Eglu for overnight water...especially on hot summer nights. I hadn't thought of it until she mentioned it.

2. When should I start de-worming them?  I was thinking of using the pellets with flubvanet, but when should I think about feeding them this for the first time?  I want to be proactive and don't want to wait for a problem to arise!

3. How often should I add apple cider vinegar to their water?  Do you do this regularly, so the only water they ever drink has acv in it?

Thanks in advance!  I love this forum and have spent hours on it recently trying to absorb as much as possible but there is so much, dating back years, so apologies if I'm repeating previously asked questions.  Those are my girls in the photo below, staring at the egg like it came from outer space!

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Lovely blue egg, lovely purple Eglu and lovely girls 😁

1. No they don’t need water overnight - they’ll be mostly sleeping.

2. If it was me I would give them a week or two to get settled and used to whatever you’re feeding them and the worm them.

3. I don’t know I don’t use it.

Forum’s great isn’t it - it’s helped me so much in the last 4 years.

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1 hour ago, B.B. said:

1. Do they need water overnight in the eglu? The country store owner where I buy my chicken feed sounded shocked that nothing was provided with the Eglu for overnight water...especially on hot summer nights. I hadn't thought of it until she mentioned it.

2. When should I start de-worming them?  I was thinking of using the pellets with flubvanet, but when should I think about feeding them this for the first time?  I want to be proactive and don't want to wait for a problem to arise!

3. How often should I add apple cider vinegar to their water?  Do you do this regularly, so the only water they ever drink has acv in it?

YAY that you got hens! And luck with the eggs too!

In answer to the questions (only what I do personally, others will do differently or have their own opinions):

1. I leave the Eagle door open overnight so they don't get too warm. If they want to go and get a drink, they can do (although I've never once seen any of them in the run once they put themselves to bed). You could put a small dish of water in for them if you want, but I suspect it'll probably just get upturned by one of your hens, leaving a watery mess for you to mop up in the morning.

2. I wormed mine a month after they came home just so I knew for sure they had been wormed, and then I have done it every 6 months since then. A lot of people were surprised that I bothered worming them that soon and said they would have waited until the hens were about 6 months old, so...

3. I give my hens ACV once a month for a few days and that's it. I honestly couldn't say whether or not it is of any benefit at all, as I notice no change in them afterwards - I just do it because someone recommended it.

No idea if that has been any help at all, but that's my two pence anyway! :D

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Thank you both!  It is helpful just to hear what others are doing.  I get the feeling there is not always a right or wrong way when it comes to chickens (well for some things anyways).  But hearing your experience with them is exactly what I was looking for.  I did have one friend I work with who has hens say "less is more", and that I was over doing it when I said I take them little treats every time I visit: a few grapes, half a banana, pieces of cucumber.  But I really want my girls to like me.  He said to just throw them some weeds and they will love it.

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Welcome to the forums and congratulations on the new chooks! :D
Great choice of breeds and an early egg is a bonus

I tend to agree with your friend that less is more. Do the basics well and you'll have happy hens. Layers pellets have been formulated to provide a balanced diet so should make up a large part of their feed intake.

They don't need water at night, they'll just be sleeping and probably just knock it over. As they're so young and I presume have been 'indoors' not outside and now they're on fresh ground I wouldn't worry about worming them until the end of the year. I no longer routinely worm our flock, rather get a Fecal Worm Egg Count done by your vet or send it off for testing and only worm them if needed.

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