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Beaudyne

New Chickens not Laying

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Hey everyone, I’m new here and looking for some advice please. I’ve just bought my very first hens. 3 of them are 16 weeks old and the other one (Warren) is 19 weeks old. I was told the Warren is of laying age but I’ve already had them 5 days and still no eggs. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong? 
 

They have a 6x4 shed fully kitted out with 2 large nest boxes and a few pirches and a large enclosed garden to explore which they have now started venturing around a bit more and becoming more confident. They love the shed and will happily take themselves in and out throughout the day and are straight in to bed around 6pm when it goes dark. 
 

Any advice would be greatly appropriate 😊

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Edited by Beaudyne
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The Warren is close to laying Beaudyne; I can see the comb is reddening. But the earliest you can expect them to lay is 21 weeks, with 23 being normal for hybrids. With the daylight getting shorter they may be on the later side? You can expect the Warren to explore the nest box before she lays and don't be surprised if you have soft shelled eggs, double yolk eggs or eggs laid off the perch in the night for the first weeks; it takes time for their system to stabilise. First eggs will be smaller than their normal and increase over the first 3 months. If you are curious like me you will be weighing them. We have one that started at 38 grammes and has now only managed 42 grammes, which is rather disappointing and very unusual.

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@Beantree thanks so much for your advice! Are the first eggs okay to eat, aswell If the shells are soft? I have been putting the Warren in the nest box to get her use to the area and she’ll stand there for a few seconds and then wonder back out. Do I need to buy any rubber/wooden eggs to encourage them at all?

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You can eat the first eggs and if any soft eggs that don't break you can eat them as well, but you will need to pick them up very carefully. Very fresh eggs have a lot of water in the white so may not fry as you are used to. Don't bother with fake eggs yet. We only use them to break an egg eating habit, so you probably won't ever need any. They will lay in the most secure and comfortable area available, so make sure that is the nest box, because they instinctively are looking for a place to incubate them. Hopefully your hybrids won't ever go broody though.

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Everything what Beantree said!

Can I add that your 16 week olds still will do some growing and that perch is both rather high and a bit small for 4 full sized hybrids. So maybe add a perch extra to give them options to get away from each other. Otherwise you’ll find they might start to roost on your nestboxes.

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@Cat tails thank you! That perch was all I had to begin with. Today I have put in an old wooden ladder on an angle from the bottom left corner to the top right with 5 steps to perch on. I had noticed that they were perching on the nest boxes because they were covered in poop 😅

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Hi 

we had the same problem with our 3 not laying at first. We bought them point of lay on September first (18 weeks), and were told they would start between 18 and 24 weeks. They are all different breeds, we have a maran like yours.

One did after 5 days, and continued for about 3 weeks, but after laying 2 double yolkers , then a few soft shells she stopped until this week when she has started again. The second one started this week and the third still no egg!

Like you we thought it was something we were doing, but it seems that they reach maturity at different stages. They do need to perch when they sleep I think and would maybe prefer the nest box off the floor? Their house does look really cosy.

The other thing is to make sure they only have access to their layers pellets, they need the vitamins etc to enable them to develop enough to lay eggs. So if you are giving them corn, which they love, treat it like chocolate and only give then a tiny bit in the afternoon, after they have filled up on the pellets during the day.

Also, when they are nearly ready to start laying you will find they squat down when you approach them, thinking you are a cockerel!!

Don't stress, just relax and be patient and I am sure it will happen.

Carolyn

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My dad and hubby made mine a ladder once. They never used it 🙄

Glad to see they really like yours.

Lovely chickens by the way 😊

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@mullethunter thank you! My husband thinks I’m mad buying a shed, I searched high and low online for something that didn’t break the bank but still had to spend £200 for this shed-new from Forest Garden via tool station. But I wanted to have something big enough that they can move away from each other and also I’ve now got the excuse that we have plenty of room for more 🤣👍 he can’t say no x

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As much as I like your chicken shed, I do like your house very much and the amount of sky you have (sorry, I have a thing about sky)

Be prepared for catching Moorhens disease at some point though. We've all had it at one time or another :lol: It's not serious but there is no cure.

Do you have more than one little swivel lock on their door (the white bit) ? I'm thinking that if you only have one it might not be enough to stop a determined fox getting in.

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@Luvachicken Thank you! It’s actually my grandfathers house. My husband and I moved in with him last year when we’d sold our house but hadn’t found anywhere to move to. He’s 96 and think he was quite happy to have some company again after 9 years without my grandmother. Plus my mom only lives next door on a farm so it’s been so lovely being back. We only meant to stop here for a few months. 19 months later....I got chickens 😂 and really settled in 🙈🐔

We are going to be making that door more secure over the weekend. It was just a temporary measure. But any suggestions on how to do that would be greatly appreciated 😊

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I bet he must love the company  - a very sweet way to be with your granddad.

Bolts I think would be best, but not sure of the best place to fix them. 

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1 hour ago, mjostephens@yahoo.com said:

I saw someone post that you might get Moorhens disease.  I googled that and can't find out what it is.  Do you know what it is.  

Morehens disease
[ mohrhens dih-zeez]

noun

1. a condition that arises soon after getting your first chickens. It is characterised by the urge to get even more chickens.

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On 10/30/2020 at 9:34 PM, Luvachicken said:

Be prepared for catching Moorhens disease at some point though.

Of course, it would have helped if I'd have spelt it right :roll:

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You’ve been busy!  Lucky girls.  Looking to the future, make some plans about what you would do, if we got an order from DEFRA to put all poultry under cover 24/7 in the event of an Avian Flu outbreak.  It last happened in 2017 and we had to keep them locked in a covered run from December to April.    So you’ll need some sort of run that you can cover to stop wild birds and their droppings getting in.  Hopefully it won’t happen but best to be prepared 

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