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Egg production questions

Discussion in 'Feathered Friends' started by Team Peanut, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    So i have 3 chickens. They are approximately 6 months old. I have 1 buff orpington and 2 kelsos. I haven't gotten any eggs yet. I have them eating scratch and mash mixed since i can't find any laying food anywhere and the bird farm where i get the food said this is okay. (i am open to ideas on feeds). i do have some vitamin that the breeder gave me that i mixed into my feed, not sure what it was i got it in a cup from him.
    i also give them a lot of fresh veggies and sometimes mealworms.
    their combs are starting to change to a rose color. I am thinking they may be close. today i noticed in the roosting box they have made what almost looks like a nest though it isn't in the nesting box..figures i would get chickens that will make things difficult.

    is there anything i can do to help with egg laying? are they getting close to my first eggs? any signs i can look for that i will be getting an egg soon?

    thanks!
     
  2. 3babies

    3babies Little Dog

    Place a few golf balls in the nesting boxes. They will think they are eggs and will lay where the golf balls are located.

    Food wise, scratch is like junk food. Really nothing in it for growth and development. If you eat eggs, give them the shells (crushed up), it will add calcium to their diet and help harden their egg shells. You can give them all kinds of scraps from your dinner table, just nothing with seeds. Seeds can block their crops and cause death. They are meat and veggie eaters, so meat is a must. If you can leave them out of their coop for a while they will scratch around for bugs in your yard.
    They also love oatmeal, cooked.
    I save everything that is left, even the tiniest bit of scraps for my chickens, I even give them chicken bones to pick the meat off of. You can also feed a raw egg now and then, just crack it and smash the shells up. smashing the shell is to prevent them from associating whole eggs for food and it keeps them from trying to eat their own eggs
     
  3. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    Okay thanks i appreciate the food advice. I had a feeling the farm was not being honest about the scratch. Mash I thought was better. They get a lot of veggies in variety. I didn't know about meats. what kind of meats and raw out cooked is better? Its there anything I should definitely never give?
    My chickens don't like to come out of their coop. There is a few stray cats that are always coming near the coop. I have moved one but the keep coming back. I am thinking of getting of doing sort of a dog kennel to give them more space but that they will feel safe.
    I do give them oyster shell crushed is this good for them?
    I am very open to make changes. These are my first chickens and want them healthy as can be.
     
  4. Beki

    Beki Good Dog Premium Member

    I'm just going to throw this out there and just let you know that this is so exciting to me! I cannot wait for you to post pictures of your first clutch! You will be posting pictures right?!:)
     
  5. 3babies

    3babies Little Dog

    I give my chickens cooked meat scraps that are left over from what we eat. They will happily eat raw though. They will eat just about anything. They aren't picky.I know scratch really has no protein source, this is why I suggested the meat to you. It doesn't have to be a lot. Mine free range all day and eat frogs, lizards, bugs for most of their protein source. I still feed a little layer food every day. If you really can't find layer food, see if you can get it shipped to you, since they don't range for their food outside. Have you checked any tractor supply or feed stores in your area?

    Oyster shells are very good. High in calcium. If you eat a lot of oysters, the shells are free. If you are buying them crushed just to feed the chickens, you could just feed them chicken egg shells and save the money, both do the same thing, add calcium to their diet.

    If your chickens combs are turning a deeper red and they are making spots, they could lay soon. Seriously try the golf balls or even those plastic fake eggs for easter, in their nesting boxes. I know when my hens saw the golf balls for the first time, they got so excited and started clucking like they laid them. Within a few days they laid. Some chickens can take 6 months, others a year or more to start laying.

    A good website for chickens is backyard chickens. They can answer all your questions and most people are very helpful.
     
  6. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    of course i will! :)
    thank you so much!
    i really hate that my girls will not come out of their coop. open the door they run to the back of the coop and stay there, if i go in they will come out more. i just wonder how often the cats bother them. i read stress could keep them from laying.
    they do catch little buggies that fly in the coop and i do give them worms from time to time. i will give them more proteins since they won't come out of their coop. i am going to try building them a larger enclosure so they can come out but be in a safe area to them when my husband gets home.
    i am going to do more searching for layer feed. not too much chicken stuff around here though :(
    i do have some golf balls that i can put in their roosting box i am excited to see what they think. they "talk" a lot as it is:)
    thank you so much for your help i truely do appreicate it.

    the oyster shell i get at the feed store its like $3 for 7 pounds of it. i could save the shells from Peanut's eggs for them he won't eat the shells just the yolk.
     
  7. TannerG

    TannerG Boss Member

    i want chickens
     
  8. 3babies

    3babies Little Dog

    Did you ever try to sprinkle some scratch outside of the coop so they have to go outside to eat it? If you have cats or even wild life, I wouldn't let them out of the coop unless you are supervising them. I have lost a few from hawks last spring. I have to keep them in the coop whenever the dogs go out. A run connected to the coop would be good too. I leave the coop door opened to their run all the time.
    If you have clover flowers in the yard, give them a handful. My chickens love flowers, and berries... they ate all my rasberry, blueberry bushes!

    Good luck and I can't wait for the pictures!
     
  9. Team Peanut

    Team Peanut GRCH Dog

    they will come out if i put food then they scramble around and squak in horrible pitches trying to figure out how to get back in the coop i truely feel horrible for them. funny thing they come to the side of the coop when Peanut is in the yard i think they like him. I wouldn't let them out with him.

    i am really considering making a larger run area for them. i don't want them to feel stressed out because we do have a lot of stray cats and there have been past reports of coyotes, though it has been awhile since anyone in my neighborhood reported seeing them. I would like them to have their own safe place to explore.

    I do have some pictures of my girls. I will have to put them on my computer and post them tomorrow :)
     
  10. JRSPITS

    JRSPITS Big Dog

    I would definately try to find some layer feed to get them laying, thats your number one problem right now. If you don;t have a store close by, talk to your local pet store, I'm sure they could order some for you, there's Layena made by Purina. Stress would be number two. My girls were very stressed due to one of our cockerels pestering them all day and as soon as we removed him form the situation, we got eggs.

    Also, scramble some eggs for them, eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential nutriens. Although, buying eggs to feed to your cickens just sounds wrong lol. Good luck ! Can't wait to see pics!
     

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