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Chickens not laying
Tue 28-Feb-12
5:01 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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I don't think they are complicated Aly....it is more to do with what breed they are & their inherited genes. Old heritage breeds tend not to lay as well as the more modern cross breeds who have been selectively bred to lay an egg every day (even through the winter). I love my Dorkings but my crossed hens (Dorkings crossed with Plymouth Rocks) are much more productive & this winter have never stopped laying. Usually I have a couple of months when I have no eggs at all. I am fascinated by all this breeding business, I just wish I had discovered chickens earlier in my life. laugh 

I believe in rearing chicks for their hardiness & good health whereas so many commercial breeders just look do it to get the maximum number of eggs that can be produced in their first year of laying, they dispose of them at the end of it & replace with more hens. These hens often are rather week physically & are fed with medicated feed (especially in the USA).

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Tue 28-Feb-12
5:08 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Mine are easy and I don't mind if there are no eggs. Should probably have said the egg production is complicated, so many reasons why they don't lay. I always think a happy healthy hen will lay but have been proved wrong on that too. I have given up trying to work it out and just accept what comes. I just love having them wandering around the garden. My very cuddly one Sonny was sticking close when I was digging and was so quick whenever I revealed a worm.

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Tue 28-Feb-12
5:24 pm
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typhoo
France - ex Ecosse

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Ours wander around too, but don't they poo alot????  Forever getting it on my shoes, and like I said we only have 2!!!

Tue 28-Feb-12
5:31 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I always wear wellies. We had to fence off the patio due to the poo but the 2 light Sussex are able to jump over the fence and strut about teasing the Orpingtons who cannot fly at all!

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Tue 28-Feb-12
8:50 pm
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Terrier
York

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Danuta, are yours free range in their new home, ours are and they are always finding new laying spots, any chance they are laying away somewhere?

Tue 28-Feb-12
10:10 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  They are contained, Janet, but I have been in and around under the trees in their run to look for eggs, but there are none.  Just have to wait to they really feel settled I suppose.  I will be patient.  whistle

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Wed 29-Feb-12
11:21 pm
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Terrier
York

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Confirmed today...one of the marans is laying,  woo hoo! champagne

welsommers - at least 1 laying, unfortunately laying them under the jasmin hedge, so I have to scramble under it to get them.

I think one of the old english game is trying too, it keeps going in to the nest box, I'll be complaining soon about too many eggs.

Thu 1-Mar-12
7:43 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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That is good news! Hope the others follow suit soon. My ducks often lay underneath bushes, it takes a while to find them but they tend to use the same place for ages. All part of the fun of keeping ducks and chickens!

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Wed 14-Mar-12
7:28 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Woo hoo, 1st duck egg of the year found in entrance of duck house when I opened the door! They are always careless with eggs. I am due the incubator back soon and want to increase my duck numbers.

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Wed 14-Mar-12
9:56 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  Aly that is cause for a celebration. magic  I always loved the first duck egg of the year. I felt that Spring had really come and the promise of all the others to follow is great.  I really miss having ducks. cry

However my hens are laying a wee bit better and I have been able to give some to neighbours which is great. smile

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Wed 14-Mar-12
11:15 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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wave Great news Aly & Danuta.

My girls are doing well, lots of eggs every day so the neighbours & friends are sharing the bounty. I eat quite a lot of them too. I think I might make some lemon curd this week & I am tempted to try some Seville orange curd as well. I haven't made it for years. I will make some meringues too, with the left over whites.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Wed 14-Mar-12
12:24 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I use the duck eggs for lemon curd and stock up on little meringues at the same time for our much loved dessert of Eton mess. Have had to bring out the wire basket as the duck eggs do not fit in the lovely egg cupboard I have! Just popped in to make lunch then back to the garden!

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Thu 15-Mar-12
10:18 am
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Aly
Normandy France

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Not sure if anyone can help.internet not helpful neither is my book. My rooster has been looking depressed the last couple of days, today he didn't come out of the house so I picked up and sat with him on my lap to examine him. He was totally docile which is unusual as he normally feels cuddles are un dignified! No obvious sign of anything apart from very pale comb and wattles. His poo is frothy and white so I suspect it is kidney failure. He does not seem to be suffering but the girls are fussing around him and the young cockeral is leaving him alone. Any ideas please ? I think I am going to lose him.

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Thu 15-Mar-12
12:00 pm
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Terrier
York

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Hattie to the rescue methinks....she knows everything about chickens

Thu 15-Mar-12
12:02 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Think she must be busy as has been quiet for a while. Boris is now wobbly when walks so really not looking good.

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