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Hens Not Laying
Tue 15-Jun-10
4:49 pm
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sumo2309
Hertfordshire

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Hello! I'm a first time chicken keeper, and we got our three hens (rhode island red and goldline hybrids) six days ago. Only one hen has laid and it hasn't been every day, more like every other day, we've had 3 eggs from her in total. We were told that they would take a few days to settle in before laying, but I'm wondering why one is laying and the other two aren't? They are between 18 months - 2 years old. Also I'm concerned that they may have worms, their poo is sometimes quite runny, and once was completely liquid from one of them. They are quite alert and inquisitive, but do seem to have a tendency to peck, sometimes quite viciously. I assume this is establishing rank, but have no idea how long it should last! Can anyone help? Thanks ūüôā

Tue 15-Jun-10
5:20 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Wave  Hello and welcome to the forum Sumo!  Try this link to see if it has the information you need, until someone knowledgeable comes along.  Good luck.

I'll try that again!

Tue 15-Jun-10
5:29 pm
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MOS
Cannock Chase

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Hi sumo ours took a couple of weeks to settle and we had a bit of trouble because we let them roam and the previous owner kept them penned up and on pellet food so we think it was change of diet ,they have just gon off layihg at the moment but they were always a bit eratic so we are trying to let them out earier as someone said the lenght of daylight has a bearing on them laying and our hen house is dark inside MOSWave

sit down with a cupa and the urge will subside

Tue 15-Jun-10
5:39 pm
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sumo2309
Hertfordshire

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Thanks for the link Toffeeapple and info MOS, I wondered if diet could be a factor as I know their previous owners liked to give them "treats" all the time, like cake! Even if chooks eat it, I'm sure it can't be good for them! We've stuck to layers pellets with a few green scraps later in the day which they seem to like, I don't want to overreact to something normal, but also don't want to miss if there is something wrong... Thanks for the quick reply!

Tue 15-Jun-10
5:46 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Sumo, why not go to the thread 'Introduce yourself and say hello' and tell us a little more about yourself? 

I'll try that again!

Thu 17-Jun-10
10:17 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Hi Sumo and welcome.  I have to say my hens are not impressed with layers pellets.  I feed mine mixed grain and layers mash which you mix with water.  They also love greens and tomatoes, pasta, rice and some fruit. Hens do not lay every day and sometimes as MOS says they go off laying - not all of mine are laying well just now.  I would just be patient and let them settle.  Just watch them and  enjoy.  They will soon establish pecking order.  How big an area are you keeping them in?  Can they keep away from each other if necessary?

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Fri 18-Jun-10
4:14 pm
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sumo2309
Hertfordshire

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Hi Danast, thanks for your reply. They have started to settle down a bit better now, I think I may have overreacted a little! They seem happy enough with the pellets as they go crazy for them and are eating loads. We give them greens everyday - some we hang in the run to keep them busy, some scattered on the ground and even bits staked in the ground! Unfortunately we can't let them roam as we have very bold foxes in the field beyond and an over friendly German Shephard next door, but they do have a good amount of room and can (and do) take themselves off if they want to. They also have a good height within the run as well as ground area and we've put in a couple of perches which they seem to like too. I figured that they probably haven't been kept together as just the three of them before, so obviously are establishing pecking order as you say. It's not been anywhere near as vicious as the first couple of days so I'm feeling a lot happier about that now ūüôā I was wondering if the two that aren't laying may be coming out of molting? They have a much less uniformed coat than the one who is laying, almost downy-like feathers, quite fluffy, white and ruffled looking as opposed to the smooth brown of the other. Is there any way to tell?

Fri 16-Jul-10
2:36 pm
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rogers1914
Plymouth, Devon

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Hi I am new to!! I have two girls who have been moved about the garden but as it is soon to be seeded will have to stay in one place. I am concerned as I don't have a perch for them although they sit on the top of their house. I also don't have a egg laying area just a bedroom so think I should extend that. Should they be shut in as they have a permanently open door as I don't have wildlife problems like foxes etc. Maybe they feel a bit vunerable that is why the biggest one isn't laying yet. Seems I haven't done enough to help their diet which is why 'Petunia' keeps getting out and kiilling the peas, brassicas etc. She keeps leading 'betty' astray but they love each other so obviously lucky there.

Great site will be visiting often for help I should imagine over the next few months.

 

 

Cheryl wave

Fri 16-Jul-10
4:33 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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wave  Hello Cheryl, welcome to the mad house!  Someone will be able to give you advice, I'm sure.  Great to have you join in, do tell us something about yourself.

toffeeapple

I'll try that again!

Fri 16-Jul-10
8:32 pm
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JoannaS
Latvia

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Hello Cheryl welcome as TA said to the madhouse wave

I would be surprised if you don't have foxes they seem to be everywhere, urban as well as rural. Danuta doesn't shut her hens and ducks in and seems to do alright though. I know chickens love all sorts of veg and are usually best kept out of them until after the harvest, when they will be very happy to pick over the veg and remove all grubs and remaining vegetation for you and manure next years crop to bootmedicine

Fri 16-Jul-10
10:51 pm
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rogers1914
Plymouth, Devon

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Thankyou for the welcome !! I thought hens liked slugs etc but when I throw them in they just turn their nose up at them. Considering the advice I will act like I have foxes then and Shut them in properly everynight but will mean I have to make a door. Thats ok though as I have to build them an extension anyway.

Thanks again wave

Fri 16-Jul-10
11:00 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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Hi Cheryl and welcome.  It is true what Joanna says, my hens and ducks are not shut in, but they do live in a fairly secure area.  Mind you a fox could get in if it was determined to.  If you have dogs, foxes don't like their smell.  

I do know that come evening they like to go on their perches in the henhouse  and are very content there.  I have about 5 egg laying boxes, but of course they all use the same one.  The more things you have about the place for them to explore and sit on the happier they will be.  Hope this helps.  

I am no expert, just someone who enjoys looking after their poultry.  At the moment I have nine hens and a cockerel and nine chicks.  I also have four ducks and two drakes.  Good luck and please keep in touch.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

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