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New Chciken Mum needs advice
Sun 16-Jan-11
8:37 am
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landy
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Hi Everyone

 

I just wanted some advice, we recently bought 4 hybirds, they are now 23 weeks old, very happy, fed on pellets and left overs from te kitchen but we have not got a single egg!!! could it be the cold weather? any suggestionssmile  

 

I am also thinking they may not actually be 23 weeks as they still have pink not red on their heads - could they be younger?

 

 

Sun 16-Jan-11
10:01 am
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave Hi  Lisa and first of all welcome to the Forum.  

Most chickens stop laying throughout the winter months as the days are shorter.  Some have started to lay again  - not mine yet - and soon as the days get longer they will all start again.  A hen's comb turns red when it is in laying mode.   

I'm no expert, but there are loads of articles on Fiona's Blog about hens and all sorts of great advice.

This should get you started, but if you go down the left hand side of the Blog page you will see the section on chickens.

http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/when-will-my-chi.....y-eggs-229

Good luck and please let us know when they start to lay.  We all get excited at the first egg of the season.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 16-Jan-11
10:15 am
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Toffeeapple
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wave  Hello and welcome!  I'm certain that you'll get all the help you need from here Lisa.  

I'll try that again!

Sun 16-Jan-11
2:54 pm
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seth
lincolnshire fens

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Welcome Lisa,

Have you done the finger test ? Pick up the chicken  feel below the vent for a bone each side, if you can get 2 or more fingers between the bones should be laying or very close the gap increases when in lay. wave

Seed catalogues are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than the web and playboy combined . (after Michael Perry)

Sun 16-Jan-11
8:09 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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landy said:

Hi Everyone

 

I just wanted some advice, we recently bought 4 hybirds, they are now 23 weeks old, very happy, fed on pellets and left overs from te kitchen but we have not got a single egg!!! could it be the cold weather? any suggestionssmile  

 

I am also thinking they may not actually be 23 weeks as they still have pink not red on their heads " could they be younger?

 

 


Hi landy  wave WELCOME.....!!
 

I think they maybe need a bit more protein to trigger the laying mechanism. As the days lengthen & the weather warms up they will automatically get redder combs but you can help them along by changing from Growers' Pellets to Layers' Pellets & mixing a little Poultry Spice in with their food. I also increase the quantity by about 25%. 

My hens started into production on January 1st, slowly at first but this last week the first of the pullets have started¦..many more to come.

Oh & different breeds start at different ages, where you given any clue as to what age your hybrids would start?  The first eggs will probably be tiny so don't be surprised, a few eggs later they will be the right size for the breed.

Good luck, keeping chickens is fascinating & very rewarding!  smile

 

Hattie

 

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

from Les Miserables

Mon 17-Jan-11
12:11 am
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Terrier
York

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Hi Landy, and welcome

My chicks have been a bit none productive over the winter, it's the short days that prevent them from laying, they need a certain amount of daylight. The cold doesn't affect them in that way( we had to be really quick over the past month with the odd egg that got laid, as they froze within an hour in the laying boxes).

Anyway, I digress, they are just starting again now, but they have access to outside from dawn till dusk as I have a caged off pen that they can access as soon as they wake...until I get up and let them out to roam free.

If you have them shut up on a night, unless you let them out at first light then they won't be getting the full amount of daylight. Didn't know the bit about increasing feed, but then I probably spoil mine anyway and overfeed them.

Mon 17-Jan-11
2:03 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Terrier said:

If you have them shut up on a night, unless you let them out at first light then they won't be getting the full amount of daylight. Didn't know the bit about increasing feed, but then I probably spoil mine anyway and overfeed them.


wave  Hi Terrier,
 

I have found over the years I have kept chickens free-ranging my garden that it is very important in winter to compensate for the lack of bugs, worm, grit etc. that they are not able to access from the ground because of snow, ice, mud etc (let alone all my veg. & fruit the dear marauders steal or trash¦..heart ). I also try to give them odd bits of grated cheese & bits of fat. I make them warm porridge on cold mornings, adding milk & a splosh of olive oil, left over salad dressing, cider vinegar& Poultry Spice or Cayenne pepper.

Landy, do you feed them Mixed Corn in the afternoon, just before bedtime (whistle) so they go to roost with a really full crop?  This keeps them warm & happy overnight. 

 

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

from Les Miserables

Mon 17-Jan-11
6:45 pm
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Terrier
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changed my mind after reading Hattie's comments  - don't think I spoil them after all...

They do get mixed corn on an afternoon though, as I heard that it helps them to keep warm overnight, but making them porridge...how sweet

Mon 17-Jan-11
6:57 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  I buy layers mash and mix it with warm water.  The ducks like it too.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Mon 17-Jan-11
6:59 pm
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danast
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wave  Cayenne pepper Hattie??????  eeek

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Mon 17-Jan-11
7:14 pm
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Terrier
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Oh, now i feel like I'm actually mistreating my chucks....

Mon 17-Jan-11
9:33 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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If only I could keep chickens here!  Imagine me making porridge for them...that is just not going to happen is it? big_laugh  I do, though, like the idea of porridge with Cayenne or even Paprika - might try that for my breakfast tomorrow.

I'll try that again!

Mon 17-Jan-11
9:46 pm
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danast
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wave  Oh I don't think so TA.  Surely not.aargh

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Mon 17-Jan-11
9:48 pm
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Hattie
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Toffeeapple said:

If only I could keep chickens here!  Imagine me making porridge for them...that is just not going to happen is it? big_laugh  I do, though, like the idea of porridge with Cayenne or even Paprika - might try that for my breakfast tomorrow.


TA , you will find that both will keep you much toastier than just the porridge does on it's own. My grandfather used to sprinkle cayenne inside his socks in icy weather.....he said it kept his feet warm........runaway ..........what_the_heck.......!!!!!  I have never tested this out.  laugh

 

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

from Les Miserables

Mon 17-Jan-11
9:49 pm
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Toffeeapple
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What is going on here?  I have made more than one reply but only the smileys show up?

I'll try that again!

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