How long do I have to wait for the hens to lay eggs?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Okay....to make a long story short...I'm new to homesteading....I'm a city boy who purchase a farm....and one thing lead to another...anyways....I purchase 25 chicks thru the mail in early spring...mid March....and well....I'm still waiting for eggs....I built them a CONDO for a chicken coop...with a 12 metal nest box, water, food....and a one acre chicken run....and yes....I look for eggs in the run....nothing...25 healthy chickens....4 Roosters and 21 hens....and no eggs...they go in at night like clockwork...the run is saving me a bundle on the grains they eat...oh by the way....I love the puff orphingtons....they are very friendly...
-- David Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 03, 2001
David- don't hold your breath- mine started laying at 5 1/2 months. Sounds like a fantastic set up you've got for them. Be patient for a bit longer and you will have your eggs. Good luck.
-- Elizabeth (email@example.com), August 03, 2001.
David, It takes awhile. I got my chicks at the end of Febr. and they started laying at the end of June. That would be Buff Orpingtons, I believe, not puff and I agree that they are gentle. They are my favorite of all the breeds.
-- Nancy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 03, 2001.
Go down to the the "Older Messages" at the bottom of the current messages, go to the section called "Poultry (General)", do a search (use the "Ctrl" and "F" (for find) keys together, enter the word you want to search for (in this case lay)), search and keep searching (find next) until you've reached the end. There's a lot of information in those older messages - worth reading when you've got time, and worth looking at when you want to know something - good chance the question has already been answered.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), August 03, 2001.
The buffs are my favorite - very gentle, great layers and setters. They should start laying very soon. Usually start when they are 5-5-1/2 mos. Beautiful brown eggs. You have constructed terrific environment for them - they will be very happy hens :) One side note - you may want to eliminate all but one rooster soon. Too many males cause the hens undue stress.
-- Victoria Tompkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 04, 2001.
Wow! I got some Buff Orps and found them to be mean and obnoxious, I have them almost all gone now, they taste just fine. I like Americaunas and Cornish, both mature faster than the Buff Orps, too. Although, it still takes 5 - 5 1/2 months for an egg.
-- Tana Cothran (email@example.com), August 04, 2001.
Hey, my hens always take about 7 months before they lay....what gives? Am I missing something?
-- cindy palmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 05, 2001.
David, unless you are counting pennies, add 20% protein laying pellets or mash to their food. They sell 16% and 20% at all our feed stores. Maybe that is what they need to get started. Maureen
-- Maureen Stevenson (email@example.com), August 05, 2001.
Thank you all for the advice...and yes I've read the other postings...I've also read Gail Damerow's book Guide to Raising Chickens...it's just I guess I wanted to make sure I was....well..doing things right.....sorry about calling the Buff's puff's....I'm feeding them the 50lb bags labeled "1600" chicken feed from the local farm and country store. But they spend so much time roaming outdoors that they hardly eat any of it.
-- David Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 06, 2001.
David, just a reminder then about what was said in one other recent thread, about using nest eggs in nest boxes to give hens a clue about where to lay. Since they're free-ranging as much as you say, absent other clues they will be likely to make their own arrangements when they do start laying, and you may not find their nests, and then lose the birds to predators when they stay out overnight on a hidden clutch of eggs. Nest eggs aren't a guarantee, but they improve your chances.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), August 07, 2001.
Am I right you are suggesting I put fake or real eggs in the nest boxes???
Sounds logical, I will try it...I have a 12 metal nest box so...a dozen eggs....where would I buy fake eggs?
-- David Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 07, 2001.
David - feed stores carry fake (nest) eggs. Also, we've had luck using the plastic eggs that are sold at Easter time.
-- Victoria (email@example.com), August 07, 2001.
Well I tried my local Agway Country store, CT Farm and Country, Kmart, Walmart and a number of pet stores, dollar stores and CVS stores...no plastic fake eggs....so I'll try using real ones...
-- David Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 2001.
Dave - Murray McMurray hatchery and some of the others sell wooden eggs. You can also purchase alabaster, onyx, glass, and plastic ones here and there, like at farm, feed, and poultry supply stores, and even at some tourist traps that sell quartz and other minerals in egg shapes. Be sure you get something close to chicken-egg size. I don't suggest using real eggs for chickens that haven't laid any eggs before, or are just beginning to lay. They may start pecking at the shells and discover they can be broken, thus encouraging them to cannibalize their own eggs later on, because they will find the yolks to be pretty tasty. You want something hard that will discourage them from pecking so they'll leave the real ones alone.
-- Claudia Glass (email@example.com), September 06, 2001.
********* UPDATE ************* EUREKA!!!
I have eggs galore! I checked the coop late this morning...about 23 eggs!!! kinda small...but heck...I'm not complaining!!!
thanks all for the advice!!!
-- David Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 05, 2001.
Congratulations - just in time for them to stop laying for the winter. Unless you've been checking and gathering regularly for a while, though - I'd be inclined to float-test those eggs as I prepared to use them; and break each one into a cup to look at individually before I decided to add it to the first five good ones I had ready for the omelette. I undersand that's one of the first lessons they teach apprentice chefs, where they might be whipping four dozen eggs at a time for souffles - they don't want the 48th one broken into a big bowl to be rotten, so they break and check individually, then add.
-- Don Armstrong (email@example.com), November 05, 2001.