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Egg Watch...how long before my chickens lay?

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Steel

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Introducing Ethel and Agnes (provisional names)....

DH and I finally got our laying hens on Saturday and have been coaxing them to lay an egg for us. So far we are on day 5 and still no eggs.

I thought it might be fun especially for any of you who do not have the opportunity to keep hens, to watch my two birds and track their progress, or lack there of.

chuckchuckchuckwhatsupdoc.jpg
 

Steel

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DH and I, well mostly DH, built the coop and pen from scratch. The timber for the outside pen was left over odds and ends from our build and the internal coop is made from builder''s pallets which were saved. We chose to keep this project as affordable as possible as it seemed silly to spend money when the point of getting the hens was to save money (and have fresh free range eggs). We tongued and grooved the boards from the pallets so they sit in tight against each other. We used breathable felt to line the inside of the coop and put chicken wire on the inside of that again so the hens would not peck their way out. To weatherproof it we used standard roofing felt with black waterproof silicone to keep the cold and rain out.

chuckchuckchuck.jpg
 

Steel

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The coop has two doors. One on the front just below the little window, which slides to let the chucks in at night and out in the morning. The other larger door is on the side for human access. We will collect the eggs from here and clean the coop. To make cleaning easier we made the floor of the coop removable from the front. It slides completely out so we can get all the mess out.

Here Ethel - or Agnes is showing off her wing feathers in an effort to get me to go away and leave her in peace.

Chuckchuckchuckinternalcrib.jpg
 

mayachel

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I don''t have any useful advice, but I love that you are embarking on this. Great pics of the "girls".
 

Steel

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Ethel & Agnes, relaxing at home (and giving me the beady eye
). With a lovely straw floor; nice for pecking and scratching.

chuckchuckchuckyescanihelpyou.jpg
 

Aloros

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Steel, I LOVE your coop and pen set up! How old are your hens? Our friends have three laying hens and they get three eggs a day - lucky them!

My fiance and I keep quails. They should start laying in a couple weeks.

Fresh eggs are soooooo much better than grocery bought. I''m crossing my fingers over here that they lay soon!
 

Steel

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Date: 5/6/2009 11:25:35 AM
Author: mayachel
I don''t have any useful advice, but I love that you are embarking on this. Great pics of the ''girls''.
It is fun isn''t it? Thanks for your support!



The girls are very lazy as they are still getting used to the new environment. It does not help that the cats are stalking the pen with the dogs not far behind them; does not make for relaxed hens. They need 16 hours light a day to lay an egg but we do not want to force them to do anything. So we will not light their pen at night. That said, we are feeding them laying food which increases their little chicken hormones so they will lay. Allegedly
. That means that they will not be organic eggs, just free range.

So we cannot wait until they become more relaxed and settled. Then they will leave the coop on their own and scratch/roost around the pen. For the moment they roost in their coop and look indignant if we try to shuffle them out for some exercise/fresh air. Lazy hens.

We actually do not expect them to lay for a week to ten days at the earliest but it is funny to go out every morning and evening to let them in/out (thats a larf - you would need a cattle prod to get them moving outside
) and look for a little eggy-weggy! We cannot wait.
 

Lorelei

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Hehehe - they are adorable! If they are young ones on point of lay, give them a bit of time to settle and then they should start to produce!
 

somethingshiny

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I have a friend who raises chickens. She had a couple ladies who just wouldn''t lay. She got some advice to put plastic easter eggs in under the hens. Something about the feeling of eggs (of appropriate size) would stimulate something or other and get them laying. I don''t know if it was a coincidence or not, but those hens started laying 2 days later.

btw- I don''t think I''ve seen a cuter coop! great job!!
 

Steel

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Date: 5/6/2009 11:37:14 AM
Author: Aloros
Steel, I LOVE your coop and pen set up! How old are your hens? Our friends have three laying hens and they get three eggs a day - lucky them!

My fiance and I keep quails. They should start laying in a couple weeks.

Fresh eggs are soooooo much better than grocery bought. I'm crossing my fingers over here that they lay soon!
Thank you so much. DH in particular will be chuffed with the compliment. He designed it and I think he did a wonderful job. Yes they are new hens, hence we do not expect them to lay for at least a week. But it sure is fun to be egg hunting...


Quails - wow. Honestly, I know very little about them. They sound so exotic. Do you enjoy keeping them?

I cannot wait to try my first eggie. whoooooooooohooooooooo

ETA: That is great that your friend gets 3/day. They have busy little hens. I wonder how many our girls will give us - 1/day each would be amazing but even 1 every other or every 3rd day (each) would be fine!

ETA2: Does your friend sell the excess eggs?
 

Steel

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Date: 5/6/2009 11:43:53 AM
Author: Lorelei
Hehehe - they are adorable! If they are young ones on point of lay, give them a bit of time to settle and then they should start to produce!
Thanks!

Yes, they are at least a week off laying as they are very young. I joked to DH, we should put an empty 6 egg carton in the pen; to give them something to aim for
.
 

Steel

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Date: 5/6/2009 11:49:53 AM
Author: somethingshiny
I have a friend who raises chickens. She had a couple ladies who just wouldn't lay. She got some advice to put plastic easter eggs in under the hens. Something about the feeling of eggs (of appropriate size) would stimulate something or other and get them laying. I don't know if it was a coincidence or not, but those hens started laying 2 days later.

btw- I don't think I've seen a cuter coop! great job!!
Thank you so much for the compliment. DH will be so happy you gals like his hard work.


Great info about the fake egg. Hmmmm. I will store that info away, in case the girls stay stubborn and keep all the precious eggie weggies inside
.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 5/6/2009 11:57:27 AM
Author: Steel

Date: 5/6/2009 11:49:53 AM
Author: somethingshiny
I have a friend who raises chickens. She had a couple ladies who just wouldn''t lay. She got some advice to put plastic easter eggs in under the hens. Something about the feeling of eggs (of appropriate size) would stimulate something or other and get them laying. I don''t know if it was a coincidence or not, but those hens started laying 2 days later.

btw- I don''t think I''ve seen a cuter coop! great job!!
Thank you so much for the compliment. DH will be so happy you gals like his hard work.


Great info about the fake egg. Hmmmm. I will store that info away, in case the girls stay stubborn and keep all the precious eggie weggies inside
.
Watch they don''t start sitting, they might not this year as they are young but they can be little so and so''s if they get broody!
 

Aloros

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Date: 5/6/2009 11:50:45 AM
Author: Steel

Date: 5/6/2009 11:37:14 AM
Author: Aloros
Steel, I LOVE your coop and pen set up! How old are your hens? Our friends have three laying hens and they get three eggs a day - lucky them!

My fiance and I keep quails. They should start laying in a couple weeks.

Fresh eggs are soooooo much better than grocery bought. I''m crossing my fingers over here that they lay soon!
Thank you so much. DH in particular will be chuffed with the compliment. He designed it and I think he did a wonderful job. Yes they are new hens, hence we do not expect them to lay for at least a week. But it sure is fun to be egg hunting...


Quails - wow. Honestly, I know very little about them. They sound so exotic. Do you enjoy keeping them?

I cannot wait to try my first eggie. whoooooooooohooooooooo

ETA: That is great that your friend gets 3/day. They have busy little hens. I wonder how many our girls will give us - 1/day each would be amazing but even 1 every other or every 3rd day (each) would be fine!

ETA2: Does your friend sell the excess eggs?
Have you seen backyardchickens.com? I think they have a coop contest every year - you should totally enter it! That''s really neat that it''s made from recycled materials too. I never would have guessed.

I kind of think of the quails as miniature chickens. They act like miniature chickens and look a lot like miniature chickens. The kind we have have been domesticated to the point where they won''t sit on their own eggs! They''re really easy to keep - very quiet, low maintenance, and they are so funny to watch when I throw weeds or kitchen scraps into their hutch.

Our friends give away the excess eggs to their neighbors (and to us! yum!). They have a very small yard, and they''re technically not allowed to have chickens, so....it keeps everyone happy and not complaining!


Oh! Do you know what color eggs your chickens lay?
 

Lorelei

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I thought you might enjoy this pic Steel of Baby K-norr and Kojak, 2 of my dear departed chickies with their cat bed nest!
They commandeered the cat bed, customized it with hay to make it suitable for egg laying purposes and they loved it! You can see little Kojak making a nuisance of herself and not so patiently waiting her turn to lay her egg!


 

Bia

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I love it Steel! How sweet is that little hen house!!!
 

Steel

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Date: 5/6/2009 12:18:34 PM
Author: Lorelei

Date: 5/6/2009 11:57:27 AM
Author: Steel


Date: 5/6/2009 11:49:53 AM
Author: somethingshiny
I have a friend who raises chickens. She had a couple ladies who just wouldn''t lay. She got some advice to put plastic easter eggs in under the hens. Something about the feeling of eggs (of appropriate size) would stimulate something or other and get them laying. I don''t know if it was a coincidence or not, but those hens started laying 2 days later.

btw- I don''t think I''ve seen a cuter coop! great job!!
Thank you so much for the compliment. DH will be so happy you gals like his hard work.


Great info about the fake egg. Hmmmm. I will store that info away, in case the girls stay stubborn and keep all the precious eggie weggies inside
.
Watch they don''t start sitting, they might not this year as they are young but they can be little so and so''s if they get broody!
Haha, thanks Lorelei,

If they get broody I will wheel out the T.V and play supernanny on repeat. One beady look at those child terrors and they will cross their little chicken feet!
 

Steel

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Date: 5/6/2009 12:24:17 PM
Author: Aloros
Have you seen backyardchickens.com? I think they have a coop contest every year - you should totally enter it! That''s really neat that it''s made from recycled materials too. I never would have guessed.

I kind of think of the quails as miniature chickens. They act like miniature chickens and look a lot like miniature chickens. The kind we have have been domesticated to the point where they won''t sit on their own eggs! They''re really easy to keep - very quiet, low maintenance, and they are so funny to watch when I throw weeds or kitchen scraps into their hutch.

Our friends give away the excess eggs to their neighbors (and to us! yum!). They have a very small yard, and they''re technically not allowed to have chickens, so....it keeps everyone happy and not complaining!


Oh! Do you know what color eggs your chickens lay?
I found that site last year when I was researching chucks. DH was tickled pink that you thought his coop was pretty enough to enter a competition. We feel extra proud that it is ''make and do''. We are both very spend thrifty (hence me posting on a diamond forum
).

Your Quails sound great. I would love to see a picture sometime if you get a chance. I have seen the quail eggs in the supermarket and marvelled how teeny tiny they are. Do you eat the eggs? How do they taste?

I''m glad your neighbours share - that is wonderful to have a community spirit. You don''t moan about their chucks and they spread the excess around. Very green!

No
. I hope to see one soon. If I could choose, I would choose white eggs. Just because every egg I have seen before is pinky brown with speckles. I love that on American t.v shows the eggs all seem to be white. So exotic!
 

Steel

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Messages
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Date: 5/6/2009 12:45:31 PM
Author: Lorelei
I thought you might enjoy this pic Steel of Baby K-norr and Kojak, 2 of my dear departed chickies with their cat bed nest!
They commandeered the cat bed, customized it with hay to make it suitable for egg laying purposes and they loved it! You can see little Kojak making a nuisance of herself and not so patiently waiting her turn to lay her egg!


Wow. I had no clue you had chickens. They were beautiful girls. I see a good few eggs there - was that an overnight marathon!!!!

It is soooooo cute they used a cat bed and even more sweet that Kojak had to form an orderly queue to get in and lay!

I know I am really new to this chicken lark, but they are amazing. I love to look in their little beady eyes and hear them grumble their brooo-awhk.

May I ask what happened to your girls? And how you came to name them such great names?
 

Steel

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Date: 5/6/2009 1:56:47 PM
Author: Bia
I love it Steel! How sweet is that little hen house!!!
Thank you Bia.

I originally wanted a wendy-house type coop. With white trims and a novelty sized white picket fence but being spend thrifty won out in the end.
 

VegasAngel

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Lucky you..

Are they Rhode Island Reds? Your coop is really nice. I''m not really sure what to do to get them to lay when we had them they just did it. Good luck with them & enjoy!

When I was a kid I would never, ever eat the eggs from our chickens for some reason. Now, I would love to have hens for fresh eggs.
 

Bia

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Date: 5/6/2009 3:15:50 PM
Author: VegasAngel
Lucky you..


Are they Rhode Island Reds? Your coop is really nice. I''m not really sure what to do to get them to lay when we had them they just did it. Good luck with them & enjoy!


When I was a kid I would never, ever eat the eggs from our chickens for some reason. Now, I would love to have hens for fresh eggs.
Fresh is naturally better, but just out of curiosity, does fresh taste that much better?
 

April20

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Love your girls'' names and especially their coop! It''s very, very cute.

We had laying hens when I was growing up. It was my job to get the eggs- I was scared to death of those chickens. They liked to peck something awful! The rooster had an attitude like you wouldn''t believe and would chase me through the yard. I used to take a broom with me and then ditch the broom when I got to the edge of the yard and he quit chasing me. Mean little devil.

I''ll be waiting to see when you get your first eggs- very exciting stuff!
 

Lorelei

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Date: 5/6/2009 2:25:16 PM
Author: Steel

Wow. I had no clue you had chickens. They were beautiful girls. I see a good few eggs there - was that an overnight marathon!!!!

It is soooooo cute they used a cat bed and even more sweet that Kojak had to form an orderly queue to get in and lay!

I know I am really new to this chicken lark, but they are amazing. I love to look in their little beady eyes and hear them grumble their brooo-awhk.

May I ask what happened to your girls? And how you came to name them such great names?
I have seven chickies at the moment, Baby K-norr was taken by a fox - I found what was left of her
and Kojak died of natural causes. That was probably a couple of days worth of eggs, I normally have quite a few chickens!

Baby K-norr was the daughter of Amy K-norr, I wanted a chick from Amy but she wouldn''t sit, so I put some of her eggs under a broody hen and waited - lo and behold Baby K- norr was born and even had her Mummy''s little feathered hat!
So Baby K-norr seemed to be the natural name for her! Kojak just looked like a Kojack so she was thus named.


You will get addicted to chickens very quickly, they are great and wonderful to watch, one of mine even knows her name and will come when called! Hehe!
 

VegasAngel

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Date: 5/6/2009 3:39:30 PM
Author: Bia

Date: 5/6/2009 3:15:50 PM
Author: VegasAngel
Lucky you..


Are they Rhode Island Reds? Your coop is really nice. I''m not really sure what to do to get them to lay when we had them they just did it. Good luck with them & enjoy!


When I was a kid I would never, ever eat the eggs from our chickens for some reason. Now, I would love to have hens for fresh eggs.
Fresh is naturally better, but just out of curiosity, does fresh taste that much better?
It''s been a few years since I''ve had a fresh egg, but honestly I don''t remember them tasting different but I do remember that the shell & the yolk look better.

April your story cracked me up. My sister was scared to death of chickens- not sure if she still is, but it was because of a Polish rooster we had that I swear was the devil himself. He attacked my sister from behind pecking her & flying/jumping up on her. He used to have me doing laps around my house I really hated that particular rooster. He would stalk us & launch attacks. That one met his demise from a dog in his kennel that he teased one too many times
Gosh I have so many stories from the animals we had I miss them
 

elrohwen

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So cool! Thanks for sharing. Your coop is beautiful and I would've never guessed that you did it on the cheap.

FI's boss has some chickens now and apparently he's selling the eggs at work
FI wants to buy eggs from the store, pretend they're fresh, and sell them at work for less to undercut his boss' pricing. Lol

You never know, you could make some good money on the side with your eggs!
 
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