Chickens psyching me out

gardengalrn(5KS)July 22, 2008

Two nights ago I was delighted to find my first eggs, 5 smaller and one larger, in a corner of the coop. I had not been looking for them so we fried them for the dogs due to not knowing how long they had been there. The larger one was a double yolker!! I assume it was one of my production reds, Rose, who is a few weeks older than the others. The other older girls are Americaunas and an Australorp. Anyway, I hastily made up the nesting boxes with straw (I didn't have them ready, figuring it would be another month or so). I see where someone has been in several of them. No more eggs though!! I checked the coop and run and if they are there, I haven't found them. Is that normal for young hens?

I know that seems horribly un-observant of me but I worked (4) 12 hr shifts prior to that and had entered the coop to feed/water and get out. Lori

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gardengalrn(5KS)

I did find an egg tonight, in the corner/original place!!! Lori

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 3:33AM
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johanna_h(Z5 SW MI)

Oh, Lori, this is only the beginning of the great chicken psych-out!

They'll lure you into complacency with eggs layed regularly in the box, then when you least expect it, you'll think production has slowed. But oh, no! It's only that they've found somewhere else to lay for a while.

And don't be surprised when you come to close the coop for the evening and count one chicken short. Look high, look low, remind yourself that "c'mon, there aren't any hiding places in here!" You'll be searching the yard, ready to give up, when you return to the coop and darn if she's not roosting with the others, smug as a bug in a rug.

These chickens are wiley creatures!

--Johanna

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 9:13PM
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roostersgirl

when our hens started laying, they would lay the eggs on the ground, so i put some golf balls in the laying boxes on top of the bedding stuff, the next day the eggs were right in there with the golf balls, now when i find one on the ground, its usually from one of the hens that has just started laying. the hens will get up in the nests and pull the golf balls right under them....they are so funny to watch.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2008 at 9:56PM
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runningtrails

Mine started out laying on the floor and ground too, even with nesting boxes ready with a couple of round egg sized rocks in each nest. Now, after about a month, they all lay in the nests, even five eggs in one nest and my nests only hold one chicken at a time. I have six nesting boxes, 4 low and two up a level. They only ever use three of the low ones.

Yesterday I was cutting a window in the wall of the chicken house, up high, when I saw an egg outside on the ground. I guess the noise of the saw frightened the chickens so one laid her egg outside. Something for me to remember...Don't do loud work on the chicken house before noon.

I don't go in to collect the eggs before noon, either, as I have frightened a chicken out of the nesting box at around 11:00 am on several occasions.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 6:45AM
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gardengalrn(5KS)

I got nine eggs today, one was definitely a first time egg for someone. It was really tiny like the others started out but also kinda runny. As I was carrying it back to the house I detected a weird "feel" to it, kinda sloshing around. When I broke it open the white was really watery. Is that normal?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 12:06AM
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gardengalrn(5KS)

I would also like to update with my thoughts on chicken escapades as a newbie. I knew I would like chickens but didn't expect to get so attached. I just adore them and love watching them about their daily business. I have found my Americaunas to be the flightiest yet the funniest of the bunch. There is one I've named Racer because she just hustles around like there is a fire somewhere. She also doesn't like it when I wear my yellow flip-flops, she tries to peck my feet and runs up on me when I wear them. Storm is a white Americauna and she is very reserved and cautious. All of the Americaunas like to fly and will do so as they come barreling down the run when they hear me coming with treats.
My Buff Orpingtons are sweet girls, friendly and good hustlers. I have two Production Blacks who are super friendly and I love hearing them cluck and rumble. 21 hens in all, most have names and personalities.
My Rocky rooster (an Iowa Blue) is gorgeous and the alpha. He is smaller in stature but has matured into a gentlemen of sorts. He clucks for the girls to get treats and lets them have them. It is really neat to watch how protective he is and how he makes sure they get the good stuff before he himself will eat. He and I had a battle of wills at one point and I put him out of the pen. He was constantly, constantly roughly mating the girls and causing a general uproar. The neighbor's dog got him and thank goodness it was a bird dog...missing a lot of feathers but no punctures or major injuries. I felt terrible and returned him to the coop. After several days of licking his pride, he is back to normal but much easier with the girls and mellow.
Rusty rooster is a New Hampshire Red and much bigger than Rocky. If he had tail feathers he would be a handsome bird. They never grew in right, I suspect because he was the chick that kept getting binded up and I had to clean his butt several times. Anyway, he has a small following of his own girls and I guess that keeps him happy. He will be the first one to pounce on a treat thought, so not as gentlemanly as Rocky.
I will be ordering a few more pullets this spring and am excited to pick them out. I really want some Cuckoo Marans, both of the chicks I ordered died within days or receiving them.
Anyway, I'm addicted and have so thoroughly enjoyed these birds. I'm giving away eggs right now as they are still little and haven't worked out all the kinks. Once they get to a decent size I plan to sell them for $1 or so which will pay for their feed. I've been feeding them layer feed only in the late afternoon and they forage in the run or what I give them as treats during the day. The feeders always have some left so I don't think they are hungry by any means. I would suppose that during the winter I will need to feed them in the morning and in the afternoon. I guess I'm rambling now so I will shut up ;) Lori

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 2:34AM
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farmerintraining(7)

I had chickens as a kid but went years (35) without any. We moved onto 12 acres and I finally got my GIRLS! I was suppose to have 3 white leggins and 3 Americaunas but to my surprise I got 1 Americauna and 2 rhode islands(which is ok) My Americauna (Seanna) laid 1 egg a day for about a week and I haven't found any since. They are not free range because of our dog and the neighbors. Is it normal for them to just stop laying? My other girls have kept laying daily. Help my Seanna is psyching me out! :-)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 2:24PM
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treegazer77777_yahoo_com

Yesterday I bought 10 Aricuanas, ranging from 6 to 9 months supposedly. Well the 2 smaller ones have feathers on their feet. When I asked the breeder if they were bantams he said no, the difference in size is just age difference.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 11:04AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

If your chickens have feathered feet, then they are a mixed breed--neither Americaunas, Easter Eggers nor Araucanas (all breeds with facial tufts & laying colored eggs) have feathered feet. Some feather footed breeds that may have parented your birds are Cochins, Silkies or Belgian d'Uccles (all come in bantam varieties).

If you post pics of them, it may be possible to determine which. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 4:55PM
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