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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Speaking of chickens
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SusanMo    Posted 07-29-2003 at 07:39:08       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We got 50 baby chicks this spring(first time)25 layers and 25 for eating. The problem or wondering if it is a problem, is that we seem to have only one hen laying. She will lay one egg a day at the same time in the same nest. Is this normal? We got the chicks in March. And another question. We also have two turkeys one was bought as a chick with the chickens a female, I bought a Royal Palm tom turkey earlier. Someone told my husband that we needed to keep them seperated from the chickens because of some disease they carry. Is this nonsense? The female was really upset when we seperated them but has calmed down. Plus they were picking on the chickens, they would literally grab them and throw them away from the feeder and throw them off of there roost. Anyhow its the egg thing that has me puzzled I do know they tend to slack off in the summer months but none of the others than this one hen seem to be laying. We have been feeding them the layer crumbles and letting them out in the yard to feed on the bugs and all. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance


Stretch    Posted 07-29-2003 at 12:10:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
We've got a Royal Palm tom and a Bourbon Red hen turkey. The free-range with the chickens and have for several years. No problem with disease. We've successfully raised over 30 young turkeys from this pair too. As with all livestock, I think disease is a lot more prevalent in a more confined space. Ours have the run of the whole 5 acres, along with the pot-bellied pigs, horses, donkeys, sheep...(OK, only the birds can get in the yard.)


SusanMo    Posted 07-29-2003 at 12:42:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
What I don't understand is why the turkeys were picking on the chickens? The hen was raised as a baby with them. I really hated seperating them, but one chicken had a hole in her head where they had pecked at her and it is healing really well now. The turkey hen paces the fence seperating them. Its kinda sad lol Anyway good news hubby called me a little while ago woohooo we got TWO eggs today. He said the second egg was in a different nest and was rather large. The others have been small. Guess I was just a little to impatient. We hope to get some pygmy goats before long. I have also been thinking about pygora goats and learning how to spin. I have wayyyyyyyy too much free time now that the kids are gone. The grandbaby loves the animals too and she is only 7 months. Took her to the county fair and she tried to grab the goats nose in the petting farm lol Still trying to talk hubby into getting some ducks. I was absolutly threatened by all the kids and hubby if i got guinnes(spelled wrong i know) I know i will have my little farm one day soon. Just have to learn to quit being so impatient.


cowgirlj    Posted 07-29-2003 at 14:31:58       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey Susan
My hubby swore we weren't getting geese either! Said they are noisey, pooping machines that grow up mean and nasty.
Uhh-hmmmm
We now have two geese. Squeak and Gabby. And yup! They are noisey poopin' machines, and they occasionally try to sneak up and goose you.But darn it! They were soooo cute as babies.....
I think he secretly really likes them!!
:)


Linda    Posted 07-29-2003 at 09:57:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree that your chickens are still young and will start laying soon.

As for daylight, what always worked for us was to make sure the chickens had a minimum of 14 hours of daylight out of each 24 hours.

Our chickens would lay well all summer, but when the days got short enough they were getting close to the 14 hour minimum, laying would slack off. A simple, 40 watt bulb is sufficient - just put it on a timer and make sure they get their minimum amount of light. Keep an eye on the bulb, too, so it doesn't burn out without you catching it.

You may have been thinking about chickens molting in the summer when you mentioned you knew chickens slacked off on egg laying in the summer.


Rickstir - keep turkeys s    Posted 07-29-2003 at 09:56:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Turkeys can get Blackhead from chickens. Chickens carry it but it doesn't bother them. I have heard about 80 per cent of time to keep them apart. Although the Amish in our area dont' and the turkeys seem to do okay. They sure taste okay!


blackhead isn't that comm    Posted 07-29-2003 at 10:49:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I had read and heard the same thing. Have friends who are a married couple and both are vets...they keep both together. Told me that while chickens can carry the disease, it is rare and the stories are overblown...just a possibility.

We keep our turkeys and chickens together and they all get along fine. In fact, the big tom thinks he's the guardian of the whole flock, and makes sure everyone (hen and turkey alike) makes it into the coop at night. He will not go inside if there's a hen missing.

as everyone else said, your birds are still a tad young. You should start seeing little miss-shapen eggs soon enough, and a short time after that they'll start getting normally shaped and larger and larger.

good luck,
tom


Ron/PA    Posted 07-29-2003 at 09:37:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Susan, you have a problem common to all egg producers, your birds are just reaching maturity, and the day length is decreasing,
Decreasing daylight will inhibit egg production, if you can put a light in their pen and increase the light about 15 minutes per day, twice a week until you get good production. That's where you will will have to keep the day length to achive maximum production. You will also need to note the time of sunset and figure total day length.
Later
Ron


CountryMaritimer    Posted 07-29-2003 at 08:36:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
We have 15 layers and 12 more growing in the barn. They will typically take 5 -6 months before they start laying. Be patient, the rest will start. We leave ours in until mid morning to be sure all eggs are laid before letting them out. All 15 lay in the same two boxes when there are 6 other boxes? Hens are different, layers can be vicious with other breeds....meat birds. We had problems with them killing full grown meat birds....not pretty. I am getting 12 meat chicks tonight. Do you have rooster? That might help keep things in order as well. Good luck.


SusanMo    Posted 07-29-2003 at 09:03:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Yes we got a rooster poor thing has a terrible time crowing lol fox got our first one (forgot to pen him up one night) and sven i have been watching the hens when i let them in the yard to see if they lay anywhere so far nothing but like you all said i guess i need PATIENCE and that isnt one of my greatest virtues lol. I had heard of the golf ball thing was thinking of goin to wally world and getting some of those plastic easter eggs the small ones and slipping one or two in the nests. Thanks all for your advice and help


Sven    Posted 07-29-2003 at 08:04:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
It's been a long time since I have been around chickens, and never raised turkeys, but I can tell you it is normal for a hen to lay just one egg a day, and they do tend to choose the same nest each time.
As for only the one hen laying, you stated that you do let the chickens out in the yard, is it possible that the others are laying their eggs outside? Or maybe in another building?


cowgirlj    Posted 07-29-2003 at 08:03:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Susan
They usually start laying anywhere from 3 months to 8 months old. Our hens are the same age as yours, and they are just starting to lay too. We have 19 hens and we are getting 2 eggs a day on a regular basis. I have left some eggs in the nest, marked wih an X so we don't eat them, to encourage the hens to come back and lay some more. Someone told that putting golf balls in their nests will encourage them too, just until they start laying full time.
Be patient, they are still young.


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