Brand new chicken owner

Hello - I have never had chickens and would appreciate some advice. I have one cock and four hens who came to live with us a week ago. They seem to have settled and have made a couple of spots in the garden theirs. They come to the door about 6 pm looking for their food and I use their feed to get them to jump up into the coop so we can put them to bed for the night. So far so good! When can we expect them to start laying, will we have to hunt around the garden for the eggs? Is there anyone on this blog who can identify their breeds for me? :roll:


  • edited November -1
    I had the same problem starting out the chooks did not want to use nest boxes in the hen houses.
    Then at night they were going to sleep in them.

    I changed my approach and converted all houses to roost only. I then set up four nest boxes in the main run.
    I bolted these to a wall about 2.5ft off ground handy for collecting eggs. I also put a shelf running along the front of said nest box.
    The idea being they crap before using nestbox I use sterile barley straw in the boxes which they seem rather keen on.

    Regards Thelord
  • edited November -1
    Hi Margaret, do you know what age the hens are?
    You can tell when a hen is ready to lay when her combs and wattles get larger and redder.
    Also you can pick her up and feel how wide is the space between her pelvic bones and the space between her pelvis and her keel (breastbone) if you can fit one finger between the first space and 2 fingers between the second space then she is not ready to lay. In a laying hen you can fit 3 fingers between the first space and 4 fingers between the second space.

    If you put dummy eggs or even golf balls in the nest box, this will help them to understand where they are supposed to lay their eggs.

    There's probably a way to post photos on this forum, but if not try using imgur or photobucket or similar and post the link here.
  • edited November -1
    The dummy eggs can make them go broody if you leave them for to long :ugeek: .
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