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    • CommentAuthorjpc0ld
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2012 5:30pm (Jan 5th 2012)
    dont know if i have done this right as i dont use computers much so dont knw where this will end up.
    I am john from blair atholl scotland and have three hens and a cock, I think, but not having a lot of luck with them had them about six months never had an egg, they wont roost on the perch but insist on lying in the nest boxes on the floor (have varied the hight and type of perch but to no avail, any sugestions,
    • CommentTimeJan 5th, 2012 11:14pm (Jan 5th 2012)
    Hi John and welcome to the list! I have no idea, not being a hen-owner, but maybe they haven't laid yet just because they were too young in the better weather and now its winter they don't want to. I'm sure one of the chicken owners will be along soon and know what they're talking about. Well done on your first post - you'll soon get the hang of it!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeJan 6th, 2012 9:00pm (Jan 6th 2012)
    Welcome John.
    As Kate said some henperson will be with you very soon - well that's the phrase that I get on the phone to all the services!
    Like Kate, I don't have hens either. I just come here for sensible (mostly) conversation.
    Hope you will join us on some of the other threads, there's plenty of choice.
    • CommentTimeJan 7th, 2012 12:19pm (Jan 7th 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    :welcome: John!

    Some breeds can take longer to mature, and will take longer to begin laying. Breeds also differ in how many eggs they lay, a lot of the 'fashionable' breeds have been created for looks, not laying ability, and bantams also tend to lay fewer eggs than standard size breeds. What breed are your girls and how old are they?

    Signs that a pullet is getting ready to lay her first egg; if the comb is big and bright red, if she hunkers down / squats if you lean over her or reach for her, and if she keeps going up to sit on the nest box (kind of practising to lay :smile: )

    Also, chickens need 14 hours of daylight to be able to process an egg, so many stop laying over the winter months (once again breed and age plays a part in this).

    As for sleeping in the nest box, I wouldn't worry about that too much. Some chickens just don't fancy sleeping on perches, and others grow into it. One of my chickens has never really been a perch sleeper, she'd rather sleep in the nest box or under the perches! The only thing I'd say is that you may need to check the egg box twice a day - once in the morning to take out any poop from the night, and once at night to collect eggs before anybody sleeps and accidentally crushes them! :laugh:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 11th, 2012 4:47pm (Jan 11th 2012)
    My hens have never laid in the nest boxes - nearly always near the door of the henhouse so they can nosey out at the world while they're sitting!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJan 15th, 2012 7:03am (Jan 15th 2012)
    Half of my hens have never roosted on anything..some breeds don't. Most of mine will lay their eggs in the nest boxes, but some like the ground best..I have to walk carefully around the hen house looking to see what I can find. This time of year most hens have stopped laying all together, they need 12 hours of daylight to start laying.