Hens finally laying, but...

Discussion in 'Chickens & Poultry' started by neigy, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. neigy

    neigy New Member

    42
    Feb 18, 2016
    I got 10 chickens in the fall of 2015 and they are finally of age to start laying. Between the ten of them they have produced 8 eggs or so. The first egg I got was 4 days ago.

    When should I expect all of them to lay eggs more regularly?

    Also, I received two roosters for free from a friend who had like 10 about two weeks ago. I have maintained the 2 roosters separated from the 10 hens and will continue to do so for another 2 weeks for safe measure.

    I wonder when or if I should allow the roosters to cohabit with the hens?

    If they should cohabit with the hens, can they share the same coop?
     
  2. NyGoatMom

    NyGoatMom Shady Acre Homestead Supporting Member

    One rooster can handle upwards of 15 hens by himself. Your hens will be featherless on their backs, heads and such if you allow two in there. May happen with even one.
     

  3. ShireRidgeFarm

    ShireRidgeFarm Active Member

    807
    Sep 24, 2015
    Northern WV
    What breed(s) are your hens? Different breeds will start laying in full-force at different ages. We have buff orpingtons and they start laying at 6 months.

    Most folks agree that there should be about 10 hens for every 1 rooster. If there are more (or if that one rooster is a real jerk) then the hens will not lay as well because the rooster(s) are stressing them out. The hens can also get bald spots on their backs from the rooster 'doing his thing' too much. We had two roosters and 26+ hens - both roosters were really mean, so some of our hens were picked on and egg-production dropped. If your 2 roosters aren't mean to the hens, then there shouldn't be any problems with them all living in the same coop. If the roosters are mean (I have yet to meet a nice one :p) then you might have to keep them separate from the hens, or just keep one rooster.
     
  4. neigy

    neigy New Member

    42
    Feb 18, 2016
    Hmm... Well, a Barred Rock rooster that is about 20-25 pounds. He's huge! And another rooster who appears to be smaller than the hens haha. I think I'll have to keep a close eye on them in two weeks when I begin to introduce them into the same area and go from there. However, I'll most likely have to choose between one of the roosters to protect the hens. Naturally the larger rooster is the dominant one of the two.

    Which rooster would be better? the Larger or Smaller one?

    The breeds of hens I have are: 3 Sex Links, 2 Buff, 2 Americaunas, and 2 barred rocks.
     
  5. ShireRidgeFarm

    ShireRidgeFarm Active Member

    807
    Sep 24, 2015
    Northern WV
    If I remember correctly, those breeds are all egg-layers so I'd expect they'd all be laying pretty soon. Feeding them egg-layer feed (if you aren't already, of course :p ) should help them lay more eggs sooner.

    I'd keep whichever rooster is nicer to the hens. I'd expect that to be the smaller one, but you never know! We have one bantam rooster (VERY small) but he think's he's the biggest and baddest rooster around - fortunately the hens won't put up with anything from him. :lol:
     
  6. SeventeenFarms

    SeventeenFarms Active Member

    247
    Dec 9, 2013
    Southern New Jersey
    just a caution that a good rooster will be great protecting and increasing your flock, but most can be dangerous too, if you wander into "their" territory - its what roosters do and are supposed to do. We liked having roosters, but after too many attacks, only keep hens. And yes, if you have a small flock of hens, they can tear them up. We normally had about 15-20 hens and one rooster and still had bald hens, and they were free range so it wasn't like they couldn't escape! No such thing as a "satisfied" rooster.
     
  7. lovinglife

    lovinglife Active Member

    930
    Jun 6, 2013
    Southern Idaho
    When we get a mean rooster they turn into chicken dinner. We have two now that not a mean or aggressive act so far, I expect they will stay that way. We like having roosters with the girls but not one who will attack me, I always make sure I am the top dog even if I have to chase them down and put some sense into them, if that doesn't work in one or two tries, off with his head. I had a beautiful black Sumatra for years, he was awesome, always protecting his flock, leading them to food, never aggressive to people, he got old and died so had to be replaced, but I still miss him.
     
  8. SeventeenFarms

    SeventeenFarms Active Member

    247
    Dec 9, 2013
    Southern New Jersey
    Lovinglife I feel the same, yet for whatever reason by two years everyone I've ever had turned from angel to devil. I had tried being top dog but the darn things would always try again! I'd give anything to have a nice one - they are beautiful and I always liked to hear them crow. Just never had any luck, and harvesting has always ended up being the only option. I do miss having one!