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My 16-week old pullet laid two eggs...and then stopped!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Greetings Friends,

 

I am a new backyard chicken keeper, and the chicks I brought home in mid-April are slowly growing in amazing, sweet hens (I have 7 hens and 1 rooster named Princess Bubblegum). Last week, I discovered the most amazing little brown egg in my garden. I quickly got nesting boxes up and running (golf balls and all) to be ready for future production...my mystery layer skipped the next day...but then the following afternoon I found a second brown egg in the nesting box. I was thrilled!

 

This was on Saturday, so it's been four days since egg #2. My chickens are free range...and we are in the mountains of Vermont...so it's possible she's laying elsewhere (I honestly think I only have one layer right now), but I was so optimistic after discovering she successfully used the nesting box.

 

So my question is: Is it common for new egg makers to lay irregularly? As I mentioned in the thread title, they are only about four months old, which is still young! 

 

I have been searching for possible insights in vain, so any help is greatly appreciated!

 

Our first eggs!

post #2 of 7

Chickens don't usually lay every day. They will probably skip days every now and again

post #3 of 7

Is Princess Bubblegum a Cuckoo Marans by any chance? I have one just 16 weeks old who also laid two eggs and hasn't laid since, although she gets into the nest occasionally. I just attribute it to her being a new layer, it being fall with shorter days, and she will probably lay a few more then quit again as the days become too short to supply the necessary light for continued laying.

 

Or she may surprise me and start laying again and continue through winter. I'll take whatever she gives me.

post #4 of 7

I think the cockerel's name is Princess Bubblegum?

 

16 weeks is young, what breed(s) are your pullets?

Hybrid high production layers like sexlinks often lay that early tho.

 

To answer your question: Yes, irregular laying is common for new layers.

 

But if you free range, they could be laying out in the range area so you might want to confine them to coop and run for a week or so to habituate them to laying in the coop nests.

 

 

New layers can be quite goofy acting, they don't know what they are doing at first and can be confused and anxious, it can take up to a month or so before they get it all figured out. Putting some fake eggs or golf balls in the nest might help show them where to lay. They may scratch around in the nests for weeks before laying, spreading the bedding everywhere.They will scratch around a bit less in nest as they get used to the routine. Meanwhile, eggs everywhere, some of them can be rather funky looking, soft or thin shelled, huge double yolked eggs.

 

Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers.

Leaving them locked in the coop for 2-3 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests.

They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon.

You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #5 of 7
When my pullets first started laying, there would sometimes be 3 or 4 days between eggs.
It took about a month for things to regulate. They usually don't lay everyday though. I have 6 hens and average about 38-40 eggs a week.
2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
Reply
2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
Reply
post #6 of 7

We have a new layer who has laid one egg a day since she started. It has been two weeks so far and besides one day when she laid it in the run instead of the boxes, she has been regular one a day surprisingly enough, but we give our chickens a handful of mealworms everyday to share. They seem to all lay one a day when we have mealworms. 

LeiaLayers

Flock of 2 GCs, 2 EEs, 2 Cuckoos, 2 Exchequer Leghorns, 2 Salmon Fauvorelles, 1 Welsummer, 1 Blue Americauna, 1 Mallard drake, 1 Khaki Campbell drake, 1 hybrid Duck, and 1 Silver Appleyard Duck. With a ACD mix doggie.

 

Flock who have passed: RIP Julian (GC 4/8/16), Luke (WH drake 7/18/16), Han (WP drake 7/19/16)

Reply

LeiaLayers

Flock of 2 GCs, 2 EEs, 2 Cuckoos, 2 Exchequer Leghorns, 2 Salmon Fauvorelles, 1 Welsummer, 1 Blue Americauna, 1 Mallard drake, 1 Khaki Campbell drake, 1 hybrid Duck, and 1 Silver Appleyard Duck. With a ACD mix doggie.

 

Flock who have passed: RIP Julian (GC 4/8/16), Luke (WH drake 7/18/16), Han (WP drake 7/19/16)

Reply
post #7 of 7
I have 9 hens and I only get 3-4 eggs a day. Mine also started laying at about 16 or 17 weeks and were quite spaced out for the first couple of weeks.
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