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Chickens not laying

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello poultry land, 

 

I am posting this on behalf of a customer who called me ( I work at a farm and feed store) worried that she bought 4 chicks in April of this past spring and only 1 of them has laid an egg. We went over any possibility of sickness, the chickens appear to be healthy. All laying varieties from Privett Hatchery. None of them is crowing or has grown any curly tails. We discussed any egg eating, but feel that's unlikely as she hasn't noticed any messy faces or nests. They get let into the yard periodically, could they be hiding them somewhere? Could they be simply waiting until Spring? Could they be sterile? I told her I would appeal to you all about this dilemma and get back with her. Thanks!

4 hens: 1 Bantam Cochin, 1 BR, 1 Ameracauna and 1 SLW. 2 Indian Runner females, 2 cats and a fiance that puts up with all my bird crazies!
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4 hens: 1 Bantam Cochin, 1 BR, 1 Ameracauna and 1 SLW. 2 Indian Runner females, 2 cats and a fiance that puts up with all my bird crazies!
Reply
post #2 of 8
Is she feeding layer? Have light in coop to achieve 14 hrs a day of light?
post #3 of 8

Pullets that mature in the fall can take longer to start laying, sometimes taking as long as 8 months to start laying. It's not that unusual at all. Layer feed is for actively laying hens only. It should not be fed unless everyone in the flock is laying. They should be fed a grower or unmedicated starter until they are all mature enough to be laying. Any layers should have access to crushed oyster shells for calcium. It is possible for some to be laying some place hidden. Keeping them confined to a run for a few weeks will help ensure that they aren't hiding eggs. Also, some dummy eggs in the nest boxes really helps to get them in the habit of using the nest boxes.

post #4 of 8

It does seem like by now they should be laying. I would agree with junebuggena that they may take longer due to them just now being of laying age. If it was late April when she got them then again they may be taking their time getting going.

There are rare cases of hens being sterile but I would think it would be one or two a the most in a small flock. It seems unlikely that most would be sterile.

post #5 of 8

Does seem a little odd that she has gotten one egg. I got some newbees at end of march and they are laying like regular old girls now. My older girls have quit because of the molt. Tell her to leave them no access to the yard for a few days, that will tell her if they're laying or not. One other time i had some come of age in the fall and had to wait until spring to start getting eggs. It's a science that nobody knows i guess. Only the chickens. Just give them time. As long as they're healthy and eating and  drinking that's all you can ask for this time of year

post #6 of 8

A quick physical exam can help to determine if they are actively in production or not - which would help you to eliminate the need to consider issues that could be causing disappearing eggs (eating, hiding, etc).  How secure is her coop?  If a friendly neighborhood pest has realized that there is an "all you can eat egg bar" opened on the block they can/will stop by regularly to feed. 

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #7 of 8

Also, while she feels sure that they are all female, I would suggest she taken photos and allow you to review them yourself and/or post them here -- it is not at all uncommon for a newbie to miss even some blatant cockerel characteristics as they are unfamiliar with what they are looking at -and some boys are a bit late to bloom and make their gender known to such a person.

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys, this helps a lot.

4 hens: 1 Bantam Cochin, 1 BR, 1 Ameracauna and 1 SLW. 2 Indian Runner females, 2 cats and a fiance that puts up with all my bird crazies!
Reply
4 hens: 1 Bantam Cochin, 1 BR, 1 Ameracauna and 1 SLW. 2 Indian Runner females, 2 cats and a fiance that puts up with all my bird crazies!
Reply
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