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What could possibly be the problem? Not laying.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have had our chickens for 21 weeks today and they were supposed to be between 6-10 week pullets when we got them, which would put them at 27weeks (with the exception of one that was maybe 2-3 weeks.)  Not one of them have started laying and a few weeks ago I felt like their combs were just beginning to (somewhat) grow but since, there has been no growth.  They are eating and drinking.  They don't get a lot of sunlight because they stay inside the barn almost the entire day and although it has windows it's still quite dark, especially now.  They have access to a very large outdoor space and I even let them out at times but they only go out for a few minutes and then quickly convene back in the barn.  Could the light really create an environment that they would just not lay?  They're all different breeds; RIR, barred rock, black star, black australorp, easter egger, spitzhauben.  It's been a nightmare since day one, we started with 14 and are down to 6...6 deaths and we gave 2 bullies away.  The deaths were all fairly early on and we've had a healthy 7 for the past several months, until this past week when we went to lock them up and one was dead.  We recently decided to enclose the area they were in (because they were all over the barn) and one got out one night (because she liked roosting in the rafters).  We couldn't figure out how she fit through the fencing without hurting herself and now we think she must have got internal injuries in her escape.  That was the only way we could explain her death, there were no marks on her at all.  The only other thing is that a few weeks ago both my daughter and I felt itchy when cleaning and refilling their water feeder.  I noticed tiny, almost microscopic clear/white bugs on my arm and she said the same days later.  Could these have something to do with their production and/or the latest death?  Shouldn't they be laying by now?  At least 1 of them?

post #2 of 5

Pullets that mature in the fall take longer to start laying. They may not start laying until the days begin to lengthen again.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 


Thank you for that information.  I didn't think about the fact that they're maturing as the weather is changing.  

post #4 of 5

That's right. I'm in the same boat. I have four new pullets, two that are six months old and two that are almost four months old.

 

One of the older ones began laying right before the days got to the "cutoff" where the natural daylight produces too few hours to stimulate egg laying hormones. She's a Cuckoo Marans and is laying an egg almost every day, bless her little chickeny heart.

 

The other older pullet is a Black Copper Marans and is looking for all the world as if she should begin laying any day. But I doubt it is going to happen until the days begin to get longer again, sometime after the new year.

 

The other two younger pullets are Cream Legbars, and they won't have a prayer of coming to point of lay until close to spring when the days are becoming sufficiently long enough.

 

This is why everyone is so enthusiastic about getting pullet chicks in spring, so they have plenty of time to come to point of lay before the days begin shortening and light plays its tricks on the pullets' hormones.

post #5 of 5

 A lice infestation and lack of light definitely have an effect on laying.

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
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