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7-8 month old hens still no eggs!

post #1 of 8
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I have a flock of 7-8 month old hens that free range most days and that I started on layer feed with extra calcium at 6 months. They also get daily treats of sunflower seeds, millet and corn mix as well as occasional bread of table scraps. One or two hens will lay one or two eggs a day that's it! No one else has done a thing! I have 3 EE (the suspected layer since the eggs I do get are blue), 1 Welsummer, and 2 Black stars. We are in North Carolina so our winter has been mild and there is still plenty of green and bugs when they free range. They show no signs of molting, or broodiness, or illness of any kind. They also show no sign of interest in laying eggs!!! I just don't know what more that I can do.



post #2 of 8
It may be that the colder weather is affecting their egg laying. I'd suggest chilling out a little and waiting until spring rears its head. I always share the same frustration / impatience when waiting for my hens to begin laying, so know where you are coming from smile.png

All the best

Ct
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 8

I'm new to this too and my hens that are about 9 months old now have been laying all winter. I get anywhere from 16 to 26 eggs a day. Average would probably be 21 or 22 out of 28 hens. I was told it's not the cold that makes them stop laying... it's the amount of light.  I was told they need 12 to 14 hours of light a day to lay eggs and with it being winter they don't get it naturally. So when I get up in the morning I turn the light on in their coop and then before I go to bed I turn it off. I was told the only way to get eggs in the winter is to supplement their light. Do you have light in their coop?

post #4 of 8

I'd probably leave out the millet and corn for a while and see if it helps, but that's just me. I've heard black oil sunflower seed might make a good substitute treat, but I don't know from experience. Right now I'm feeding wheat as a treat, but that's only because that's what I have at the moment. I hear it's not too bad for them either, but most of my birds are on winter break anyway.

post #5 of 8

All of  the advice above is great!!! Yeah the winter may have something to do with the late egg production, but mine did not start to lay until they were 7 months old. By the way, chickens generally have their first molt after they turn a year old, so you shouldn't have to worry about that for a few months from now.

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Romans 3:23 – for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 10:9-10 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

 

Check out my photo contest!!!!

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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmuchetti View Post

I have a flock of 7-8 month old hens that free range most days and that I started on layer feed with extra calcium at 6 months. They also get daily treats of sunflower seeds, millet and corn mix as well as occasional bread of table scraps. One or two hens will lay one or two eggs a day that's it! No one else has done a thing! I have 3 EE (the suspected layer since the eggs I do get are blue), 1 Welsummer, and 2 Black stars. We are in North Carolina so our winter has been mild and there is still plenty of green and bugs when they free range. They show no signs of molting, or broodiness, or illness of any kind. They also show no sign of interest in laying eggs!!! I just don't know what more that I can do.

 

You are diluting the minimal protein in the layer feed needed to produce eggs with the other foods.

Go to a higher protein feed or cut out anything but the layer ration.

 

...or with free ranging they may well be laying out in there range area.

Coop them up for a week and see what you get.

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 3-4 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. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

 

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."

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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 #7 of 8

I'm pretty new to this, but am having a little better luck. I tend to agree with what AART is saying about, maybe you want to search outside for the eggs where they free range around.

 

 Keeping the girls inside to teach them where their roost is or where they should lay their eggs is not a bad thing as long as they have feed and water, from what I am seeing.

 

 Now I do have memories of when I was a kid, our neighbors where farmers and had kids around my age. Spent a lot of time there just hanging out outside with them doing chores and goofing off in the barn. They had every animal a farm had back then to feed the family including chickens. One thing we had to do was look for eggs in the morning and later on in the day. Most of the hens laid in the hay mound but there was one who loved laying in evergreen needles under one of those evergreen bush's.

 

 I started last summer with 15 chicks. Lost one to a hawk. Got my first egg Nov 5th. A little less than 5 months. Right now I am getting anywhere from 7 to 13 eggs a day.

 

 We had snow most of the week last week so they were not to crazy about coming out of the coop, so not much free ranging went on. I make sure they have food and right now I am just using a Pullet feed because I have a few that are not of age to feed the higher calcium feed. But I always have a feeder with Oyster shells, even before I put the your ones together. Grit is probably not to big of a deal for you where you live and able to free range every day. I always have that available for the girls too. 

 

Treats, and this is just what I do, is I can buy a bag of apples pretty cheap so they may get a couple of those randomly, Meal worms every morning. They are a bit expensive but the girls are worth it. Hanging Cabbage is one of their favorites but that only happens a couple times a month. ( have nightmares that I had a plate full of fried eggs and it tasted like sour kraut). Scratch grain very often.

 

One thing about this site, there are so many folks here that either they are book smart or hands on about the BackYard farming. I spend probably 1/2 an hour to several hours a day reading and trying to learn how I can do better for my flock. 

 

Probably a little long. Guess my wife needs to get up so I have someone to talk to. Think I will go out and talk to my girls.   

post #8 of 8
I live in NC as well, but my chicks are about 9 months old and have been laying for about 1-1 1/2 months now. I feed them turkey feed since I have turkeys and southern states says it's good for them.
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