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11 month old Ameraucana and egg laying

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm a new chicken mama and I'm looking for advice!! About three weeks ago, I purchased 2 chickens- an Ameraucana and a Plymouth Rock (both around 11 months old). Unfortunately for the first week they were kept in a rabbit hutch while we finished up their coop we were building from scratch. I assumed the move to a new home would affect their egg laying but luckily on our third day with them our Plymouth laid an egg- yay!! By the end of the week we placed them in their new, large coop with a ton of space in their fenced in run and they were happy campers. The Plymouth continued laying about every other day and the Ameraucana did not lay. Last weekend I purchased two more chickens (two Cochins around 7 months) and they entered our flock just fine. Everybody is laying except the Ameraucana! I know it probably was stressful to move from the farm to our rabbit hutch, then to our new coop, and then to get two new buddies- but I'm wondering if anyone has any advice. I figured by now she would start laying. The farm that she came from told me she was laying there and even laid the day I picked her up. She's eating, drinking, playing and even seems to be showing herself as higher on the pecking order around the Cochins. She doesn't seem to be molting (I don't think?) because I haven't seen any patches of feathers missing or her pecking at herself. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks :)

post #2 of 6

Do you think that she may be laying outside the coop / nest boxes? It may be worth a scout around to check.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6

Some girls are just more sensitive to stress than others. Give her time to adjust to all the changes that she has been through in the last month.

post #4 of 6

I would check and see if she is laying somewhere else- I have a hen who lays under the boxes and I have to dig them out because they scratch around and cover them! Its like an Easter egg hunt all year! If you don't find anything- give her time. She might still be getting settled. 

post #5 of 6

She probably won't start molting until late July - November depending on when her parents molted ... hens usually molt in late summer/fall if they don't get supplementary light in the winter.

 

As junebuggena mentioned, some hens are much more affected by changes.  So, if things go smoothly from here on out and she were my hen, I would think she might lay an egg between 2 - 3 weeks from now.  It takes about that long for her ovary to get a yolk ready for release to be made into an egg.  I think I would make sure she feels safe, too.  I would keep my dog away from the run.  I wouldn't chase her.  I would leave her alone.  I would make sure she had someplace with a roof/cover in the run to make her feel safe from an attack from the air.  (My chickens all like to hang out in the trees and bushes for large portions of the day ... they're jungle-type birds.  I've used tables, a wheel barrow, a propped up 4 x 8 pc of plywood, etc., for them to hang out under during the day for a feeling of safety and shade.  And they do this day-in-day-out when there are absolutely no sky predators around.)

 

I'm not sure any of this applicable in your case, so just ignore anything that doesn't jive with your situation.

 

Barred Rocks used to be bred as high production egg layers.  So that is still most likely to some extent in the genes of your Barred Rock, so she may tend to be a better layer.

 

Ameraucanas do not come from that kind of genetics usually.  We don't know which types of genetics she may have in her background.  But she may always lay less than your Barred Rock.

 

Also, I hate to say it, but a few people selling chickens have lied.  Your Ameraucana may have not ever layed at her previous home.  It's difficult for a seller to sell a chicken that doesn't lay, and it's easy for some sellers to just tell you that they are laying.  Also, maybe the owner had 3 Ameraucanas and actually did think she was laying.  We'll never know.  I know for a fact that I don't know if all my layers are currently laying, so I'd have to tell any potential buyer that her comb indicates that she laying, but I'm not sure.  I think it could easily be the same case for 25% of chicken owners. 

 

Also, what a pullet is fed during the first 6-8 months of her life makes a huge difference in how well she lays.  I have learned that I can't let my chicks be raised by hens unless the hens are kept in a run with their chicks where food is available within a few steps to the chicks.  If the chicks are raised with their moms who take them out 50-75 yards away from the feeder, the chicks aren't allowed (or don't think about it) to run back to the feeder to eat while out foraging, so the chicks eat much less chick feed than they need and end up being substandard or poor layers.  How a layer pullet is raised plays a huge part in how well they lay.  Not everyone raises chicks the same way.  Some feed them lots of scraps or limit their chick feed, which all plays a part in the development of the egglaying organs of a young pullet.  I don't know how your pullets were raised.  Fingers crossed it was with prolific egglaying in mind.

 

I hope she can settle in and start laying for you soon ... for her sake and yours.  It's so nice to have a few green eggs in the egg basket.

It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

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It's hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

 

I laugh in the face of "Recommended Serving Size."  The bag is too big to eat just 14 corn chips.

 

A little bit of summer's what the whole year's all about.  ~John Mayer

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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for all of the great information!! I really appreciate it. 

I went out there yesterday and I looked at the Ameraucana closer and I noticed the hair around her head/neck looked like it was thinning- not entirely bald but just patchy and thin. There are feathers all around the run. I haven't noticed any aggression from the other chickens towards the Ameraucana so I'm not sure if it's the others making her all patchy or if it's something else. I'm wondering if that is a sign of why she isn't laying! Thank you again for your advice and informative comment!!

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