1 of my 4 chickens not laying...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TravelerChick, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. TravelerChick

    TravelerChick New Egg

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    Sep 4, 2013
    I have 4 Easter Eggers. 3 of which I bought out of a flat bed truck at a feed store in fall. I got my first 2 eggs Christmas morning from the two smaller girls and the big one of the bunch started laying later that week. Then in February, I added a new girl to the flock that I bought of Craigslist. The previous owner spoke broken English but it was made clear that she was still molting and not laying yet. I added her to the flock and the 3 previously laying hens took a 2 day break to suss out their new sister, then egg production picked up full swing. Its been almost 2 months now and the new girl still hasn't laid a single egg. She is at the bottom of the pecking order and I know the transition to a new coop and the slight bullying may cause a delay, but I feel that it should have sorted out by now. She is showing no physical signs of molting, so I'm assuming thats not the problem. She's skittish so I haven't been able to catch her and look at her vent, but I'm hoping to do that soon. I'm unsure of her age but she is larger then the 2 small hens, but has a smaller build then the large hen. Anyways, I hope all of this information will lead to a conclusion. At what point should I sell or cull her? I don't want a hen living rent free for too long! :)
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I would give her through the spring and probably summer, myself. Are you sure she doesn't lay once in a while?
     
  3. TravelerChick

    TravelerChick New Egg

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    Sep 4, 2013
    Thanks for replying! There's only ever been three eggs a day, and three distinct colors (green, blue, pink). I spent the morning watching them lay and confirmed that only the initial three chickens went into the nesting box. This is the second morning I've closely monitored them, though I've been keeping tabs all month, so I'm fairly certain she is not laying. Is it possible that she will lay in the summer? What would cause the delay?
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The fact that the seller spoke broken english isn't as important as HOW OLD IS THIS PULLET?
    That's the $64,000 question.
     
  5. TravelerChick

    TravelerChick New Egg

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    We couldn't communicate her age, unfortunately. I'm guessing a year old?
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Very true, on the age. It's not unusual for people to sell off hens that stop laying, or are old enough that they don't lay much. Obviously, they may not be entirely honest with the buyer. If the seller said the chicken was a pullet, the term refers to a female who is less than one year old -- and it indeed sounds like your girl is older. And no, ther is no way to be certain of a hen's age other than to know her history. Generally, they produce fewer eggs after around 2 or 3 years of age (I'm not exactly sure of the numbers,) but they may continue to lay for several years after, usually in decreasing numbers, though the eggs are often very large -- maybe only a few a year, maybe weekly or so. I'm sure you know chickens often lay fewer or even no eggs in winter. Even where I live, my production currently depends on how cold the weather is. I would keep her through spring and summer to see how many she is going to lay, myself. It certainly does sound like you will most likely be able to tell if she does, as the egg is likely to be different. But then, I don't even try to determine which of my 9 older hens are or aren't laying.
     
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some of my slow not-production RIR & EE type pullets take up to 10 months to start laying, while some of my bantam & game mixes start at 6-7 months. You can tell when they are getting about old enough because their combs turn bright red and they start to hang around the nestboxes.
    Spring is here and all mine old & young are laying except for a handful of Oct 2013 pullets. If fed layer feed she should start within a month or 2 is my guess unless you severely under estimated her age.
     
  8. TravelerChick

    TravelerChick New Egg

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    Sep 4, 2013
    Well all, mystery solved. She just needed an extra month or two, and I needed to be patient. Shes laying daily now!
     

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