20.5 week old Barred Rocks and Silver-laced Wyandottes and one New Hampshire Red not laying?

tweetzone86

Songster
Jul 23, 2018
322
377
161
Kootenai County, ID
I'm sure this sounds impatient, but I am wondering...this flock has had some behavior issues with feather-picking (due to boredom I think, and the chickens are, well, too chicken to go out in the snow which puts 19 birds into a 96 sq foot shed/coop. Door open all day, til we can cut out a little chicken door which will hopefully be soon). That being said, snow melted so they're venturing out a little more...but it's supposed to be a snowy winter for us this year.

I feed them 20% Purina Flock Raiser, and oyster shell on the side (side note- will the oyster shell hurt my roo? He's pecking at it too).

When will they start laying? Or is the issue that it's autumn, and the low light will stop laying before it even starts? My RIR flock (first one- have been rehomed to chicken retirement home since their egg production dropped and it wasn't economical to keep them anymore) laid all through their first winter, but we had set up a light on a timer. We plan on hooking something up for that this weekend on our new property.

Does anyone know if these June-hatched breeds will lay their first autumn without light (just out of curiosity) or will they wait til spring? Also, as an aside- how do I stop the dummies from picking each other's tail feathers out?! It's driving me nuts! My first flock got along SO well with each other, but these ones, while fine to us humans, seem to irritate each other, despite the fact that they were all raised together from the same hatch day (hatchery chicks). Is this possibly due to their breeds? I would have thought RIR to be bossier but the last ones were so nice, which is why it made me sad to get rid of them- but I had to move new flock into their coop.
 

mcdze

Chirping
Sep 9, 2020
182
224
71
cant speak on the others but barred rocks will start laying around 6-7 months, with it being winter it may delay it and they may not lay steady, come spring though they'll get into the groove .. if they need more space then make that happen lol .. you generally cant hurt a rooster, you could probably whack it square with a shovel a few times and it will still be alright lol kidding, but yeah, he'll be fine eating that ..
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
12,566
23,338
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Different birds handle crowding differently, so this group might not handle the tight quarters as well. Is it possible to either clear out a bit of snow so they have extra space to use, or maybe put up something to help shed snow so they have cleared space to use?

Your male is probably picking at the oyster shell more out of curiosity, I wouldn't worry about it unless he's gorging on it.

As far as laying... difficult to say. You may find that some of the pullets will begin in fall/winter and continue from there, whereas others might be delayed (or start and stop) due to lack of daylight hours. With my flock (various breeds) I've so far found that my pullets will lay through winter once they start, however my hens stop laying from onset of molt until past solstice.
 

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