21 weeks and no eggs yet


Apr 12, 2016
I have 5 New Hampshire Red hens. I got them as chicks on March 3rd. They are regularly fed/watered. They are on a "pullet developer" feed right now, and everything I have read says to keep them on it until they start laying, then to switch them to layers pellets or mash. But they aren't laying yet. I give them the occasional treat, scrambled eggs, baked egg shells, bugs... They free range outside all day, then go into their coop at night. So they are able to find bugs a plenty all through the day. I check our yard, and the coop every day, no eggs. 2 of them have barely even developed combs, and their waddles aren't developed at all yet.

Is there any way to encourage them to start laying? Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Any help would be appreciated.

In my experience New Hampshires have been slow maturing and late coming into lay, but excellent producers once they start laying. Wait patiently they will soon start. The lack of wattle and comb development shows they are not close to laying.
Just because the average pullet begins laying eggs around 18-21 weeks, it doesn't mean ALL pullets will begin at this point. Yours could begin within a week to a month. You can encourage them to lay by putting fake eggs in the nests and by making the nests as comfy and private as possible. Watch for reddening faces in your pullets, squatting and singing.
Agree with both above. Assuming they have free access to feed all day, it sounds like you're doing everything correctly from a nutrition standpoint.

One other you should probably do, if you aren't already, is provide additional calcium at liberty. If they're eating all the eggshells you're providing as treats, they may be wanting a bit more. A dish of ground oyster shell may be a good idea.

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