25/26 week old Rhode Island Red not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NataleeL, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. NataleeL

    NataleeL Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2016
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    Last easter I bought 6 chicks. 3 EE 2 rhode island Reds, 1 black astroplop.
    One of my EE turned out to be a cockrell and was rehomed.

    One of my Reds started laying about 5 weeks ago. She gives me an egg a day. She was very obvious when she started laying her eggs song was strong and I had to buy some fake eggs to show her where to lay.
    No one else is laying.
    From what I've read, my other red should have started but she isn't giving me any pre-lay signs.
    Should I be concerned?

    I've followed their feed guide lines and bought the feed appropriate for their age. "Peace" my laying hen had great eggs as far as size, color, strength, and consistency.
    They are free range on a half acre and eat from my garden often (no matter how hard I try to keep them out)..

    Am I worrying for no reason or should I be concerned and make some changes or have her checked?
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you feeding layer feed? That may be why you aren't getting eggs from all of them yet. Layer feed, combined with free ranging and treats, leads to not enough protein for egg production. A higher protein feed may help.
     
  3. NataleeL

    NataleeL Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah they are getting layer feed but I worry maybe too many treats because of the options in the yard.
    How can I encourage them to eat more feed?
    I also give them scratch once a day and a little grit.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    No more scratch. And switch the layer feed to a higher protein feed like starter, grower, all flock, or flock raiser. There is no need to feed layer feed. There is no magic ingredient in it. In fact, it's a poor choice of feed for your type of flock management. A higher protein feed is a better choice for free ranging flocks and for keepers that like to give treats. Just be sure to have some crushed oyster shell available.
     
  5. NataleeL

    NataleeL Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome thank you. Headed to the feed store right away.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I like to feed a higher protein feed too...balances out the 'treats'...oyster shell in separate container always available.

    Another thing to think about is that if you free range, they may be laying out in range area.
    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 (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. 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.


    Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
    Squatting:
    If you touch their back they will hunker down on the ground, then shake their tail feathers when they get back up.
    This shows they are sexually mature and egg laying is close at hand.

    Combs and Wattles:
    Plump, shiny red - usually means laying.
    Shriveled, dryish looking and pale - usually means not laying.
    Tho I have found that the combs and wattles can look full and red one minute then pale back out the next due to exertion or excitement, can drive ya nuts when waiting for a pullet to lay!

    Vent:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     
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  7. NataleeL

    NataleeL Out Of The Brooder

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    What level of protein is suggested for free range? I'm now feeding 20%
    I also added oyster shell in a separate container
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    20% is good for free range or confined.
     

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