28wk Old New Hampshires & No Laying Yet?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by the1913trio, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. the1913trio

    the1913trio Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2014
    Denver, Colorado
    My husband and I are thinking some heads need to be rolling pretty soon, but want to double check to make sure we aren't missing out on potential good layers by jumping the gun too quickly.

    Our first round of chickens 1 1/2yrs ago all laid between 17-25wks of age. We got a second lot of hatchery chicks last spring so that when our older hens molted we would hopefully have more layers in rotation.

    We ended up with x2 production reds and x2 new hampshires from this group. The production reds began laying at 24 & 25wks of age. However, at 28wks of age the supposedly "fast to mature" new hamps are not laying. The width of their pubic bones is very narrow (1.5 to 2 fingerwidths). A decent space from breastbone to vent on one new hamp, a poor amount of room on the other. Vents are not totally puckered, but not loose like an actual layer.

    We use supplemental lighting and have the girls in a nice cozy coop on days that are too cold (it is warm, the water hasn't frozen in there, they don't even puff their feathers out). They are in a tractor outside on nicer weather days. Mild winter so far up until a storm that came in a day ago...hasn't been very cold, not much snow until just now. We have ensured plenty of space, grit, warmth, ventilation, quality food, healthy greens in small doses, rooster booster water vitamins/supplement, apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper in the feed. No signs of mites or disease, normal activity levels, etc.

    BOTH the older 1 1/2yr old hens, and the x2 28wk old production reds are laying at a typical clip for winter (x1 egg every 1-3 days per bird). However, those darn new hamps aren't producing....

    So....do we wait and feed these big piggies for a bit longer...or do we make some nice chicken noodle soup?!
    Thank you for your ideas
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I had a similar issue a few weeks ago. I picked up my offending chicken and told her that she was due to meet Mr Axe if she did not buck her ideas up. Later that day she layed her first egg[​IMG]. Its gotta be woth a shot eh?:D

    1 person likes this.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    With the shorter days, some birds will take longer to start laying. Pretty soon, the days will be getting long again, and the increased light will trigger them to begin laying. Just be patient. 28 weeks isn't really all that old.
    1 person likes this.
  4. the1913trio

    the1913trio Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2014
    Denver, Colorado
    Thank you both for the responses!

    I think I need to get a bit more serious with the "better lay an egg or else chat"!

    One of the new hampshires is named "Cousin Eddie", and she just isn't the best example of breeding. Thinking of maybe culling Cousin Eddie from the flock and keeping "Lola" longer to see what she does since her behavior, personality, and overall appearance/measurements are a better chicken example than Cousin Eddie....
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015

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