6 Month old hens why no eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gessieviolet, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. I have raised a group of Meyer Hatchery's Rainbow mix pullets. I knew because this is a mix of breeds some would lay earlier than others.

    Began getting eggs from small white hens at 4 1/2 months. Now at 6 1/2 months I am only getting eggs from 10 of 23 hens.
    I thought by now they all would be laying.

    Another puzzle is the nesting habit. All of them insist on using the same nest, but scratch all the nesting material out immediately, I have used straw and pine chips with same results.

    Never had more than 4 bantam hens at one time; these full size chickens are a mystery to me.
  2. PtldChick

    PtldChick Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    How do you know there are only 10 hens laying - are you getting ten eggs a day? If so, then probably more than ten are laying because not all chickens lay every day. How many different colors of eggs are you getting?

    Do you know which chickens aren't laying yet? The heavier breeds like Brahmas and Cochins take six months or sometimes longer to start laying.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  3. I get the same color eggs (the same amount of each) each day. Seems a little too regular for co-incidence.

    I understand an egg laying cycle is appx 26 hours so it would seem I should get an irregular number of eggs if more were laying.

    The size of the eggs is steadily getting larger, again, another indication to me that the same chicks are producing them, am I wrong in assuming this?
  4. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    Tallahassee, FL
    What are you feeding them? What are the breed from your mix. By months you should be able to tell or post pictures, there is even a thread for bird identification. And sadly yes there are some birds that just take a long time.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    When they start laying does depend some on breed but it is also a very individual thing. Not knowing the breeds, I also would expect you to be getting more eggs, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. Just bad luck. But what I would really look for in your case with them at that age is are they laying and you are not getting the eggs. I'd really be suspicious that some are hiding the eggs from you. I don't know how you are managing them, but if they have a lot of territory they could be hiding a nest, I'd try locking them all up for a couple of days to see if your egg production dramatically increases.

    If you were getting a wide range of number of eggs each day or they had a variety of appearances, I'd think of something eating some of them. But since yours appear to be regular, my thoughts are more to them hiding eggs from you. Don't totally ignore the possibility that a pet dog or something is eating some eggs, but with it being this regular, I kind of doubt that is your problem. By the way, that Rainbow Mix does not mean a variery of egg colors. It means a variety of colors of feathers on the hens.

    As far as them scratching the nesting material out, try putting a larger lip across the bottom of the nest. I had to go wtih 5" to 6" lips to stop mine form scratching the nesting material out.

    Don't get hung up on that laying cycle. It normally takes about 25 hours from the time an egg starts its journey through the hen's internal laying factory until it is laid. There is not necessarily a connection to when the first egg is laid and the second egg starts its journey. I've had hens that lay regular as clockwork the same time each day, which means the second egg started before the first egg was laid. It is also not that unusual for a hen to lay two eggs in the same day, usually a pullet first learning to lay, but sometimes a mature hen will do that. That means the second egg started its journey a long time before the first egg was laid. When she does, the second egg is often soft-shelled because the shell gland has not had enough time to make enough shell material for the second egg. There is not a lot that is consistent about chickens.
  6. [​IMG] This is a photo of some of the girls asking to be allowed to run outside for a little while before roost time on a hot August day.

    These chickens are in a enclosed coop. Can't hide eggs.
    I did discover one hen who immediately began peeking eggs when she laid them (she's gone) No pet dogs can get to eggs

    Going to chalk this up as learning experience. Next time I will know what to expect.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  7. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Songster

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    Some just take a looong time, I have five hens and only two are laying, they are all going on 7 months now- only my red star and my cuckoo maran are laying. I have a BA who looks like she could lay any day, and I thought BA's laid earlier than other breeds- I kind of think she is taking on a rooster roll, she is the head hen and shows no signs of beginning to lay other than her ridiculously HUGE wattles. I also have a cochin and a welsummer who aren't laying yet. I think some breeds just take longer to lay, I am sure your other girls will start soon. I like to joke that my three non-layers are just there for moral support, they figure since the other two are laying they can just mooch! [​IMG]

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