6 month old layers aren't laying!?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by laurenjordan9, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. laurenjordan9

    laurenjordan9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2013
    Howell, Mi
    We currently have 7 hens and one rooster. We've raised them ever since they were chicks besides the rooster. We originally had 10 layers and gave two to a friend of ours who lost his.... They are already laying almost every night for him and we have not gotten one. They have access to food and water every day and night. The have a 11 by 17 ft pen with a two story 6 by 4 coop. The sleep at the top but have sections underneath where they have made a nest, but still nothing. They are let out every morning around 7 to 8 and go in around 7 to 8 at night and we close them in around 10 pm. We don't know exact breeds but we think they are IOA's, jersey giants and the two white ones (we gave our friends the two other white ones we had and they are laying for him). Any help is greatly appreciated because we are stuck!
     
  2. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm trying to think in months--for the first bit with chickens, you count in weeks, not months. Um... six months is about 24 weeks, right? 24 weeks is still too early for some breeds to lay, especially large birds like Jersey Giants. It sounds to me like your friend just got lucky and got the early-maturing birds from your white ones.

    I don't expect my birds (other than Sex Links and white Leghorns, which lay around 18 weeks) to lay until 25-26 weeks. Are their combs getting large and red? Are they squatting for the rooster? Do they spend time looking at the nest boxes? These are all signs that laying is imminent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leave them up for the day and see if you get an egg. Young pullets can be very shy when laying their first eggs and chances are they are somewhere out in the yard (if the dog didn't find them first).
     
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    6 months is 32 weeks. Plenty of time for most pullets to start.

    You could also have an egg eater. Look for signs of spent shells.

    You could also have an egg thief like a crow or magpie.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    How are you getting 32 weeks? I just went to a calendar and counted and got 25 weeks. Also, one year is 52 weeks, so the most strict counting of six months is 26 weeks.

    Yes, most pullets will have started by now. But I think you're off by a month on your counting.

    I do agree that, if your pullets are free range, they are likely hiding eggs. Lock them in for a week and see what you get.
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    32 weeks if funny math on my end but couldn't get back on to fix it. They would be closer to 26 weeks. Go with the combs and waddles. The white ones are probably a leghorn or a X so they should be laying by now.

    Do they have nesting boxes or are they just making nests on the ground? You need to provide a safe and private place for them to do their business.
     
  7. laurenjordan9

    laurenjordan9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2013
    Howell, Mi
    Thanks for the responses. I'm thinking that we have had them for abot 24 weeks when we got them as chicks. They were allowed to get out, but then my grandma (a previous farmer) said that they would lay their eggs on our property so we started leaving them in (by clipping their wings and by adding another layer of metal mesh up top). The white birds have their combs the other hens really do not. This is the first time Jordan and I have ever had chickens... so I really dont know waht squatting for the rooster means. There is NO way something is getting into their coop. It is a old dog house converted. If I get a chance I will take a pic when I get home from work. It has a door and small vents at the top, but other than that at night they are sealed in tight. We havent seen any shells either. The coop is set up with 7 boxes on the ground where we have nesting matieral for them to sit it. The top also has boexes, but they have never used them. They like to sit at the top of the coop on the top boreds to sleep. They have been building nests in the ground for about a month and do lay in them. They have also started to build nests in the actual coop, but I have not seen anyone of them laying in there. They are not able to get out of their pen during the day and have access to go in and outside..
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Taking some pics is a good idea. We may be able to tell by their combs if they're close to lay. Also, we might be able to tell what your white bird is. There are lots of white birds in the world, and some are early layers and some are not. I do know your Jersey Giants are later developers.
     
  9. laurenjordan9

    laurenjordan9 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 18, 2013
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    I looked last night on the website for the breeds. We figured out that the brown are definitely Rhode island reds, and we think the white are leghorns, but didn't find any bird that looked like our black ones..
     
  10. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Your friend's white ones are laying--what color are the eggs? If they are white eggs, the yes, you probably have white Leghorns. It's strange for white Leghorns to not be laying at 24 weeks, as they often start around 18 weeks and are some of the earliest layers. RIR would also likely be laying by now.

    I think you have a secret nest somewhere. Lock them in the hen house for a few days and see what you get. And go on a serious scavenger hunt for nests. They'll be in places that you might not even expect a hen to be able to fit. If you do find secret nests. try locking the birds in the hen house for a week to teach them the proper place to lay their eggs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013

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