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7 month old pullets not laying yet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by meowsandy, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. meowsandy

    meowsandy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2012
    I bought about 25 pullets this past spring, hatch date was in the last week of February. All were heritage breeds such as Buff Orpington, Partridge Rock, Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red. These came from a local feed store that was making a big prebuy from a major hatchery, though I don't remember which one. I treated for Cocci at 6 weeks because some seemed droopy, and it was a few days after we moved them outside. They lived in a large tractor and run that we moved at least weekly. Always kept clean water and good quality grower feed available. We had an extremly hot dry summer, so in early June we moved the tractor to the woods(for shade), and let them free range during the day. At about 12 weeks we started loosing birds. They would begin having whitish loose stools and/or show symptoms of paralysis(Mareks?) and just wither away to nothing. When they died they felt like they weighted nothing. We began isolating birds as soon as we saw any sign of illness, but always lost the bird once symptoms began. We have an older flock that occaisionaly came in contact with this flock during free ranging, but we did not loose any of the older flock. We havent had any deaths in about 8 weeks, but are down to 11 pullets. Of these 11 pullets, only one is laying, and she lays daily. I know its just the one because she is the only easter egger in the bunch, and she lays a blue egg.

    So my question is, what is going on with these pullets. I've kept chickens for years now, and never has a delay in laying like this. These girls are 7 months old now, they should be laying by now. We get pullets every March, and they are always laying by September.

    Oh, and I know they aren't laying while they are loose because I built them a run recently, thinking they must be hiding the eggs. After a weeks in there, still just the one blue egg each day.
     
  2. meowsandy

    meowsandy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2012
    Another thing that might be relevant, these pullets all have small, pale combs, not large like a mature layer. Except the EE who is laying.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Major illness can slow the rate of development dramatically. Also, pullets that mature in the fall do take longer to start laying.
     
  4. meowsandy

    meowsandy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2012
    I have been getting pullets in March for at least 6 years, and they are always laying regularly by the end of September. So I don't think timing is the issue. We hatched silkies the same time that these girls hatched and the silkies have been regularily laying for 2 months, and silkies are known for being late layers.


    So I guess my question is, are these girls ever going to be good layers? It's just not feasable to keep feeding them, and continue putting all the work that goes into caring for them, if they will never be productive.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Illness delayed them, and now the time of year is also playing a part in slowing the onset of lay. They will eventually lay fine.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I think it depends on what was killing them off. Some things like Marek's, my understanding is it can effect production over the bird's lifetime. I know MG can, that's the big reason it's such an issue for the commercial places. Not so much that it kills off the birds, but they no longer churn out the eggs like they should.

    I'd try to research what was going on. Talk to the vet at your state Dept of Ag. Sounds like it's too late for a necropsy, but you can maybe get some input as to what may have been going on and decide how you want to go from there.
     
    1 person likes this.

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