7months old+ and still no eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jinks12333, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. jinks12333

    jinks12333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hatched about 30 chicks this spring. Easter to be exact. (4/20/14) none of them are laying and i can't figure out why?? Any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  2. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you giving supplemental calcium, and at this point, supplemental light? A lot of birds that are due to start laying in the fall will often wait until spring if the day length is too short.

    What breed are we talking?
     
  3. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, there is that "sticky" article at the top of the Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying, but you've probably already read that as many times as I have.

    When I have the problem you do, which I happen to have right now ... well a few more should be laying than are ... I pull out the big guns because desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Here's what I'm thinking of doing:

    I am going to supplement their feed (if I were buying feed, I'd probably switch feeds because sometimes the feed is old and then vitamins have gone bad). I will be giving them more animal protein to get them over the hump. You know, more canned fish, scraping from the scrambled egg pan in the morning, every last scrap of meat left on a plate, bones to pick, etc. In fact, I did this the other day and got more eggs the very next day. Hopefully once they all get to laying, I can cut back to normal because canned fish is a little bit pricey.

    I was finally able to let them back out to free range now that they made their move to the winter coop. So more green grass to eat and wider variety of vitamins, minerals, etc., from live feed.

    I also expect that they have calmed down a bit and have settled into their new home after being there for two weeks. Non-stressed chickens lay more eggs. I will be evaluating to make sure they aren't stressed. You know ... enough nests, not too many roosters, no overcrowding, no huge drafts. A family of coons moved in about 3/4 of a mile away, but I doubt the coons are spooking them because I don't think the coons come around here at night. The coop is coon-proof (I think. I hope those aren't my "famous last words.")

    I have never given the layers supplemental light over winter, but I am tempted at this point since I am not sure what the deal is.

    I would consider the breeds, but over the years I have purposely bred together roosters and hens that have done very well for a number of winters here to make a hardy group of chickens. I am sure I've got a winter-hardy group of hens ... at least the ones I hatched. I guess that I have about 7 hens that are unproven, with the Russian Orloff and Faverolles being known for not always laying a lot of eggs and sometimes also for being slower to mature.

    I have also looked them over for mites, but they seem free of them.

    A few of mine weren't hatched until the beginning of June, so that is part of my problem, but most were all hatched in April and early May.

    Years ago I got a bad batch from the hatchery. They never laid well. They were held up in the mail somewhere. They arrived listless, but I got them to perk up. Then they got pasty bottoms. They had a really bad start and never did lay well no matter how much I tried to help them.

    Oh, and I will up their cayenne intake. Their feed already includes it, but in the past a little more has sometimes given them a little boost to get them laying--about a tablespoon a day for 10 hens or something like that is what I sprinkle on top of their feed for the day. It sort of works as a tonic.

    Are your hens' combs and wattles all bright red?
     
  4. jinks12333

    jinks12333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They all look happy and healthy... and act it too, besides the egg laying. "They" are 1 Black copper Maran (hatchery) 2 (EEs hatchery) and the rest are my back yard mix. They are all Ameracauna rooster over Australorps, Barred Rocks, Gold Laced Wyandottes, Delewares, EEs and RIRs. All of them are currently enjoying free range from sun up till sun down and their diet includes leftover greens and proteins from my dinners and they are all on high protein food (Feather fixer) because the older hens had a rough molt in October. With that said. They have a bowl of oyster shells and fresh water constantly available.

    No light in hen house because... well im paranoid. Their combs and wattles are all bright red. I have appx 30 hens and 3 roos... technically 2 roos because the one is a serama x silkie whos gf is a silkie. So they arent over run with Roos... but i still only get my standard 5 eggs from my older hens. I just dont get it. [​IMG]
     
  5. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only thing I can think of is that the sire, being an Ameraucana, may have passed on possible later-laying genetics. Some Ameraucanas lay a little later than that some other breeds. I've heard "8 months" bandied about a lot when it comes to Ameraucanas and their "cousins." That's the only thing I can think of. [​IMG]
     
  6. jinks12333

    jinks12333 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Akron Area, Ohio

    I guess it could be possible. Lets hope for some eggs before Easter 2015!!! haha
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Could be the shortening days/lengthening nights:

    The not laying could be because of lack of daylight. Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.



    Or..... they could be laying out in their 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 2-3 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. 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.
     

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