8 and 9 month old freeloaders??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SpeckledPullet, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. SpeckledPullet

    SpeckledPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2010
    Northeast Florida
    I bought 4 hens yesterday from a local gentleman. I knew when I bought them that they were not yet laying, however I had assumed before seeing them they must be sickly. As it turns out, they appear to be in good health! However, they were on a craxked corn mix? I am not sure what it was to be exact, but it was not layer crumbles. Anyhow, one hen is 7 months and in the middle of her moult. 2 other hens look to be in the tail end of their moult and they are 8 months. The last hen is past her moult, has all of her feathers in, appears healthy, and is 9 months old. Any idea why the three elder girls would not be laying? I can even understand the 8 months old as they are jut now coming out of a moult, but why is the 9 month old not laying? I am a bit confused. These are the only four hens I have and I am a newbie. Since bringing them home, they have been supplied with a nice coop, 2 nesting boxes with straw, Layena "all natural" layer crumbles, and fresh water. They even have roosting perches. Is there anything else I can do to encourage laying? Should I be worried? Thanks!
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    It is probably due to lack of proper nutrition. Cracked corn doesn't have enough protein for them to maintain themselves and also lay eggs. Keep feeding them the layer mix and give them a few weeks to build up their own reserves, they will eventually start laying.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    In addition to what Mac said, you've only had them since yesterday? They need some time to settle in and get completely over their molt.
  4. Zoopathy

    Zoopathy Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2009
    San Diego
    Remember, too, that egg laying is daylight dependent. Our days are still relatively short. That, combined with the molting and the malnutrition/lack of protein in their diets would definitely contribute. Keep them on the good feed, give them some extra calcium on the side, and give them a few weeks. As it warms up, they will, too! Good luck!
  5. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    That is true about the daylight hours needed. Also when they are going through a molt give them some dry cat food for protein. It will help them stay healthier. It takes a toll on their body when they go through a molt. Also definitely start them on laying pellets for protein. My feedstore person always had me giving laying crumbles..it is more expensive, but the chickens keep knocking it out of the feeder more. I switched to the pellets and they lay just as well and don't waste nearly as much and it's cheaper....so do your research also.
  6. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    I agree - give them a little extra extra protein, along with the good quality layer feed. The extra protein will help replenish their bodies with the protein they used up to re-grow all those feathers.

    I have a 39 week old that just laid her FIRST egg, today! She was the last of the flock, all the same age, to start laying. Also, I have one who started a mini-molt and stopped laying, at 7 months old - in November. She has FINALLY regrown her feathers and filled out, but she hasn't resumed egg-laying yet.

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