8 month old chickens are not laying

moma chickadee

Hatching
Dec 4, 2017
5
5
9
Four of our hens hatched 17 chicks in April of this year. We've fed them the starter food and allowed them to stay with the Hens that hatched them. About a month ago, we started giving them the laying mash. But...they still have not started laying. Of the 17, 5 are obviously roosters. Any ideas as to why they are not laying?

Our original Hens and Roosters are pure Rhode Island Reds, Black Jersey Giants, Blue Jersey Giants, and one or two that I don't know. Because they are all in the same pen, the new chickens are mixed breeds.

Sure would appreciate your help!
 

Josh0625

Chirping
Nov 20, 2017
40
55
56
32 weeks does seem like a long time to me too. My barred rocks were 28 weeks which isn't uncommon for my breed. Ive also read that chicks that are raised by their mother mature slower which is a good thing and sing of health. ( Again something I've read not experienced myself) DO you have enough laying boxes? My most recent thinning of my flock caused 3 of my 26 week old rocks to start laying. I wonder if there was competition over the laying boxes, but could have just been luck of the timing. If they are late bloomers mixed with the shorter days they may not start until spring. I didn't offer much help but I do know these things can cause anxiety and I've learned many times nature has a way of taking care of all the things we wonder about.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Spring Dreaming
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
Jul 16, 2015
43,641
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Wisconsin
Laying mash generally has less protein. Switching to it will slow down maturity, especially in slower maturing breeds like Jersey giants. I have not owned the breed, but I do believe they are not good egg layers to begin with.

RIR can be slower to mature too. I generally expect them to start laying between 5-7 months of age.

Another factor is this time of year, birds take longer to start laying in general.
 

rjohns39

Wrangler
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Aug 20, 2015
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Smith County, TN
Hi and welcome to BYC :frow We're so happy you've decided to join us:ya
As @oldhenlikesdogs has suggested it's probably a combination of: Lower protein levels, breed, and time of year. Last year, my late starters waited until after the winter solstice to start laying.
 

moma chickadee

Hatching
Dec 4, 2017
5
5
9
Laying mash generally has less protein. Switching to it will slow down maturity, especially in slower maturing breeds like Jersey giants. I have not owned the breed, but I do believe they are not good egg layers to begin with.

RIR can be slower to mature too. I generally expect them to start laying between 5-7 months of age.

Another factor is this time of year, birds take longer to start laying in general.
Laying mash generally has less protein. Switching to it will slow down maturity, especially in slower maturing breeds like Jersey giants. I have not owned the breed, but I do believe they are not good egg layers to begin with.

RIR can be slower to mature too. I generally expect them to start laying between 5-7 months of age.

Another factor is this time of year, birds take longer to start laying in general.
So do you think we should go back to the starter until they lay? Are there any other supplements that might help?
 

moma chickadee

Hatching
Dec 4, 2017
5
5
9
Hi and welcome to BYC :frow We're so happy you've decided to join us:ya
As @oldhenlikesdogs has suggested it's probably a combination of: Lower protein levels, breed, and time of year. Last year, my late starters waited until after the winter solstice to start laying.
Thanks - all of this makes me feel better! I want to be sure we are providing the best we can for them - so any suggestions so change of diet?
 

Josh0625

Chirping
Nov 20, 2017
40
55
56
So, if they are in the same pen as the "mother hens", do I just feed all of them the starter?
from what I am reading now their bodies have matured enough by 26 weeks to tolerate the laying feed so there is not necessarily a health rick to them eating the laying feed. I would try and maybe find a higher protein mash or supplement some protein. It is possible that even changing diet at this point may not push them into laying until our longer days return.
 

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