8 month old speck sussex and bl sexlink not laying yet?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jp123, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. jp123

    jp123 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2016
    [​IMG]We have 3 hens, roughly 8 months old ... and none of them are laying. Near as we know, the hens hatched in mid-April. (Were expecting all to be speckled sussex, but started asking questions near end of June when it was clear one was not like the others.) The speckled sussex hen in the front seems less mature than the other 2 from a size-and-color-of-comb aspect. Closer pictures of the two more 'mature' appearing hens are below.

    The hens free range, but there is no evidence of nests--plus, they've been confined to the coop for days on end without any eggs. No apparent interest in nesting box, even with a couple golf balls in it, not squatting, no egg song (really, only the bsl talks, but she's vocal enough for all 3 plus several more).

    Feed is Purina Layena, along with plenty of corn and sunflower seeds snacks, plus whatever they eat in the yard and woods. Not interested in oyster shells. All hens seem healthy and fine ... just not interested in laying eggs.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions? I will appreciate any input anyone can provide. Thanks!!
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  2. ECSandCCFS

    ECSandCCFS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm... I am not sure why your hens aren't laying yet, but the SS with the red comb looks very close to laying. How old were they when you got them? Also, your black sexlink doesn't look like a black sexlink to me. She has more of a dark partridge color and is built more heavily than your average BSL. Maybe a barnvelder or some other dual purpose breed. It might be a good idea to post a pic of her in the what breed or gender forum. If she is a dual purpose breed like a barnvelder, that may be why she is maturing late.
     
  3. jp123

    jp123 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2016
    Thanks for the fast response and tip.I will post the breed question now.

    The Sussex has looked like this since mid August ... sigh.
     
  4. jp123

    jp123 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2016
    We live in MN and picked the chicks up from a local farm on May 27. We were told they were 6 weeks old at that time.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Layer feed, combined with corn and treats, could be the problem. Layer feed has just barely enough protein to support egg production. When you offer other things, in addition to feed, you are diluting the overall protein intake. Egg whites are almost entirely protein, and it has to come from somewhere. Not enough protein, and birds take longer to develop and, when old enough, can't produce eggs. Either stop all extras or switch to a feed with at least 20% protein content to help compensate.
     
  6. ECSandCCFS

    ECSandCCFS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could that Sussex be a rooster? I wonder if the chicks were younger than 6 weeks when you got them
     
  7. jp123

    jp123 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2016
    Wow, thanks.
    We tried to give the hens dried mealworms when they were mini-molting in late August--no interest.
    Honestly, I thought the chickens would graze for what they needed. Is that relying too much on nature?
     
  8. jp123

    jp123 New Egg

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    Nov 21, 2016
    Umm ... good questions. This is what the chicks looked like on May 27:[​IMG]

    For perspective on size, the white next to the chicken is the lid to a copy paper box.
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Even with a ton of variety of forage, you still need to supplement with feed. And layer feed is for actively laying birds only. They need access to a high protein feed, all day long.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    That chick is approximately 4 to 5 weeks old.
     

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