Advice needed for this Newbie...Golden Comets not laying :/


6 Years
Apr 21, 2014
So this is my first flock... I got them the day after Easter 2014 (April 21). I had it in my head they should begin laying at five months and have been anxiously checking the nesting box for the past two weeks... but we have a whole lot of nothin goin on! After doing some research I now see they should start laying between 15 or 16 weeks not 20! Hmm... now I'm curious as to what could be going on.... I have five Comets and one Leghorn (also not laying and also 21 weeks). We did recently also get two Plymouth Rocks, they are about 6 weeks now but not been integrated into the flock but in an adjacent "mini coop" and run... and we've only done that in the last few days.
As far as feed goes I give them about two cups (between the five of them) of laying mash about twice a day and lots of produce scraps from the kitchen... I sometimes give them breads and cheeses as well. About once a week I give them plain Greek yogurt for the probiotics. Every now and again I give them ACV in their water. Just a few days ago I added some Epsom Salt to their water as well.
They don't free range more than a couple times a week and not for a long time because I'm kinda protective of over my veggie garden and need to stand guard the whole time they're having recess lol.
What could I be doing wrong? My mother-in-law gives her chickens dried corn along with their feed but I opted not to because I worry about GMO and can't afford the high quality organic corn... but should I be giving them this as well?
Any advice? Thank you in advance :)
God Bless,
Mrs. Burris
I have some golden comets also that started laying at 19weeks but have two that have not started yet. Got them on April 9th
15-16 weeks is on the very early side of the expected laying time -- even for egg machines like sex links (golden comets are red sex links). Your birds are by no means late bloomers - it can take up to 28 weeks or longer for some birds to reach the point of lay. Are your birds showing signs of physical maturity associated with production - are their combs and wattles large, red and waxy looking (or pale, small and dry)? Are you seeing any submissive/egg squatting from them? What is the protein content of the mash you are feeding? Are they eating the mash? (I realize this might sound like a silly question on the surface, but it really is a valid one)
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Well as for their mash... it's their favorite (aside from yogurt) and they gobble it up in a hurry. I don't know the protein content... I feel like I asked once and they told be either 20 or 22 %? Does that sound right?? lol Two of the five of them seem to have fully developed wattles and combs, the others are still small and pink.
I'm trying to come across some golf balls to put in their nest boxes... to give them the idea...
It's fine not to give them corn feed right?
If you look on the label of the mash, you will find that you probably are feeding them corn, most feeds are mainly corn based....the label should also state the protein and other nutrient levels.

They should have their main feed out all the time...and also a separate container with oyster shell for the calcium they will soon need for making egg shells.

I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container. The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.

It's hard to wait for that first egg, don't start checking the nests until THEY start checking out the nests, that another sign that an egg is imminent. tho they may not lay in the nests at first, they can drop those puppies all over until they get it all in the groove. They'll be small at first, and some will be soft/thin shelled...and some will just be funky. Not to worry, it can take up to a month or so for them to get 'regular'.

Best of CLuck to y'all!
OK, well went back to the feed store today since there wasn't any nutritional info on the feed bag and he said the protein was 16% in the laying mash... I picked up some meal worms and oyster shells to help supplement their protein and calcium.. hope that's enough because there isn't another feed store close to us (that was is 40 minutes away as is) to find a better feed...
Oh I did put a golf ball in their nest for encouragement lol
I leave food out and available around the clock in the coop so they always have access. I have 9 hens and 3 separate feeders so I know the lower pecking order chickens will eat.
My Comet was the first to lay and she's the most reliable layer - I wouldn't be surprised if they lay before winter. When they do the squat (crouching stiffly with wings out when you reach out to pet them) they will usually lay within 2 weeks.

Good luck!

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