Bought "laying" hens. 1 week no eggs.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Stehiiboo, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. Stehiiboo

    Stehiiboo Out Of The Brooder

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    Bought a coop with 7 hens a week ago. They've been free ranging all day since Tuesday. We have still not gotten any eggs. We have 4 nest boxes. Should I have gotten eggs by now? Are they laying somewhere they're not supposed to or are they not "laying" hens at all? They are older birds... if I should have seen eggs by now then I'll feel them up to tonight and see if they feel like they should be laying. They don't like being handled though.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are they? If they are over a year old, they may be molting. Most hens stop laying while they are molting. Some will resume laying as soon as they finish molting, others won't lay again until spring is on the way.
    Another thing that might be affecting them is stress from moving to a new home. It can take several weeks for them to settle in and adjust to their new environment before they will lay any eggs.
    Also, most chickens do not like to be picked up and handled, even if they have been handled since young chicks.
     
  3. tdepointe

    tdepointe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with junebuggena's comment and would add that often hens need to be keep keep in the coop for a few days to a week before you free range them so the start laying in the coop.
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with all the comments so far. Any of those things could be true...stress from the move, molting, laying elsewhere. Also, if they are more than 2 or 3 years old, many breeds will dramatically slow down in the number of eggs laid. Red Sex Links in particular I believe come to a near halt after 1-2 years. Most heritage breeds, however, will continue to lay for many years, but more slowly. And as a side note, 2 nest boxes would be plenty for your 7 hens, they usually like to share, sometimes 2 or 3 hens all piling into the same box at once because they prefer that box!
     
  5. Stehiiboo

    Stehiiboo Out Of The Brooder

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    I felt one of the red sex links I have and she feels like she should be laying. Her legs are real pale too and her comb and waddle are nice and red. I honestly thought one of the 3 red sex links I have were going to lay yesterday. She was squating and doing some little grunt esque sounds and her featherS on her hind end were moving.


    So hopefully by next weekend they will be laying :)
     
  6. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One other factor too, shorter days. A lot of people will put a light on a timer in the coop during the winter to keep production going. I get my girls up at 4:30 with a light and no light in the evenings for this reason. I just started with the light because the girls have slowed down on the laying.
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, of course, I missed that one! We are near the Canadian border and need to start the supplemental light by mid-September for the best results. It may be different where you live. We're not doing the light this year, though, they need a break from it every couple years.

    Also, you don't need much light. We used a single 40w bulb and it worked fine.
     
  8. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it is the stress of moving that has tampered with production. Shorter days, molting, ect could also factor in not laying eggs. They may be laying their eggs under a flower or something along those lines. Have you ever searched your yard for eggs?



    Hope this helped!
     
  9. Stehiiboo

    Stehiiboo Out Of The Brooder

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    I got a real close look at some of them and I do believe they are molting. A few feathers missing around the heads and some on the bum. I will definitely be putting up a light on a timer and also going to feed them some extra protein.
     
  10. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does sound like they're molting. Molting is a time of rest and a recharging of the internal batteries, so to speak. My opinion is it's best to not give them extra lighting during a molt, so they can better recharge. Especially for older hens like yours. The extra protein is a great idea, they'll need it to build new feathers.

    On the topic of molting, some birds shed a few feathers and others go nearly naked.
     

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