Chickens Not Laying at 23 Weeks??

PNE443

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
20
0
22
I wondered if anyone could help me. I have 2 plymouth barred rock hens. I bought them when they were 15 weeks old and they are now 23 weeks old but havent layed any eggs. I wondered if anyone could tell me if there are any signs I should look for that might give me an indication that they will lay soon or any ideas as to why they might not have layed yet? thanks
 

New Chicken Lad

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 16, 2012
64
8
33
Northern New Jersey
I wondered if anyone could help me. I have 2 plymouth barred rock hens. I bought them when they were 15 weeks old and they are now 23 weeks old but havent layed any eggs. I wondered if anyone could tell me if there are any signs I should look for that might give me an indication that they will lay soon or any ideas as to why they might not have layed yet? thanks
When I got my pullets (buff orpingtons and speckled Sussex) I was told they were 16 weeks old and should begin laying within 4-6 weeks. My first buff stated laying 8 weeks later, 2nd buff 11 weeks, 3rd buff 14 weeks then the speckled Sussex 15 weeks. This is weeks after getting the girls. Something I noticed that I did not see any reference to on this site (it's my only source of info, I'm relatively new to this chicken thang), is they started laying after their combs and waddles were fully developed and bright red....

What are you feeding them???

Helen (new chicken lady, not lad)
 

PNE443

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
20
0
22
Thanks for the replies. They have bright red combs and waddles which have been like that for about 3 weeks now. We feed them on layers pellets mixed with grit and the occassional handful of corn. They get fresh water everyday too. I wasnt sure if they could be too fat or if it was to do with the weather etc? I just wasnt sure what signs we had to look for. I have just put a shop bought egg in their nest box to see if it encourages them as I read it might help. I suppose we will just have to keep waiting . . . and waiting . . . and hope that they will lay one day soon.
 

New Chicken Lad

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 16, 2012
64
8
33
Northern New Jersey
I believe that they need CALCIUM asap...The easiest thing to do is to get oyster shell from your feed/pet store. I put in in with their feed, which by the way I use layer 'crumbles', my girls liked it much better than pellets (they have no teeth). I also buy and mix in their feed dried alfalfa. Don't mix the grit in their feed, just put a handful on the ground somewhere, they will eat when they need to.

Also, yes too much corn will make them fat... Maybe don't just give then corn, get them Scratch Grains and feed as a treat. It has other grains in it in addition to cracked corn... but it's a treat...

I'm super big on feeding my girls (I have 4 hens) food I make for them. A great calcium source is greek yogurt, yup, yogurt. My girls get it once a week, about 1/2 cup mixed in with oatmeal or rice or pasta, along with cut up grapes or raisins, banana and apple sauce. But you can just feed them the yogurt plain. Only give them plain yogurt not the crap with tons of sugar and franken-fruit in it. Yogurt is a great source of calcium with the bonus benefit of good bacteria to help keep the crop and digestive system all happy. I will spare you my tales of what else I feed them..

But I think your girls need calcium, asap.. Best of luck, Helen
 

popsicle

Songster
8 Years
Oct 27, 2011
1,799
137
231
Looking at the mountains in MT
(they have no teeth)
That's why they have a gizzard and eat rocks.

Many people, myself included, find there is far less feed waste when feeding pellets instead of crumbles.

If the hens are fed a "layer" feed, they are probably are getting enough calcium, but it certainly doesn't hurt to offer free choice of oyster shell (especially if they free-range).

23 weeks isn't too old to really worry yet. You'll get eggs sooner than later.
 

realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
374
263
California
my silkie just started laying at 7 months she had been laying every day. when she first started I noticed she built a huge nest and you KNOW they are about to lay when they start throwing shavings over their shoulders. mine does this EVERY time. also at first I noticed mine would pant. she still does every time she lays. first thing you will notice is the nest building. they will be consumed with building a nest. then you know there going to lay. hope this helps. best wishes
 

Birdybooo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 6, 2013
51
4
33
Vic, Aust
Layers pellets are called layers pellets because they are designed for chickens that are laying...which means added calcium. I also give my chickens shells on the side just in case they want some extra calcium. And remember, calcium alone is no good without vitamin D (from the sun or as supplement if they are always in door). 23 weeks is still nothing to worry about. Some heritage breed requires a longer period of time before laying.
 

kdwag

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 14, 2012
413
5
91
Northwest Ohio
Just to add, on the oyster shell, don't mix it with their food, same with the grit. I offer both but put it in separate cups that hang on their run fencing. Only a few peck in the oyster shell and sometimes they don't touch their grit. Do yours free range at all? If so, they may not need grit. As to the layer feed, it offers a balanced supply of calcium which is why they say offer oyster "on the side" as they may not need it and too much calcium is hard on their kidneys. If they free range, are you sure they aren't laying somewhere else? Also, before they lay, they will start squatting when you approach them. Once they do that, it's usually just a couple of weeks before they begin to lay. My barred was 22 weeks so I'm sure they will start soon. They will also start checking out the nest boxes, mine did. In and out, etc. I'm sure it won't be long. Good luck
 

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