Chickens not laying, first time poster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GregInOhio, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. GregInOhio

    GregInOhio New Egg

    Jun 16, 2011
    Hello all.
    In March I bought a nice coop, built a large run, and got 6 hens.
    I have a 2 year old. I thought it would be fun for her. We eat eggs almost everyday, so I figured "why not?".
    First off, I own a small bbq catering biz on the side, so I bbq alot of chickens as well.
    I didn't plan on naming these chickens or having an emotional attachment with them. And I don't. Except for one. The leghorn.
    So, these are just laying hens and nothing more to me.

    So, one day in June, I forgot to close the coop door and they got attacked in the night.
    I lost 2.

    About a month later one of them started brooding. She sat there for a month. I moved her off the spot everyday, but she came right back.
    I finally got on here and read about what to do. I dunked her in a 5 gallon bucket of water, then the dog chased her around for a while.
    No more brooding, but she hasn't laid an egg in close to 5 months.

    Now 2 more havent laid an egg in a month. Nothing happened, just one day, no more laying.

    I have just the white one who lays me an egg a day. Awesome eggs.

    I understand to some of you, chickens are your pets and ya love them, but to me, they lay eggs. Not pets.
    I am now having to buy eggs at the store. When I'm paying this much for chicken feed, I cant afford to buy eggs too.
    I am completely fine with getting new hens. I have heard that you have to introduce new hens in equal numbers to a new flock.
    My problem is, the leghorn is laying awesome eggs. I'd feel bad about getting new ones if they didnt get along.

    So what would some of you do? Is there a good chance the others will start laying again? Should I just get rid of the non layers?
    Keep the one? Or start fresh with all new ones? What do you think? What would you do??
    I need to get this figured out.
    I'm so tired of only seeing 1 egg when I'm spending money to feed these other ones.
    Thank you all for your time,
  2. Lurken Turken

    Lurken Turken Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2010
    Quote:Hey Greg, I feel ya. I am having the same problem as you are. I have several hens that I let free range that roost and lay in the barn. Others that are younger should be laying but not..waiting patiently here. All the while spending about $60.00 on layer pellets and scratch for 2 weeks.

    They did have a pretty aggressive rooster that I got rid of. And replaced with much nicer guy. They had some kind of bugs that we treated them for and got rid of. Squirrels were stealing eggs. A coyote or something came through and took some of the chickens away as they were free ranging...blah blah thing after another.

    So now I am ready for my eggs!! I'm tired of having 50+ chickens and having to buy cruddy eggs at the store!

    Good luck to you, and may we have many omlets soon![​IMG]
  3. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    Hens will not lay eggs without an average of 14 hours of daylight per day.
  4. GregInOhio

    GregInOhio New Egg

    Jun 16, 2011
    Quote:well the leghorn still does.
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hi GreginOhio,

    Welcome to the forum.

    If your interest is purely egglaying chickens, you may want to follow the approach that commercial chicken keepers take. That is: all-in, all-out. So yes, you would BBQ all your current chickens and replace them. Usually 18 months (plus or minus) is how long commercial chickens are kept. At that point their laying may slow down, and they are replaced.

    That being said, it is a little difficult to maintain the balance of a flock of chickens that are constantly producing eggs...unless you have a really good source of hens at the point-of-lay. It is a significant cost to raise the chick to laying age. So either you pay it in feed, and care, or you pay in price of hen IMO.

    It will sure be facinating to see what advice your question pulls in.

    Remember that in winter chickens need feed to produce warmth, as well as the feed to produce eggs. Shorter daylight hours reduce laying. If you have young chickens and good breeds, and you are sure that they have no pest problems and get plenty of food and water---you may have a pick up when the days lengthen if you hold on to your current hens. However, at some point they will lay fewer eggs, so planning for constant production may be best to follow the practices that commercial egg producers use.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    You don't mention what the other breeds are. Very possibly they may be non production birds. If you like leghorns (I love them) they are your best bet for egg production.
  7. GregInOhio

    GregInOhio New Egg

    Jun 16, 2011
    oh sorry.
    i originally had
    2 leghorns
    2 ameraucanas
    2 barnevelders

    i lost a leghorn and barnevelder
  8. slim1986

    slim1986 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2011
    Highfill, Arkansas
    My chickens are pets, but I also understand people just keep them for eggs and never get attached. Anyway all 11 of mine stopped laying at the same time and the feed bill keeps going up on these "rent free" non layers! It ticks me off that my parents birds (most of which are out of the same batch as ours) are all still laying give or take here or there. If you want good laying all year, I'd get more leghorns, I raise pearl white leghorns in 4H for several years from chick to adult, they are one of the best year round layers out there. You can get them as "teenager" chickens out of most hatchery catalogs or on their websites, and like everyone else said light is the key, put up a light in your coop. just a standard white light bulb will work to trick them into thinking its still time to lay
  9. GregInOhio

    GregInOhio New Egg

    Jun 16, 2011
    Slim, I'd be down with getting 6 more leghorns.

    2 questions about that:
    do i need to slaughter all 4 hens i have or can i leave the current leghorn? she's such a good layer, it would be a shame, but wouldnt the new hens gang up on her?

    also, do some of you recommend letting the other ones try to come around and start laying again? if so, what would you say would be a "more than reasonable" amount of time to give them?
    i'm not a hunter or anything. I'm not thrilled at the prospect of killing my "non pets", let alone any other animal for that matter.
    facts are, I like fresh eggs and I dont have room for more than 8 chickens in my opinion.
  10. slim1986

    slim1986 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2011
    Highfill, Arkansas
    I wouldn't see anything wrong with keeping your one leghorn and then getting more, she should be ok, and you would have to wait probably until spring when it warms up and there is more day light but if you put a light in, I'd say maybe 2 weeks? I'm not sure how long it will take them to get back in th swing of things? And I'm all for butchering chickens though, we butchered 5 roosters at my grandmas this spring because she had 7 roosters and 8 hens so she needed to thin her flock. You could butcher them or even sell or trade or give away the non laying hens to a friend or neighbor or on craigslist?
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011

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