Chickens wont lay first eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JCreed, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. JCreed

    JCreed New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
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    Hi everyone, i am new to this site and i joined because i am sure somebody can help me answer this question! My chickens "should have" been laying eggs about a month ago, i have not had a flock in ten years, i used to have about fifteen. In the past, i had no problems and i was awarded with so many eggs i could sell them to my neighbors..Now i only have two, an Americana, and a Rode Island Red. I bought them as "laying hens" and they just wont lay, i am feeding them Purina Layena, which is similar to the stuff they were raised on. They have a coupe with a light, two nesting boxes, plenty of fresh water, food, security, and straw. They get to come outside every day for about six hours, because we have a couple small dogs. This is my next question, the dogs must stress the chickens out at least a few times a day, because they want to eat them. I have been through training steps with them (take the dead chicken, and tie it to the dog for a week, and other steps) but they still want to get them..The dogs are tied in the garage when the chickens free roam, so now i have that system down, no more dead chickens..but why wont they lay eggs? is the food crap? is it the stress from the dogs? is it because the weather has changed and is very chilly? (light in the coupe). I would love some good advice any ideas you have, throw them at me. Thanks! Joseph
     
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are your birds? What breeds? They can start laying anywhere from 4-8 months and tend to lay less and start later this time of year.

    The dog situation does not sound good. Is the dog tied up where it can see the chickens all day? Is it still trying to attack the chickens at this point? It seems like you might be creating a dangerous set up here. I would recommend working on DAILY training with your dog until she is calm around the chickens and ignores them. Even if you still choose to keep them separate it would be better for all involved.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You also have to be sure that the pullets, at the initial point of lay, are "trained" to use the nests you've provided. They've no idea that is where they should lay their eggs. During the month of first laying, I don't release the pullets until 3 pm or so in the afternoon. Once they own the nests as their own, I feel confident in backing down that release time to noon and eventually, they can come and go, if they wish.

    I do not do Easter egg hunts.

    First year pullets normally lay well their first year, with just a few hours of pre-dawn light, if you wish. Older birds tend to moult and take a few months in late fall/early winter. If you got them this past spring as adult birds, they are older. It is possible that the seller sort of "saw you coming"??? Sold you older birds? Just a possibility, though not a pleasant one to contemplate.
     
  4. JCreed

    JCreed New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
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    The birds are about six months old. One is an Americana, the other a Rode Island Red. Yes the dog situation is a bummer. Originally i bought three 4 week old birds and i raised them on start and grow. The dog was let out of the garage by a family member, unknowing that the chickens were grazing..It was a bummer, but Lucky survived by jumping into a window in the house and hiding in the sink. So i raised her and purchased a friend for her, about the same size, a bit smaller. The dog cannot get into the coupe. Maybe a couple times a day, the dog will run around the coupe, and pester them a bit, we are now using a shock collar so they cannot bark, and its helping a bit.
     
  5. JCreed

    JCreed New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
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    Okay, so to train them, you would suggest leaving them in the coupe a bit longer? Right now, i let them out about 11 am or so. The seller seems alright, im not sure if they sold me an old bird or not. One of them is a "laying" hen i bought from them a month ago, and the other is one that i bought at 4 weeks and raised up. She is now 6 months old..Any recommendations on food? should i give them something to scratch on while they graze?
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Finally, calm them down. Remove all stress factors, like a dog. Light them for 3 hours before dawn, by using a timer. Do these things, and they'll lay. Provided of course that they are pest free and in otherwise good health.
     
  7. JCreed

    JCreed New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
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    yeah i will be more patient with this, and post pictures once they do :)
     
  8. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you? My spring pullets, now 8 months old, are not laying (except for the Icelandics.) I don't expect much before spring, unless I put in lights. (I am in New England.) Some breeds will lay well in the winter; I'm not sure about Rhodies, and your "Americana" is likely an Easter Egger and laying time won't be known till it happens. It WILL happen though, so hang in there!
     
  9. JCreed

    JCreed New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2012
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    I am in Temecula, California. It gets very hot in the summer (been up to 115F) and very cold in the winter (Not too bad, around 25-50F low). Your right it definitely will happen. The birds are dealing with the weather change, and they are only 6 months old, so i think i need to give them some time. What would you suggest for lights? Im using a typical house light in the evening, because its getting dark around 5:00 Pm, so i leave it on until about 9 or 10. Should i use a specific light to stimulate the Hens? Or warm them?
     
  10. TNBEARCHICK

    TNBEARCHICK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Stress is definitely a no no, hens don't do well under stress[​IMG]
     

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