Could flock integration issues interfere with pullets starting to lay eggs?

Orit

Songster
10 Years
Jun 21, 2011
108
77
176
Philadelphia, PA
I have been managing a flock integration issue for a few months now (and have posted about it and discussed with others on the thread), but I am not writing about that this time, rather about something related. My pullets (there are 3 of them), who are now a little older than 20 weeks, have not yet begun laying. To date they free range in the yard for most of the day and mainly stay clear of the "older" girls (6 of them). There are 2 bullies in the older girl flock (who are at the bottom of the pecking order in their own flock) who terrorize the pullets whenever they come near. This has also resulted in the pullets flying up to a roost when everyone is closed up in the run and basically staying up there until the door to go out has opened. They also require me to physically put them into the coop and on the roost at night and they fuss and fuss about it, even though there is a barrier on the roost between them and the older girls. Like I said, this has been going on for a few months (and has been super frustrating). My question is: have the pullets not started laying because of the daily stress they experience?
 

Quackter

Songster
May 15, 2019
374
1,513
198
Short answer, Yes it could. 20 weeks they may not be laying depending on the breed. A couple months is a long time for them to not sort it out, maybe pull the aggressor(s) out for a couple days?
 

Orit

Songster
10 Years
Jun 21, 2011
108
77
176
Philadelphia, PA
Short answer, Yes it could. 20 weeks they may not be laying depending on the breed. A couple months is a long time for them to not sort it out, maybe pull the aggressor(s) out for a couple days?
They are a Buff Orpington, Plymouth Barred Rock, and an Americauna. I was told they should have been laying at 18 weeks. I've tried separating the main bully but it didn't really do much. I read and read and read about chicken peepers and decided I couldn't do that. The good news is that the pullets don't have any injuries, raw skin, or missing feathers. They are safe when they free range, and they are essentially safe in the run too, although they are stuck up on that roost. At what point do you think the pullets should be laying?
 

Quackter

Songster
May 15, 2019
374
1,513
198
They are a Buff Orpington, Plymouth Barred Rock, and an Americauna. I was told they should have been laying at 18 weeks. I've tried separating the main bully but it didn't really do much. I read and read and read about chicken peepers and decided I couldn't do that. The good news is that the pullets don't have any injuries, raw skin, or missing feathers. They are safe when they free range, and they are essentially safe in the run too, although they are stuck up on that roost. At what point do you think the pullets should be laying?
I think the average age is about 5-1/2 months, 18 weeks is on the quick side. Ameraucanas is 6 months. I'd guess at 6 months worry a little about the buff and rock, and with the Ameraucana at 6-1/2. I wouldn't be sweating it yet.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,105
138,362
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Average onset of lay for most breeds is 18-28 weeks.
Diet and time of year can affect laying.....so can stress.
Pullets coming into lay in the fall, as day light is decreasing, can be later to lay.
Pullets won't join the ranks of the adults until they start laying.
It's a tumultuous time.

How big is your coop and run in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would be most helpful.

What all and how exactly are you feeding?

Also.....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-9-8_8-28-20.png
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
125,026
382,401
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New Jersey
Yes, stress can impact egg laying, but your birds are still on the young side. Mediterranean breeds or hybrids can start as early as 18 weeks but many follow the time schedule suggested by @aart.
 

Orit

Songster
10 Years
Jun 21, 2011
108
77
176
Philadelphia, PA
I think the average age is about 5-1/2 months, 18 weeks is on the quick side. Ameraucanas is 6 months. I'd guess at 6 months worry a little about the buff and rock, and with the Ameraucana at 6-1/2. I wouldn't be sweating it yet.
OK -feeling better about that. Thanks!
 

Orit

Songster
10 Years
Jun 21, 2011
108
77
176
Philadelphia, PA
Average onset of lay for most breeds is 18-28 weeks.
Diet and time of year can affect laying.....so can stress.
Pullets coming into lay in the fall, as day light is decreasing, can be later to lay.
Pullets won't join the ranks of the adults until they start laying.
It's a tumultuous time.

How big is your coop and run in feet by feet?
Dimensions and pics would be most helpful.

What all and how exactly are you feeding?

Also.....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
View attachment 1902288
Unfortunately, my coop is not big enough, as I learned from an earlier thread that I think you were also a part of. Per the advice of people on that thread, I put up a pallet (I hope I did it in the way it was intended), and I created additional roosts (as was recommended - to use the vertical space as well). Those roosts have since created a safe haven for the pullets, but they are pretty much stuck up there when closed in the run.

Dimensions:
Coop = 5 ft length, 2.75 ft width, 3.5 ft. high
Run = 10 ft length, 5 ft width, 6.75 ft high at it's highest point.
Picture attached

I feed them an organic soy-free layer feed (picture of label attached). I have 2 grandpa feeders (one is "hidden" behind the pallet, intended for the pullets, but of course the big girls have claimed it). I plan to hang a 3rd feeder once the leaves start falling and the girls have less cover and then won't be able to free-range when I'm at work and will be stuck in the run. I'm hoping that there will be more peace in the flock when that happens (and that the pullets are laying, which I think you said would also help), hence my original question about their laying.

Thanks for the instructions for inserting location. I just did it.

I threw in a picture of the babies just for fun. They look pretty full grown to me, although their combs and wattles are not fully grown.
IMG_6035.JPG
IMG_6040.JPG
IMG_6041.JPG
 

MANNA-PRO

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