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Feeling discouraged.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by andreanar, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls are 27 weeks old, red faces and combs. I've had one squatting for 3 weeks. They just don't lay eggs. I have fake eggs in the nests, haven't even shown interest in the nests. I didn't expect the Brahma to lay for awhile yet, but the others look and act ready. What the heck? Breeds are: cuckoo Marans, wyandottes, Brahma and EE's.
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  2. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's so nerve wracking waiting on them to lay their first eggs.... Mine started when they were around 24 -29 weeks..... My first ones squatted a good month before they laid & their combs turned bright red... Hang in there, they sound like they are close to laying :)
     
  3. vintagegem

    vintagegem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 that I got at around 10 weeks of age in May this year......not one single solitary egg from any of them so far. Going to let them off the hook as its winter now, but they had better be laying by early Spring or they are going on my table!, I'm feeling very disappointed right now
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you have lights on at 4 am? I've got a light on a timer from 4 to 8 am, so my birds are in enough daylight to keep laying all winter. Some people don't use lights in the winter, and accept poor production for the dark months. It's your choice. Pullets will start to lay eggs at difieren ages, depending on their genetics. Mary
     
  5. vintagegem

    vintagegem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I decided not to use lights for a few reasons, one being that our power goes out too often, I figure that if they haven't started laying by Autumn then they'd probably not start until Spring, would have liked a few eggs this year but I guess I'll have to wait.
     
  6. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't use lights either. I just can't believe not even one of them have laid an egg! I search the coop and run every day.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They may not lay until well after the days begin to get longer on the winter solistice.
    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.


    The squatting can show readiness to lay or it can just be a submission to dominance behavior.

    Have you checked their pelvic points?
    2 bones on either side of vent,
    1-2 fingers width apart=not laying,
    2-3 fingers width apart=laying, look for a hidden nest.
     
  8. andreanar

    andreanar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you aart for the link and for explaining the pelvic width check. I've heard of checking that but didn't know how. It's just frustrating to run into the coop every day with such excitement and eggspectation of the beautiful perfect egg Im going to find.....and nothing! Lol
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It is frustrating, but once you understand how chickens work the expectations can be tempered by reality and you'll be less disappointed.

    The pelvic bone thing takes some practice by feel, you've got to get down thru the feathers and their vent can pulse while you're poking around, which can be disconcerting....lol....they really don't appreciate being poked at like that so you have to get them used to being handled and examined, a good thing to do in case it's necessary at some point.
     

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