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Half my chickens have never started laying.

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

  1. depruett

    depruett New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2014
    Bloomington, IN
    I started my small flock of backyard chickens back in early May. I have three Buff Orpington hens and a Cherry Egger. I purchased them as chicks, and got them all at the same time.

    Two of the hens, the Cherry Egger and one of the Buff Orpingtons, started laying eggs back in late September. The other two have never started laying, and it's now mid-November.

    The two hens that are laying have much larger combs, however the two that aren't are otherwise the same size with regard to body mass - in fact, they are a little bigger! It's just that their combs are small - maybe 1/4" tall, compared to 1-1/2" to 2" on the other two.

    I'm new to all this, but that seems really weird to me.

    Maybe the smaller comb size and the fact that they're not yet laying is coincidental and unrelated? If I were to use this physical trait to judge relative age, I'd put the two non-layers a month or more younger than the others, but that doesn't seem possible (and I'm guessing probably not even accurate anyway.)

    Also, with winter right at our doorstep, is it possible that these two might not start laying until spring now?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  2. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hen s gop threw alying cycle,They lay for a long perio d of time then stop.
     
  3. depruett

    depruett New Egg

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    Jun 24, 2014
    Bloomington, IN
    Well yes, I am aware of that. However there is no laying cycle to speak of, because two of the four have never started laying to begin with.

    To rephrase the issue:

    My four hens were all raised from chicks. I puchased them in May. They are all relatively the same age, and it seems like they all should be laying, but only two of them have started. The other two haven't started laying and appear to be less developed - at least in terms of the size of their comb.

    So I guess to sum all this up in the form of a question(s) - Is it possible that there's somehow a big age difference between the two layers and the two non-layers, and that's the reason the two non-layers haven't started yet? (I mean, I don't see how there could be enough of an age difference to explain the big difference in the size of comb, but maybe there is.)

    Is the size of the comb even a good indicator of age? Is it just coincidental that the two that haven't started laying yet, also have much smaller combs?

    Is it possible that the two who haven't started laying yet, might not start laying until spring, since winter is here and the days are shorter?

    Sorry for all the questions - I'm just trying to get as thorough an answer as possible.

    Thanks!
     
  4. CB3fish

    CB3fish Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    Hi, I bought Rhode Island reds chicks in May as well. They are 6 months old now. They are healthy, and larger than the older 3 mature hens I have had. I feed them very healthy even vitamins. They too did hot have any combs but just a small row of tiny bumps. I was worried about that, even though they got bigger as they grew, their combs did not; but now some have started to grow combs! I grew up on a farm with many chickens around but did not pay any attention . None of mine have started to lay!! I was told that at 6 months they should start to lay. Not to date!! I suspect that a mature comb or a larger one does indicate they will soon begin to lay. This is news and something I did not even think about.
     
  5. CB3fish

    CB3fish Out Of The Brooder

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    May 22, 2014
    I forgot to mention, I live in South Florida so winter cold weather should not be a influence.
     
  6. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah.Your hens soon should begin laying.I have hens grow large combs and not even lay.Of course I never saw how big she was, cuase sadly i had moved out of my grandparents hous e and she died.They said she was a big girl so ya know, she might've had trouble laying, or mating issue, or stress/mating issue.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    My Coop
    Yes, it is possible that the 2 non layers BO's could be from a different parentage(and maybe a mix) than the layer BO(especially if you got them from a hatchery), thus the different sized combs....or just could have matured slower than their hatchmate, and may not start laying until the days are longer.
    A day or few difference in age shouldn't really matter, I assume you got them on the same day as day old chicks?
    Then again, all birds are individuals and some difference in rate of maturity is not unusual.


    Can you post pics of each of the pullets for comparison?
    Good side shots of whole bodies and closeups of heads/combs.
     
  8. Katbird01

    Katbird01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2014
    Mississippi
    I have 4 BO's that were hatched sometime in February. One started laying in late September and nothing at all from the other 3. I had one that's comb and wattles were getting big and red, which I thought would be my second layer, and another started squatting when I'd walk up. That one, the squatter, just laid her first egg yesterday. 6 weeks after the first one laid. I was pretty excited. So, hang in there. I would give them a little more time to see what happens. I'm thinking I'll wait until spring to see if the others start laying before I decide what to do. We're building a new larger coop that will have lights so I think I'll start leaving the lights on at night for a few hours and see how that helps.

    I'm in south Mississippi.
     
  9. HansHens

    HansHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 5, 2013
    Southfield, Michigan
    I was reading the other posts about chickens not laying... We purchased a variety of chicks back in March this year (they are now going on 9 months old.) The Lakenvelders and one of the Ameracaunas are the only ones laying regularly. We have 5 Ameracaunas, 2 Australorps, 2 Black Copper Marans, and 3 Salmon Favorelles that just aren't producing at all. (One or two of the blue Ameracaunas produced some over the summer but have since stopped.)

    How long should we wait for the girls to start laying? Could something be wrong? We also have an older bunch of girls in a separate coop (all rhode islands) that are a year older that the newer girls. They have produced non-stop since about 4 months old. They all get the same conditions, food, etc. so we are stumped as to what may be going on?

    We are in Michigan.
    Any thoughts??
     
  10. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 27, 2014
    I was reading the other posts about chickens not laying... We purchased a variety of chicks back in March this year (they are now going on 9 months old.) The Lakenvelders and one of the Ameracaunas are the only ones laying regularly. We have 5 Ameracaunas, 2 Australorps, 2 Black Copper Marans, and 3 Salmon Favorelles that just aren't producing at all. (One or two of the blue Ameracaunas produced some over the summer but have since stopped.)

    How long should we wait for the girls to start laying? Could something be wrong? We also have an older bunch of girls in a separate coop (all rhode islands) that are a year older that the newer girls. They have produced non-stop since about 4 months old. They all get the same conditions, food, etc. so we are stumped as to what may be going on?

    We are in Michigan.
    Any thoughts??
    [/qwasuote]Well it sounds like some have went well going threw their
    Egg Cycle.
    But,I may be wrong.Often they can get sick,or they be cold.I never heard
    of lazy layers,but im sure its highly possible.
    Are the adults right next to them?
    The adults could be causing stress.Or they could be getting
    the adults poop germs.If your maybe sick of waiting,id try layer feed.
    Or even ostre shells.This may help.Its used for egg production,helping lay
    getting to lay etc.
    (This info goes to both of you.)
     

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