Help! Chicken's haven't started laying eggs! Several questions.


7 Years
Oct 30, 2012

Hello! I'm new to this site and I really appreciate all the good information that's on here. It's really easy to get overwhelmed because of the wealth of information.

I have a question about, you guessed it from the title, egg laying. I live in the Bay area, Oakland, and have 2 EE and 1 RIR. The RIR is 30 weeks old and the Easter Eggers are about 28 weeks old. My 2 EE don't roost at night and have actually been jumping on top of the coop instead of going into their coop. I pull them down every night and put them in. I've tried clipping their wings but that hasn't helped and it seems like when I pick them up, it stresses them out. I just got the coop and have been doing general upkeep on it so I don't think that it's that. There's also a cat in the neighborhood who might be bothering them but I haven't seen the cat bother them directly. I switched them to the feed that you give them to start getting them to lay eggs and just today bought oyster shells. I understand that some chickens just won't lay eggs from here on out because of the weather but the Bay area is known for it's relatively mild weather. If anything, it's been super hot. Lastly, I just had a newborn baby (2 and half months old) and so some mornings I don't get out to let them out of their coop until around 8:30/9 am. I'm trying to get better and hope that as my young one grows, I can be more responsive to the chickens' needs. I know that this is a very wide assortment of issues.

Could it be the stress or the weather that's keeping them from laying eggs? The fact that they're not roosting properly at night? The fact that they're being let out a bit later than they would have liked? Should I just give up on fresh eggs until March or so?

Any help here would be GREATLY appreciated. I really want to enjoy healthy, delicious eggs soon :)


Doesn't sound like you are doing anything wrong. Chickens lay when they lay. Changing their coop could throw them off a bit. Give them a week or two to adapt to the new coop? Letting them out a little late shouldn't hurt them or their laying. New food may affect them, but again, its just a matter of adapting.

Do they squat for you? Hens getting close to laying will freeze and brace their back flat when you approach to pick them up. This is their "Take me now Rooster" stance (haha). Means they are getting close to laying. Nutrition is important so make sure that they have plenty of access to food and calcium. Offer dark green leafy food like kale and spinach too. GIve them a few more weeks....
You're doing fine. You're doing nothing to hurt the hens, and putting them in the coop at night is a way of keeping them safe, so don't stress about it. Heck, you should see me chuck hens out of the nest boxes at night--I shove them out and onto the floor! You could make the top of the coop less comfy to rest on somehow--is it flat or at an angle? You either want it to be at as steep an angle as possible so they physically can't roost or you want to put something like sharp rocks up there so that they don't want to sleep there. Hens will roost as high as they physically can, so right now the top of the coop is the highest spot.

As far as when they will lay, that's very individual hen by hen. EEs often don't lay until 35+ weeks. The RIR should be laying any time--what does her comb look like? It will get larger and very red when she starts to lay, and the change happens pretty quickly. One day you have a pullet with a teeny pink comb, and the next week she's got a giant red comb. Pullets that are close to laying will also squat when you come up behind them, signalling sexual maturity.

Your food situation is just fine. You can supplement with greens if you want, but it's not necessary at all. Waiting for hens to lay is much worse than watching a pot come to boil! I have 10 Easter Egger pullets that are 27 weeks old and two (maybe three?) are laying. Hurry up, ladies! :)

As far as when you get out there in the morning, they'll be OK. Take care of that lovely baby first!
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Still waiting to see if they'll lay eggs. Nothing as of yet. Could it be possible that they won't lay until spring?
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my RIR didnt lay till 6 months, same with my EEs. what i did to get my hens used to the coop was shut them in all day for a week but your doing fine!
My EEs did the same thing and each night we would go out and put them on the roost in the hen house. After three nights when they say us coming they would run in by themselves and get up on the roost. Two of my EEs laid their first eggs at 26 weeks and the third laid on 28th week. I think you are doing fine and they will start laying soon. Your baby is darling.
My EE are 6 1/2 mo. And still no eggs. My other hens just started laying and the EE's just now started squatting, so I am hopeful it'll be soon. They seemed to have started laying after I added supplemental lighting at 4 a.m. Just a small 40 watt bulb with a timer.

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