Help! Very inpatient chicken owner

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kingkav, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. kingkav

    kingkav Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 3, 2013
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    Hello


    I have 3 hens and still had no eggs from them even though when we brought them we told they were at pol, I have done a bit of research and apparently showing signs of laying are that comb is red, my frizzle has a very small comb and is pink, my jersey giant has a large comb however its red underneath and pinkish on top , looks quite dry and my silkie has no comb because of its fro. I also checked there bums and what feels like the pelvic bone (bit either side of the opening, if that is the bit I should measure) is about 2 inches apart on the frizzle. 2-3 on the jersey and about an inch on the frizzle.


    Any help would be great can get pics if that will help


    Ian ( wanting some eggs)

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  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You can't post pics until you have 10 posts, but pics would help. If I had to hazard a guess I would think that from the sounds of it, they are either too young or a bit unwell. Also, it helps to be completely certain that they are all female. ;)

    A pinch of dried kelp powder or granules, per bird, per day, mixed in with their feed, is known to start non-layers laying, and it will correct any hormonal issues they have, as well as supply their vitamin and mineral needs, so if they're not laying because of a deficiency that will be taken care of. Kelp is cheap in bulk, and even when not bought in bulk, one kilo lasts a small flock a long time due to the small amounts needed. Many people find this too burdensome a chore to add to their daily routine (I understand) but it's a great way to achieve and maintain health, which helps you get the most out of them for longer, and ward off disease.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC!

    I would guess that they need more light. Chickens are very photo-sensitive and unless they have between 14 and 16 hours of light, won't lay eggs. Declining light levels will also push back the onset of laying with pullets. It's quite common for pullets that are 17-18 weeks old in the fall to not lay an egg until natural light levels are above 14 hours again in the spring.

    You could add lights in order to bring them into lay, but it would probably take a minimum of six weeks to do so. You can't just add light all at once--it has to come up slowly and naturally so the chicken's pineal gland can secrete the right hormones and the hormone levels get high enough in the body. If you want to try it, then add a light bright enough to read by in the coop. If you're using a CFL, get one on the warmer end of the spectrum--reddish, not bluish or greenish. Put your light on a timer. Start them at 10 hours of light a day, adding the light to the morning first. So if you have 8 hours of natural light a day right now (bright enough to read by, not sunrise to sunset) then you'd set your light to come on two hours before daylight in the morning, then go off once natural daylight has taken over. Let that 10 hours stand for a week, then add 15 minutes of light every 3 days, remembering to account for changes in natural daylight. Keep adding light until you have more than 14 hours of light a day. We go for 15 hours--never go beyond 18 hours of light or it will actually depress laying and cause behavioral problems. Once your birds have had 14+ hours of light for 3-5 weeks, then they will come into lay.

    Or, you could wait for spring at this point.

    Here are some good university fact sheets:
    http://umaine.edu/publications/2227e/
    http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~mdarre/poultrypages/light_inset.html

    If you want to supplement light (and there is some controversy; some believe that the chicken need the winter break and will be "spent" sooner if you put up lights, while I believe that I only keep my chickens for three years any way and they moult in the fall and get a break in those 5-8 weeks while they're not laying during moult) remember that daylight starts declining earlier than you think it does. Here in Ohio, if I want to make sure that daylight hours never go below 14, I have to start my lights in July.

    Finally, have you checked out the "sticky" post at the top of this forum? It's in a special box at the top of the forum list and is called "Why aren't my birds laying?" or something similar.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  4. kingkav

    kingkav Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok I will google that, I guess Its common in the uk to buy. They all look in a good condition, I will post a couple more times to get my numbers up. To add some pics


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  5. kingkav

    kingkav Out Of The Brooder

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    I think they all have lady bits I can see any balls or anything is there an easy way to check, they are all at least 7 months old


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  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    LOL, no balls. All chicken reproductive bits are tucked up inside.

    If they're 7 months old, you would have heard crowing by now.

    (My personal opinion is that there is no scientific basis to the kelp thing and chickens didn't evolve near the ocean any way, why would they need kelp? It's easy to get frustrated with a pullet and then add something (kelp, cayenne pepper) and voila! she's laying; but in reality one did not cause the other and she was getting ready to lay any way and would have laid her first egg whether or not you added a supplement. We have 80 birds right now and often have well over 100, and I have never added kelp, and yet my pullets all come into lay on schedule UNLESS they don't have enough light.)
     
  7. kingkav

    kingkav Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah we have a light on a timer already, that comes on at 4 in the morning until 8 am by then the suns coming up and then its starts getting dark about 15.30 so they are getting 11 and a half of sun do u reckon I should just add 15 mins every 3 days from now on? until its coming on at 2am? As I dint fancy giving them light in the evening. I understand ur point about the kelp and I reckon I will just try with the light.

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  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: The scientific basis is plain to read in any information on nutrition. Studies have been done on kelp in humans as well as animals, so any perceived lack of scientific basis is merely a matter of your lack of education in the area.

    Kelp is high in nutrition and has been scientifically proven to do the things I've said it does.

    You're wrong about it being "in reality she was getting ready to lay anyway" --- kelp brings hens into lay who have never laid even when they are at advanced ages. I do not suddenly supplement my pullets, I raise all my birds on kelp as a rule. I have never supplemented with light, yet get eggs all through winter.

    My personal opinion on supplementing with light is that is they were healthy enough you simply wouldn't need to do that. Kelp is one way to get them healthier than chooks just fed grains and pellets.

    Scientifically, most of us (not all, clearly) know nutrition is vital and supports all body functions, which falter or even fail completely in the absence of a certain minimum in a certain balance. Adding cayenne doesn't do anything for her laying unless she has severe cardiovascular issues with lack of circulation impeding her reproductive system's function, in which case her issues would be more severe than just not laying.

    As for chickens "not living near the coast" the actual reality of that is that they often lived on islands in their native lands, and we have chickens descended from a wide base. If you read up about chicken ancestry you find that some were known to make airborne journeys on the prevailing wind across the sea to new islands.

    They did not live in cages on grains and pellets, so they were able to find the nutrition they needed in the wild. Hemp and nettle are two land plants that are basically the equivalent to kelp nutritionally, and there are many other very highly nutritious plants which we exclude from their ranges completely. Kelp is obviously easier for us to buy. But some prefer to spend out on expensive supplements of less efficacy, or wait for lack of production or ill health to force them to do something.

    Sheep, elephants, and many other animals are known to make periodic journeys to the coastal areas to get kelp and other seaside nutritious stuff, if they don't live near the coasts.
    Quote: The point about the kelp was just one person's opinion and is not supported by fact. Commonsense tells you that better nutrition will get you more out of your animals for longer.

    I've never used lights and have never had a lack of laying hens going through winter.

    Nutrition is something everyone who keeps poultry (or any animal) should educate themselves about, but too few do. If I had a dollar for every person I know who can tell you the nutritional requirements of their plants but not their animals...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  9. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Your assertion that hens would lay through the winter without lights as long as they get kelp and other supplements is not supported by fact. Lighting for chickens has been comprehensively researched, as chickens and other livestock are some of the most studied animals in the world. When I replied to the earlier poster, I included links to university-backed research fact sheets.

    I would like to learn more about the research behind bringing chickens into lay by the simple addition of kelp. As you've called me ignorant, please educate me. I'd love to see some links.
     
  10. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Yes, my assertion that chickens do lay through winter without lights, IS supported by facts, and I didn't say "kelp and other supplements" --- I said I use kelp, and that's what's made the difference with mine. I'm far from the only one who keeps them laying according to this method. I suggest you test it yourself, try to prove me wrong.

    Many other people use supplementation that includes kelp or other seaweeds, but the facts of the effects of nutrition, especially a complete spectrum of it, are well-researched and studied. Other people who used more expensive supplements than plain dried kelp, though, often had their poultry stop laying in winter, whereas mine never did. So kelp itself is of greater value than a random assembly of differently sourced vitamins and minerals.
    Quote: You're welcome (and able) to educate yourself. Happy hunting.

    You've made unsupported claims about kelp a few times now, so your personal opinion on this is clear; I don't bother trying to persuade those who are biased against something anymore.

    If you're open minded, your research will be of assistance to you, but it's rather clear that you have already made your mind up about this so I won't waste my time on your behalf. I've found people can deny all the peer-reviewed studies brought before them if they've already chosen the facts they prefer, and you can find studies for and against everything. When I was younger and more naive I spent ages bringing all the links people asked for. Now I know most people who pre-state their dismissal of a concept without proof, will not accept any proofs brought. It's almost a joke, to make someone waste their time fetching links they won't even check. I'm not saying you're like this, as I don't know you; I'm merely stating my stance on the "get links" runaround.

    I found most of my info in books, and many of them have ebook versions available, so if indeed you "would like to learn more" then I suggest you start researching the effects of nutrition. Most of the info is in that field. Human-oriented research on kelp is more common to find. You'd probably also need to research organic or more natural methods of poultry keeping, as you will find more info there. As someone who uses lighting though I'd guess you're not interested in learning about such things. Chances are you'd already know this stuff if you were. Who knows though, maybe I'm wrong about your stated desire to learn.

    Either way, best wishes.
     

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