Help with a "non-layer"??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mtessdoan, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. mtessdoan

    mtessdoan Just Hatched

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    Our girls were rescues so I don't know breed :( conditions were rough for them and feed was definitely subpar for the majority of their little lives... Best guess is around 6/7 mo old?!

    Now on layer feed with oyster shell in coop, have a big run plus free range daily. Plenty of scraps & mealworm treats + egg shells.

    Two girls have nice big red combs but one is still small and pale. She seems to be the leader of the pecking order and I'm not seeing any signs of worms in the poop. Plenty of DE to keep ticks/mites out plus dust for their baths.

    I've never seen her in a nesting box and she doesn't squat when we come near. She still runs like crazy...

    Basically, is something wrong? Will she eventually mature and lay? Was her pullet/chick stage too rough??
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    Possibly an RIR mix. Are her legs dirty or naturally part black? And she will probably lay soon, I wouldn't worry about it. Some pullets take up to ten months to start laying, while others begin at four. A lot depends on the individual. [​IMG]
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Looks like a pea comb. If so, could be an EE. Can you show a close up of her comb? Are her legs short, or is that camera angle? If her legs are short, she may have some dorking in her back ground. Pretty girl.
     
  4. mtessdoan

    mtessdoan Just Hatched

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    Sorry :( very new to chickens so still trying to learn the abbreviations... Her legs aren't particularly shorter than her two friends but her "thigh feathers" (??) go lower and are bushier.

    Her legs seem to have a permanent blackish tinge to them. I thought dirt in the beginning but it doesn't rub off.

    Not sure what "EE" is? RIR = Rhode Island Red?? And dorking?? Forgive me, but I had to chuckle... :)

    Mainly I was told combs can show signs of anemia or disease and was wondering if that was the case with this girl.

    Thanks for the help!!!
     
  5. gator75

    gator75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    EE = Easter egger.

    No idea what dorking is. Lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  6. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    Lazy gardener is right, if she has a pea comb she could be EE (easter egger). RIR stands for Rhode Island Red, but they have single combs, so she is probably not one of those. At any rate, I think she is a mix.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Looks like a Rhode Island Red to me. As for not laying yet, layer feed is specifically for actively laying birds only, so only feed if all birds in the flock are laying. And it should be the majority of the diet, with treats not exceeding 10%. If you would like to continue feeding treats, switch to a grower, non-medicated starter, all flock, or flock raiser type feed. The higher protein content in those types of feeds will help offset any low protein treats.
     
  8. mtessdoan

    mtessdoan Just Hatched

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    Do Rhode Island reds typically start laying later? Are scraps considered part of the treats category? By treats I mean egg shells, scraps of kale stems, the occasional cucumber peel, watermelon hunk when it's hot, etc. We have meal worms that they get when we want them to follow us somewhere in the yard but not daily.

    How would I ensure only the laying hens eat the layer feed and the darker one eats the grower feed only? Do I separate them? Doesn't that change the pecking order?

    Who knew chickens were so involved?!
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, scraps count as treats. Eggshells are a calcium source, and not considered treats. Laying hens do not require layer feed to produce eggs. In fact, most hens actually produce better if fed a higher protein feed. The only types of chicken feed that is not appropriate for all ages are layer and medicated starter. All other types of feed can be fed, long term, to all ages and genders. The only thing that actively laying birds need, in addition to their feed, is a source of calcium.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    She just doesn't look mature enough to lay IMO.

    She may be younger, she may be a bit stunted. No way to tell, really. All you can do is move forward....

    Since feed was lacking when younger, I'd nix the layer feed for now. It's actually the lower protein feed you can get. I'd feed everyone a starter or grower. Lots of us who have multi-age or gender flocks never feed layer, just grower or all-flock, something like that. Scatter the oyster shell in the run (if the other girls are laying. If not, nix that too) and let everyone eat the same.

    I feed all my food scraps to the birds. I don't especially worry about how much they get---some days is nothing, some days (clean out the fridge, canning, etc) they get an abundance. It's more of an over time kind of thing.....not so much a regulated day by day issue.

    With her being so much smaller, and the comb looking mixed, I'm wondering if she's part bantam something. Any way, she's a cute little thing and looks healthy now, nice smooth feathers, bright eyes, etc. I'd say just give her time and see how things go.
     

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