Hens are not laying. What is the problem?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenwisc, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. chickenwisc

    chickenwisc Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2013
    Two weeks ago, I added five young hens to my flock. The seller said they were around 28-30 weeks and laying. They are in an insulated coop, with fourteen hours of light a day. The coop has been checked for drafts, and have for the most part been eliminated while still giving them fresh air. They are on laying pellets and have plenty of water. They also get a scoop of scratch grain a day. They are not free range due to predators, they stay within the coop and their run.

    BUT, they have yet to lay. My question is, am I missing something major? Anything else I can do to try get some production?
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    It's probably just the stress of the move, it may take them a while to start laying again. Hens this age usually lay right on through their first winter but the stress of a new home plus the shorter days has probably thrown them off. I suspect they just need more time to settle in.
     
  3. chickenwisc

    chickenwisc Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay. I will give them more time. When would be a cut off time that they should have adjusted by? Is it possible that they are not ever going to lay?
     
  4. chicken man1971

    chicken man1971 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2013
    chickenwisc I am going through the samething right now and everyone is telling me the samething that the move and and shorter days has messed them up and I have had a few people tell me that some won't start till they get closer to a year old
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I see two things here: the stress of the move, and the light.

    Did the place you bought them from have supplementary light? If not, then you can't just jump them from almost no light to 14 hours a day. You need to increase the amount of light by 10-15 minutes every three days or so until it's up to that 14+ mark. By going from 10 hours or so to 14 with no ramp-up time, it throws their hormones off. If they came from a situation where there was no light, I personally would drop the light back down to no artificial light then bring it back up in 15 minute intervals and see if that helps. Also, it takes up to four weeks or more for the amount of light to affect their hormones to a point where they start laying again after they've quit for the winter, so it might be a while before you see eggs from these ladies.

    Here's the science:
    http://umaine.edu/publications/2227e/
    http://www.sp.uconn.edu/~mdarre/poultrypages/light_inset.html

    I don't think it's so bad that you'll never see eggs. Worst case scenario is that you won't see eggs until April, though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  6. chicken man1971

    chicken man1971 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 10, 2013
    thanks a lot when I bought them from a 13 yr old little boy that raises chickens and is pretty sharp about what he has he told me there age was around 6 mths, I still got a lot to learn about this chicken thing but its vary interesting, I am in the process of trying to find a good laying feed for them right now I am finishing up some and fixing to start buying are ware milling so I can feed the samething all the time tractor supply never keeps the same feed there always out
     
  7. PineShavings

    PineShavings Out Of The Brooder

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    Egg production tends to slow during the chilly seasons because in nature hens will lay more eggs in warmer seasons because it gives chicks when they hatch a better chance of survival. I don't mind though, I have about 13 hens that can lay (about 20 that can by Dec.) and I have more eggs than my family can eat, but it's nice for them to get a break though for a couple or so months.
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Temperature has absolutely nothing to do with egglaying. Chickens are very photosensitive and egglaying slows when they are getting less than 14 hours of light. To be technical, their hormones are actually reacting to the length of the dark period, but it's easier to talk about the light. This is a holdover from when they evolved much closer to the equator than we are here in the US. In their natural habitat, they'd have over 14 hours of light for most of the year. The four-month-long break from laying eggs they take her in the northern hemisphere is actually somewhat unnatural for a chicken.
     

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