hens don't lay???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by judikins, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. judikins

    judikins Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2010
    My hens are over 6 months old..and only the RIR are laying..I have black sex link, SLW, Bufforphingtons, 50 in all..I feed a layer mash,,oyster shells, some whole corn,,a scratch grain and they have free range every afternoon..till they go in at night..and I am getting 10-15 eggs per day is all....is there something wrong,,or are those other breeds just slow starters..the RIRs are the only ones I have seen in the nests..lazy birds!!! any suggestions or advise? thanks a bunch....I plan on selling eggs,,,hopefully...Judi
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    First, be really, really sure the young pullets have laid before being turned out to range. I'm hesitant, really hesitant to turn loose young pullets until much later in the day and only then after they've laid for a week or two, solid, in the nesting boxes. Gradually, I learn to trust them, but young pullets need practice on using the nesting boxes before being granted extended periods of outdoor play time. The chances are too great they'll lay them in odd places all over.

    Second, different birds mature at different rates, even individuals from the same parent stock.

    Finally, it is now November and we have been losing daylight since late June. These are the darkest days of the year. Chickens are photo reactive, that is, hours of daylight, either natural or artificially created through the use of lighting in the coop, are necessary for them to stay in full lay. Are you using lights in the coop for those pre-dawn hours? Many folks use a time and have a day-light bulb or two come on at 5 am.
     
  3. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Mo.
    I can't answer for every-one else, but mine have slow down to just an egg or two. It is due to the shortening of the day time hours for mine
     
  4. judikins

    judikins Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Fred...I don't have a light on them yet...I thought it was to early to start that,,I have the timer etc to set up..if I start it at 5pm..how long should it stay on?? all night..?? new to this..thanx
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The choice to light or go with natural results is entirely up to you.

    If you choose to use pre-dawn lighting, 5 am is a good time to click on and click off around 9 am. The birds always need their sleep/rest at night.
     
  6. judikins

    judikins Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 18, 2010
    Thanks fred..I'll give it a try...
     

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