Hens have not starting laying yet

Grammieshens

In the Brooder
Aug 20, 2018
31
22
35
Only one of my four 8 month old brown Orpingtons are laying eggs. They are on a mix of organic starter/broiler and laying feed. Oyster shell is always available as well. They eat their feed and drink very well. They also get acorn squash, meal worms, sunflower seeds, yogurt, oatmeal, cheese, banana, blueberries or cranberries in the morning and evening plus free range in morning and evening. They all appear healthy and lively. We are now facing shorter days and I'm concerned they will not start laying at all. I have added wood eggs in the nesting boxes. Any suggestions of what could be wrong or what I can do to encourage laying? Is it possible they just won't ever lay?
 

PrettyChickens15

Songster
Jan 5, 2018
257
580
226
Illinois
They also get acorn squash, meal worms, sunflower seeds, yogurt, oatmeal, cheese, banana, blueberries or cranberries in the morning and evening plus free range in morning and evening. Quote"

You should never feed your chickens that many treats a day! Only a little bit of treats a few times a week!;)
I guess it is "possible" that a hen could just never lay, but highly unlikely.

A couple signs to tell if they're about ready to lay.
Squatting when you go near them or when you try to pick them up.
Redder combs and waddles.
Some breeds like Silkies can even take up to a year to lay their first egg.
Are you sure that all of them are hens?:lol:
 

Grammieshens

In the Brooder
Aug 20, 2018
31
22
35
oh, lol. They don't get all of that every day. they get a small amt of one of those. I use the treat to get them back into the run after we have been out free ranging, and I never leave them out alone as we have an occasional hawk in the area. Thanks for the input.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Grammieshens

In the Brooder
Aug 20, 2018
31
22
35
From what I've read, the 'special' Orps can take much longer to mature.
Supplemental lighting might help.
How long has the one been laying?
Are you sure only one is laying?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
The one has been laying since 6 months of age. I have one that was hatched the same day and two that are about a week and a half younger. I got them all at the same time in late August and the one was already laying. I am sure it is just one as I keep an eye on who is going into the nesting boxes. Occasionally one of the others will go in and sit with her, but don't lay.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,518
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
Days are getting shorter at the same time the birds are reaching sexual maturity, their body is getting conflicting messages and their hormones are crazy! They should lay, eventually, but it may not be until after the solstice when days start getting longer again. I had one lay the very next day after solstice, I was thrilled!
 

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