Hens not laying yet.

Duck_life

Duck Addict
May 14, 2019
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I understand chickens laying takes time but my hens are 7 months old already! Their combs are a bit more redder from the pale that they were like 2 weeks ago, one of them even does an egg song every once in a while and their feathers are in their nest boxes but no eggs. They are free ranged from 8 in the morning to 7 in the evening. The younger chickens don't free range till the afternoon so they can't be eating their eggs if they are laying, also they don't even share a coop.. I have dug through the straw to see if they are eating their eggs but nope. They are the only 2 7 month olds I have and they even have their own coop. Taking time right? Will they start laying soon? They are lavender orpingtons.
 

Duck_life

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May 14, 2019
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Sorry I know they are still pullets I just refer to them as hens because they are my oldest and I have 20 pullets so It just sounds right because they are gonna lay soon even though I know they aren't hens yet till 1 year of age.. just the term I use.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
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Apr 15, 2015
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What breeds do you have and what are they being fed?

some breeds do not lay until 8-9 months, they are showing getting ready, I would recommend they stay in the coop with the laying boxes longer and put a fake egg in one of the boxes to show them that's where they are supposed to lay, easier to train them off the git go to lay in the boxes than have the proverbial egg hunt
 

Duck_life

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May 14, 2019
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Woods of PA
They free range in the field, there is nowhere for them to hide there eggs because the woods are claimed by my pullets and roo (where they hate to go) They get fed layer and free choice oyster because I thought they would be laying by now, I saw one eat some oyster shells about 2 weeks ago. I have lavender orpingtons. I did leave them in the coop for a while once but no eggs, I didn't release them till the afternoon that day. I don't know if this has anything to do with it but I had bought them as 5 month olds from a lady and they were pretty stressed, put them in my pullets coop and 2 weeks ago put them in a new coop.. does that affect them in a way?
 

FortCluck

Hatch-a-Long Queen
Sep 9, 2019
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They free range in the field, there is nowhere for them to hide there eggs because the woods are claimed by my pullets and roo (where they hate to go) They get fed layer and free choice oyster because I thought they would be laying by now, I saw one eat some oyster shells about 2 weeks ago. I have lavender orpingtons. I did leave them in the coop for a while once but no eggs, I didn't release them till the afternoon that day. I don't know if this has anything to do with it but I had bought them as 5 month olds from a lady and they were pretty stressed, put them in my pullets coop and 2 weeks ago put them in a new coop.. does that affect them in a way?
Stress can affect the way that they lay and can make them stop laying completely until they are not stressed. if they were living in poor conditions before, I would give them a few months before their systems start working again.

You can try poultry vitamins that you either add into the water or the food which can help them get all the nutrients that they need.
 

feathermaid

Egg Obsessed
Feb 5, 2018
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My Coop
My Coop
They are free ranged from 8 in the morning to 7 in the evening.
Sounds like they are laying elsewhere, IF they are all actually laying yet. They don't need trees or a lot of cover or whatever you imagine they need... they like to lay where they like. One of my recent new layers laid her first egg on the ground right in the middle of the run and her 2nd egg on the poop board in the coop, which broke. I keep fake eggs in the nest boxes and she eventually figured it out.

they were pretty stressed, put them in my pullets coop and 2 weeks ago put them in a new coop.. does that affect them in a way?
Yes! Exactly what @FortCluck said. Stress and changes in environment can definitely affect their production, especially in older hens. Young birds do have pretty resilient systems and are vigorous layers once they start, and usually keep laying through their first winter (where most older birds take a break during those months after they molt) so hopefully any interruption won't be for too long.

After all that, it could be that some pullets are just slow beginners. My chicks from May 2018 hatch didn't start laying until December, January and the last one in March. Yes, she was 10 months old!! So yeah, that's a thing.

You can check their pelvic region to find out which birds are laying for sure:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
If they are, you might have to keep them confined to the coop for several days or a week so they learn a new routine to lay in the nests.
 

MANNA-PRO

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