Hens won't *start* laying eggs?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Arye210, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. Arye210

    Arye210 Hatching

    Oct 23, 2015
    Yes another tired old "why won't my chickens lay eggs"'thread. I've been through many on the subject but haven't found anything that's quite my same situation. So Forgive me for starting a new one.

    I have 12 chickens, raised from day-old..
    From an April 22nd hatch, 3 buff orps, and 3 araucanas
    From a mid-June hatch, 3 isa Browns, and 3 more buff orps

    I'll start by saying I work at a grain elevator/feed store and have for years. I have access to any kind of feed I could ever want for--and have any ingredient I would want to make my own. I know what they should be feed at the various stages and have done so.
    We also are the ones who buy and distribute the chicks ordered from the hatchery.
    I am able to ask return customers with the same "hatch mates" how their birds are doing and all that I have encountered all have happy, egg laying hens (we would be getting angry phone calls if they didn't)
    At this point people with chicks from the mid June hatch are getting eggs too.

    They are happy chickens that get a decent share of healthy treats in moderation, self raised mealworms, plenty of food and water.
    Everyone gets along great.
    They have lots of room and get lots of yard time---more so when they were younger---but I've refrained from that as much now that I haven't gotten eggs on the off chance they're laying outside, when honestly I don't think they have even started laying, no vent showing, only one lady has a nice big bright red comb----the others are starting to catch up..and that same one is the only that does 'the squat'

    Yes I have tried pepper flakes.
    Fake eggs.

    At what point are they just a lost cause? I love my buffs but I can't house That many non laying hens indefinately.
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Your oldest are 28 weeks old, almost 29 weeks on Wed. That is not that old. If there isn't a chance of them hiding the eggs, then you can try some other things.

    You can feel the width between their pelvic bones. 1 finger width is not laying yet, 2 or more is a bird that is laying.

    Do they have access to feed at all times? Water is available at all times also? Do you have a window in your coop to give them some light?

    Keep in mind that our days are getting shorter, so it will take longer for them to start laying. Chickens are individuals, and mature at their own rates. In my almost 7 years of having chickens, I've never had a "dud". I have had a couple odd balls wait 11 months to give me eggs, but they have started laying in time.(they went broody a couple months after starting to lay)

    If you can post pictures of the birds, we can see if they look close to laying.
  3. [​IMG]

    At this time of year your hens may be in molt. If they are molting you may not get many eggs before February.

    An actively laying hen when she begins to lay usually has a head and comb that looks like an overly ripe strawberry.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015

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