I need help

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by angieboyer, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. angieboyer

    angieboyer Hatching

    Feb 7, 2015
    I have 14 chickens that are bout 11 months old and have not started laying any eggs yet...I need help figuring out why they are not laying yet

  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    What breeds do you have?

    Do you free range?

    Can we see some pics of your birds?
  3. angieboyer

    angieboyer Hatching

    Feb 7, 2015
    Cinnamon queens, Rhode Island reds, and americana. I give them lay pellets, oysters shells, and they run in a coop with a big run not free range
  4. Lauravonsmurf

    Lauravonsmurf Songster

    Apr 2, 2014
    Fair Oaks, CA
    Generally chickens start laying 4 to 6 months, I would figure 6 so 4 weeks x 6 months that should be about 24 weeks. I hope that helps... :)
  5. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Is it possible you have not found their secret nest?

  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    With those breeds and at 11 months I’d expect you to see some eggs, even at this time of year. Some chickens will wait until the days get longer to start but your queens and reds should be laying by now. If you are south of the equator, they really should be laying by now. It is strange that you have not seen any eggs at all. It might help some if we knew roughly where you are.

    A very common cause of you not getting eggs is that they are hiding the nests. That’s my first guess. Another possible cause is that something is eating them.

    Many egg eaters will leave signs behind, and many egg eaters are not that consistent. They may get all or most of the eggs some days but there are usually days that they don’t get all of them, if any.

    A rat, possum, or skunk should eat eggs right there. A raccoon might carry eggs away for a short distance to a safer spot but you should fine egg shells. If the chickens are eating the eggs themselves, they often leave some shells but you should at least find a soggy spot in the nest. Not all predators read the same book and they don’t always act the way they should, but that is about all you have to go on.

    Snakes can eat eggs without leaving a trace, but they normally eat whatever they can hold then stay away for a few days until they digest what they got.

    Canines are very capable of eating the eggs without a trace but most of the time a fox or coyote will be more interested in meat than eggs. They probably won’t get them all either.

    A dog may fit the bill, though. They don’t always go after the chickens. Do you have a pet dog that has learned the egg song is an invitation to a snack?

    A human can take eggs without leaving a trace. Could a person get all of them without you seeing them? Kind of creepy to think about, I know.

    What I suggest if you can is to lock them up until they lay eggs where you can find them, if they are laying. That may mean they cannot get to a hidden nest or that you have locked out a predator, but at least you will know if they are laying.

    It is always possible they are just not laying yet, strange as that may seem. If you look at their vents you can get a pretty good idea if they are laying or at least fixing to. A large moist soft vent means they are probably laying or getting ready to. A small hard tight vent means they are not laying.

    Good luck. These things can be difficult and are certainly frustrating.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Spangled

    Spangled Songster

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    I'm just checking to make sure that your coop has windows, or if not, do you open up the door for them at dawn? Most coops do, but if you bought a shed (or similar) for them, then maybe they aren't getting the idea that the days are getting longer. Just a thought.

    Edited to add: I probably wasn't clear here. A window allows the hens to see the sun go down and the sun come up. They, therefore, are quite capable of noticing that the days are getting longer up until summer solstice when they start getting shorter. Increasing daylight days trigger hen brains to produce hormones that set the egg-laying system in motion in the spring. Hens that are in a completely lightproof coop for the night won't be getting light stimulation in the morning as they should unless you let them out at first light every day. And yes, of course, your coop probably has windows. I have a couple of arks, though, that don't have windows so I have to be careful which hens go in them or else get up at the crack of dawn (earlier each day) and trek outside to open the door to their run. Chickens have pineal glands and chickens can detect light right through their skulls and right through their eyelids. They are so much more than dumb clucks.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  8. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Songster

    Oct 29, 2012
    Tyro-Lexington, NC
    Chickens can't read calendars. I've quite a few that were late bloomers (think ten months) before laying. And those were supposed to be breeds that would lay early. Each chicken is an individual, though. Just be patient.

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