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I raised 38 chicks to pullets, and not one of them is laying.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CobaltChick, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. CobaltChick

    CobaltChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I am so frustrated right now. I've raised chickens in the past and never had this problem before. May 16th, 2013 An order of 40 chicks came in. Now it's 11/9/2013 and I have no idea why they aren't laying. For about 2-3 weeks about two months ago, I had about five hens who were laying, and then they just stopped.

    None of them are showing signs of sickness or stress and they eat a 16% calcium layer feed (with oyster shell as well). I live in lower Wisconsin and I have a mixture of Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks, and some Red Laced Cornish pullets. I even had a couple of bantams who were my best consistent layers who also stopped laying for some reason. I haven't had an egg for the last month and a half. TT_TT

    I've heard rumors about Cayenne pepper helping, but how much am I supposed to give them? For nearly 40 hens?

    I'm going crazy and my dad is flipping out on me about why they aren't laying because it's not exactly cheap to keep feeding "slackers". He's going to cull them all if things don't change. I understand that some don't lay early, but I've never had this happen before. [​IMG]

    ANY advice is welcome... Help?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2013
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    This doesn't help you but….I got an order that hatched April 10th and they only started laying a couple of weeks ago. I've never had it take so long for them to get started either.

    I assume you've checked for hidden nests and that sort of thing.

    The shorter days are probably contributing. I know it is frustrating to feed them when they're not producing, but if you let them go until spring, you'll be inundated with eggs.
     
  3. CobaltChick

    CobaltChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, I've checked for hidden nests and the sort, but didn't find anything and even kept them confined in their coop for a couple days just to make sure. It's just a lot of money gone without anything in return. I'm trying to convince him to keep them 'till spring. I also want to try a light in their coop because of the shorter days. This is just weird though [​IMG]
     
  4. StruckBy

    StruckBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you absolutely 100% sure *nothing* can get into the coop to get the eggs? We had a problem with one pair of ravens squeezing in through a small gap between the side chicken wire & the netting on top & taking the eggs. I couldn't believe it until I saw them in action...first I never in a million years would have thought they'd figure out the gap, second I wouldn't have thought they could carry off a large duck egg whole! (We had more ducks than chickens at that point). We had been getting 20-25 eggs a day then all of a sudden, nothing. You do not want to know how long it took me to figure out what was happening! I had one friend who had a bullsnake eating her eggs...she didn't want to get rid of the snake since they're good rodent control so traded her bantam hens for full-size hens that laid eggs too big for that particular snake to swallow. Someone else told me they had problems with rats eating their eggs, but in that case there were some shell fragments left. Then there was the time I only had about half a dozen layers, stopped getting eggs, & it turned out my drake duck was eating them, shell and all. I was collecting eggs the day after he became dinner.

    Otherwise, I'm with the "add light" camp.

    Good luck!
     
  5. CobaltChick

    CobaltChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm absolutely positive that nothing's eating the eggs. I know the signs and I have an airtight coop. You're gonna have to trust me on that one.
     
  6. CobaltChick

    CobaltChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't have any predators. I know the signs and haven't ever had that problem for where I live. You're gonna have to trust me on this one.

    I don't know what to do *cries in a corner* [​IMG]
     
  7. StruckBy

    StruckBy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe you...just thought I'd throw it out there. Although 'airtight coop' is more important than 'signs' since with a lot of egg-stealers there are NO signs...they don't leave a single shell fragment, and my ducks & chickens were completely unafraid of them so not even signs of stress in the flock.

    I figure the way people search for back threads for information on forums these days, it's better to have more info than less in case someone else later on has a different cause.
     
  8. showbarnmom

    showbarnmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My late spring chicks that I got in May and June are just now starting to lay. And my adult hens aren't laying consistently at all. I know several people who's chickens aren't laying at all right now. Its the time of year. Molting and shorter days. Offer extra protein, like dry cat food or game bird feed, and be patient. Keep in mind that leaving a light on can make them lay, but theres a reason this time of year that they don't lay. Their bodies need a break.

    I bought one 1.5 yr old hen at the beginning of the summer, and she's still not laid an egg for me.
     
  9. CobaltChick

    CobaltChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I'd understand if they were older, but the girls aren't even a year old yet. That, and the fact that a couple of them started and then just stopped is just strange. And costly -_-
     
  10. Gryphon

    Gryphon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also have pullets that aren't laying yet, although a couple of them FINALLY started recently. A few questions:
    1. Have you raised chicks before and got them around the same time? If you had bought them earlier in the year in prior years, you just might have gotten the bad luck of them maturing at a time where they would be slacking off with laying (autumn).
    2. What would culling them gain your father? You'd have to buy all new chicks, and wait for THEM to grow to adults, and then see if they'll lay. These guys can't be all that meaty yet, so you'd be culling them too early in any case. Maybe pointing out to him that you have an investment of time and money in them and that killing them now would prove nothing, and make the wait even longer.
     

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