I swear these girls will never lay (or lay again)

K_UU

Chirping
Jun 15, 2020
25
33
61
Ontario, Canada
A month ago, one of my SS laid an egg. Right at the 6 month mark - and has never laid again. Her sister has never laid an egg. Their Americauna nest mate started later that week and laid an egg every 26 hours until this week. We are now 5 days without an egg. They are now over 7 months old.

I picked up a few more hens late in the fall and added them in. They are a bit younger, barn yard mixes of various heritage breeds. I would guess that all of them are now 6 months old, one is younger still and shows no signs of being ready.
All the other hens have bright red combs, have become very affectionate and as soon as I touch them, they drop to the ground, spread their wings and lift their tails. If I give them a little back scratches and they lift their tails higher and make little noises. But no eggs.
I haven't added supplemental lighting or heat. Temps have been between -7 and +5 Celsius (19-41 F?)
I've been trying to let them remain as natural as possible. I'm just not understanding why they are squatting so dramatically and not laying? If the lighting is an issue, why are they showing the behaviours?
They all seem healthy, have access to a coop and a very large run. Thoughts? Should I be feeding differently? They get layer crumble, some scratch thrown outside or in the coop if it's too stormy out. Sometimes scrambled eggs, oatmeal, pumpkin - depends on what's kicking around in my kitchen.
 

Allthefloofs

Songster
Sep 16, 2020
607
1,465
216
Scottsdale, AZ
It's a light thing. They usually don't lay when the light hours are short. We are in PHX and have wayyyy more daylight hours than you do and I have 6 6 month old pullets and no one has started laying even though they have been squatting for a month. Of our older more established layers we have two that lay periodically, but not regularly. I don't want to supplement light, it's a personal choice, I want them to lay when they are ready and have breaks when they need them. There are lots of threads on how to supplement if you want to do that closer to spring and get them laying a bit early though.
 

K_UU

Chirping
Jun 15, 2020
25
33
61
Ontario, Canada
Thank you - I was mostly confused about the squatting and not laying but it seems to be a normal thing then. It'll happen when it's time I suppose - just hate buying eggs each week AND layer crumble ha ha!
 
Dec 28, 2020
900
2,284
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Sounds like they have had a nice break. You could introduce a little light and see what happens. We don’t supplement light, at least not on purpose. There is one little solar light by their door. You know the little cheap ones you lone a sidewalk with or a flower bed. It puts out very little light and runs down after a while. It must be enough because mine are almost all laying. I will probably move it in January to see of they slow up or quit. Best of luck.
 
Dec 28, 2020
900
2,284
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Oh and we feed only scratch with added black oil type sunflower seeds and table and meat scraps. They are totally free range in the day time and find whatever they like.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,663
7,200
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
Oh and we feed only scratch with added black oil type sunflower seeds and table and meat scraps. They are totally free range in the day time and find whatever they like.
I almost thought this was all you were feeding them until I reread your post!!!!!

It's probably just the daylight. My birds started then stopped this year too. My two year old barred rock is a superstar though. She lost all of her feathers at once at molt, regrew them, and started laying a few weeks after that. She's been my Lonestar ranger for a month now.
 

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