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Is it possible that my chickens are laying...but maybe eating their ow

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Farm Frenzy, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. Farm Frenzy

    Farm Frenzy Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Oak Hill, Florida
    This is getting to be rediculous. I have 12 hens that should be laying already, all over 8 months old and still not one egg. I gave some to my friend, from the same batch that mine are from, and hers just started laying! Why not mine? Everything is good, they always have plenty of fresh water, i feed them a ton twice a day, and they have nesting boxes and fresh hay to lay in when it's cold. what else can I do? I have checked for maybe some broken egg shells, but haven't found any. [​IMG]

  2. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    What is your friend feeding theirs? What are you feeding yours? Is your friend using supplemental lighting? Daylight length at this time of year isn't enough to encourage laying.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Joining BYC has been a revelation to me. One gets very provincial in their thinking when the focus is in one's backyard. Okay, I'll speak just for myself on that. But, I'd assumed that any place with as much Winter sunlight as Florida has would have plenty of daylight to bring spring chickens into lay. That doesn't seem to always be the case.

    Here, my chickens went from about 16 hours of daylight June 21st to about 8 hours of daylight on December 21st. With that kind of slide in hours of daylight, most people would not be surprised if the pullets failed to come into lay during the Fall. They DID come into lay but that may almost require electric lighting. They'd still be sitting around on the roost for nearly 16 hours at a stretch without that 11 watt bulb.

    Farm Frenzy, decreasing light inhibits laying. You may not have had such a dramatic change there in Florida from Spring to Winter but there hasn't been any increase without turning on a light switch even to this point in time.

    I checked your sunrise/sunset times for Oak Hill, Florida.

    You've only gained 15 minutes of sunlight since the shortest day of the year.

    edited to try to correct my math ! I hope . . . ah heck, here are the sunrise/sunset tables
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    Quote:If hers are same age yours should be close to laying, they should have food available at all times, also if your giving them lots of treats it can slow thier maturing down.

    I doubt they are eating thier own eggs, you should see some signs of broken eggs, wet spots if that was the case.
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    digitS' :

    . . . ah heck, here are the sunrise/sunset tables

    I use the same sunrise/sunset table.
    I live in Florida too. I have feed and water available to my birds 24/7 and also dishes of free choice granite grit and oyster shells. I leave a Red 11 watt sign light bulb on in my coops 24/7. I do have a 25 watt incandescent that goes on at around 5 am and off at 9 am on the layers coop. I have some birds that are 15 weeks old.

    My older girls, the first to lay was 17 weeks the rest started 20-23 weeks and the last one to start laying was 27 weeks. A neighbor and friend had one that didn't start until 30 weeks. I put a 0 lux camera in with that 11 watt bulb in the layers coop and got a fantastic view which records to a DVR. The camera isn't in right now as we moved the coops and are about to move them again. In the spring I'm going to build a permanent coop with multiple enclosed runs. I'm getting a lot of good ideas from this web site.​
  6. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Do they free range during the day? It is possible they are laying, just not where you want them to [​IMG]
    Go on an old fashioned egg hunt!
    Also are you sure they are all girls? I've made that mistake.
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    So true. I don't know your setup, but maybe they have found a hiding place to lay their eggs. Mine mostly lay in two nest boxes even though there are others.

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