is it too late for my hens to lay this year?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eHenderson, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. eHenderson

    eHenderson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2014
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    I have three hens- a silkie and an ameraucana which r six months old and a Brahma which is seven months. No eggs. Weather is turning now,days getting shorter... If I introduce a light to their coop could they still start laying this year or should I not push it and keep them comfy until spring? These r my first chickens- until last week they roamed the property at will and would stay in the coop at night, but one got taken by a coyote last week and so now I keep them in a roomy coop and let them out for just a couple hours a day (but with the recent cold weather they choose to stay in anyways). They r on free choice 16% layer feed and scratch grains, I keep a seperate dish of oyster shells and grit. There r two nesting boxes with soft hay bedding which I change regularely tho they hardly go in there. Is there anything I can do differently to encourage then to lay? If I got another hen that was already laying would that perhaps get them in gear? Not sure where to go from here, thanks for any input!
     
  2. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have some april babies that are over due in the laying department. their combs are just getting full and red. i am using lights and hope for production soon.
     
  3. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have some April babies as well. Half are laying, half are not. I am just going to let nature take its course and see when they lay. Some chickens are more sensitive to changes in daylight than others. My EEs stop laying every winter regardless of supplemental light, leghorns just keep laying no matter what. Good luck!
     
  4. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    They should still lay a little when they come of age and are ready, but depending on temp and light conditions as well as if they are a cold weather layer egg production might be very low until the weather warms up...

    Also you should not be feeding them a layer feed yet, wait until they actually start laying, the forced extra calcium is not good for them switch back to a chick starter/grower or All Flock feed until they start popping eggs, and since you are already supplementing with oyster you could feed the All Flock or grower even after they lay...
     
  5. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    I have Wyandottes, Rocks and Andalusians and they are all still laying even with the cold (20's today) and less light. Production volume has dropped by about half but they do lay like it was their religion.
     
  6. Faraday40

    Faraday40 Overrun With Chickens

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    How does molting affect the equation? My girls were laying great then stopped to molt. Many have all their feathers back, but no eggs. I switched them to a feather fixer formula + Oyster shell available in another dish. The 2 that didn't molt yet are laying, but their shells are thinner than normal.

    As far as my pullets (hatched in April), none are laying. Two were laying in Sept, but stopped a few weeks ago. One went broody (bantam Orpington), but is fine now. The other one (olive egger) = who knows.
     
  7. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    With proper conditions, temp/light they should start laying a few weeks to a month after they complete the molt... But, during cold winter months some won't start laying until spring after the molt, or they will only toss an egg every so often...
     
  8. eHenderson

    eHenderson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 4, 2014
    BC Canada
    Hmm... I thought I had read that chickens don't molt in their first year? Can anyone confirm/correct this?
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    No hard fast rules apply, many or even most won't molt the first year but others will...
     
  10. Faraday40

    Faraday40 Overrun With Chickens

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    I had some EEs hatch July 2013. They didn't molt last fall, but also didn't lay until March 2014. Most are molting or just finished now.

    Most of my new pullets (April 2014 Hatch) are not laying yet. They are Orpingtons, Cream Crested Legbars, & one EE mix.

    I do not have suppl. light. I'm OK with getting fewer eggs, but getting 1 per day from a dozen chickens is not going to work.
     

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