Is weather a factor on pullets that are due to start laying but haven't yet?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lori925, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. lori925

    lori925 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Jackson, Maine
    Hello - I've read that pullets usually begin laying when they are around 22-24 weeks. That is when our original girls started laying. The new girls are right at 24 weeks now. Will the cold weather slow them down when they haven't started yet?

    Also, one of the original girls did a partial molt recently, but it looks like her feathers are all back now. When she started molting, laying came almost to a halt - going from about 18 eggs per week to 3-5 per week from the 3 girls. This has been going on for about 6 weeks now.

    Lastly, we got a new puppy about 3 months ago. He doesn't spend much time around the girls, but since they are free-ranging, they do cross paths sometimes - he doesn't usually bother them - mainly he likes to lay there and watch them but sometimes he tries to herd them. The younger girls don't seem to mind him very much, in fact, many times they come running to visit with him since.

    I assume egg laying is down due to a combination of puppy stress, molt and the cooler weather but want to make sure there's not something else we should be doing. We've been giving them higher protein food and scratch. Curious as to whether we should be doing anything else "special", or if the cooler weather is slowing down the new girls before they start.

    Thanks,
    Lori
     
  2. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2014
    It seems as If it is the molting the puppy and colder weather but if you want them to lay really badly give them half a cup of whole corn every day. This may get them to lay a bit more.
     
  3. lori925

    lori925 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Jackson, Maine
    I think I'll just let it happen naturally - I was just making sure that the environment was the cause.
    thanks
     
  4. chasiekitten12

    chasiekitten12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2014
    Ok remember we are here to HELP you! [​IMG]
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well first off I'd be very cautious letting the pup out around the birds. He's very young and unless you are spending time training him every day he is going to invent his own ideas about what is and is not acceptable behavior with the birds. I absolutely would NOT allow him to be trying to herd them around. Even with training I'd not allow him loose around the birds at this age.

    As far as laying...it's been my experience that pullets that come into point-of-lay at this time of year often start laying at a little later age then they would if coming to point-of-lay in the spring. It's not so much the temps as the shorter daylight hours.

    It is also normal for the older birds to slow down, even stop laying completely when they molt in the fall. My two year olds are all at some point of molting, haven't seen an egg in weeks.

    I will also respectfully disagree with giving them extra corn to get them laying. Just feed them their grower feed until they start laying, it is balanced nutrition. They'll start laying when they are ready.
     

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