Laying hens not laying???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tracie70, May 15, 2010.

  1. Tracie70

    Tracie70 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    Here is the story. I am really really new to this. I have about 8, 14 week old chickens. My husband built this huge coop for them and when talking to people we realized that we have a coop now that can house about 40 to 60 birds. So we got this crazy idea to buy some already laying hens. We went and bought 8 ee and 2 cochin bantam frizzles. We slowly introduced our 14 week birds to our newly laying hens and everyone seems to be doing really good together. Alright so the next day we went all running outside in the morning to collect all our eggs. LOL Nothing. So I looked up some old posts and realized most hens don't lay early in the morning and also realized that from all the stress we probably won't get alot of eggs until the hens are no longer stressed from the move. Okay it has been a week and only about 4 eggs found in the nests.
    The question is how long before they get settled in? How many eggs should we expect?
    Also my husband and myself thought this man that we bought the hens from could've saw us coming from a mile away and sold us older birds that aren't going to lay that much longer. He said they were 7 months old, Is there any way to tell....???
  2. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    All things being equal nutritionally, and equal in overall care ... older hens just look, IDK, older? In general, more worn out.

    Their feet skin is thicker and more wrinkled and caloused.

    Their vents are larger and more yellowish, from what I've seen.

    Beaks are more worn out -- usually at the tip they are more "rounded" on older, while young hens have more sharply pointed tips on their beaks.

    Older hens like to sleep more on flat surfaces -- young ones will be able to more easily balance themselves at night on small round poles.

    People say their combs/wattles are less red, but I've seen VERY red in 5-year old hens. So, I wouldn't depend on comb color.

    Old hens are not as feisty as young hens, in general. They are a little quieter (depending on breed), less active, and a little less bullying.

    Others on this forum are more experienced and hopefully they will help you identify features. I've had my flock for a year. They're pretty young hens, I raised from chicks. My neighbors have a flock of 3-year and 5-year olds. So, I've had some time to compare them.

    As far as the egg-laying goes, I'd give them time and plenty of peace and quiet to integrate themselves. The laying usually resumes when the hen's body deems the new situation "safe enough to bring her baby chicks into". So, relaxation is Key... and good nutrition, clean water, room to take dust baths, stretch those legs, etc.

    If they are 7 months old, they may not even have STARTED laying yet. In my flock of 5, I had one pullet who didn't begin laying until she was 10 months old. The others were between 5-1/2 and 8 months old when they started.

    Good luck! I hope you'll be up to eyeballs in eggs, soon!
  3. Tracie70

    Tracie70 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 24, 2010
    As you can see I am very new to this forum and chickens. I wanted to just edit my subject head and must of reposted the whole thing.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    And a coop can never be too large. Using the 4 sq. ft. per bird general rule of thumb, my coop could hold 12 chickens, but I don't even want to think about cramming that many birds in a 6x8 coop. Even moreso if you're in an area that gets cold or snowy winters, you will definitely appreciate having more room for your birds 6 months from now. Plus keeping the coop clean is easier the less crowded it is.

    Feathersnuggles gave you some good info. on guessing a chickens age, but it's a crap shoot for the most part. I have read of checking the vent area...if it's pinkish and somewhat moist, that would imply laying age... Since you're already getting some eggs (I think a week is pretty quick considering the stress of a move and having to redo pecking order), I'd venture to guess that you didn't get taken. I bet the rest will come around within the next week or two. But remember, it also depends on the breed as to about how many eggs you'll get on a daily or weekly basis. Some breeds are only known to lay about 3 eggs a week, while others may do 6. EEs are hard to figure, since they're mixed. Mine lays 2 days, then takes a day off...that's her pattern. I've never gotten eggs three days in a row from her; I have gotten them every other day though, I think when she first started laying. So I'm happy to settle in with the egg-egg-no-egg-egg-no Good luck with your new girls!
  5. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Quote:My green-egg laying EE does the SAME thing, teach! 2 eggs, every 3 days. I wonder if yours lays green, too. Once in a blue moon (I think it's been 2 times so far), she'll lay 3 in a row - then take a break. I know this, 'cuz I've been keeping a spreadsheet on their egg-laying patterns. It's interesting, to say the least. The green-egg EE is the most regular pattern with 2-for-3; I can ALMOST fill in the spreadsheet, way ahead of time, for her eggs. The rest are less predictable, because they lay more frequently. Seems like the more eggs they lay in a row, the more irregular the number can be for each individual bird.

    I've been attributing the EE's "2 every 3 days" pattern to the length of time it must take her shell gland to infuse all that green pigment (extracted from her blood) into the liquid calcium carbonate of her eggshell. The other EE, a light brown layer, averages more eggs. But then again, the brown pigment is merely applied to the outer cuticle of the eggshell -- which, IMO, is a much less complicated process.
  6. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Quote:No worries! [​IMG]
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think within a few weeks you are going to have lots of eggs. [​IMG] When I have brought home chickens they settle down in very few days, and start laying. However, I do not have a dog or a neighbors dog that would harass them, they are pretty quiet where I have them, but all in all, you are going to start getting eggs pretty quick.
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Thanks feathersnuggles. I too was wondering how to tell older hens from younger ones. Now I know!
  9. Vnctan

    Vnctan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    Bangor,CA 95914
    I just got two hens - a 1.5 yr old mottled Bantam Cochin hen and a 1 yr old black Sumatra hen. I've had them for 10 days now and they haven't laid one egg. I'm pretty sure they are hens (I'm new at this) I'd post pics but my camera cord broke. I figured with it being spring and they are laying age that I would have some eggs. What gives?
  10. kidcallous

    kidcallous Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2010
    Central Florida
    Quote:I am new here too....BUT I'm pleased to report that I got some information from the "Breeds" page.

    Looks like Cochins lay really small eggs at a medium production rate.
    Sumatras lay medium eggs at a medium production rate.

    So with that being said, I dont know what a 'medium' rate of production would mean, maybe 2-3 a week (once they are accustomed to the enviornment)?
    Personally when I get chickens, I will be seeking out breeds specifically for their egg production rates... check the breeds page for detailed rundowns too..

    Good luck!

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