Laying?

collegegardener

Chirping
5 Years
May 16, 2014
135
14
88
Russellville, Arkansas
Hello,

I have 3 hens that I bought as 4 wk old chicks in late May. They are about 5 months old and still not laying. Should they be by now? So far none of them have shown any signs of it. I also have 2 hens that I bought. They're close to a year old and since the first day I bought them, they haven't laid at all. Is there any explanation for this? Anything I can do?
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
660
336
Central Oregon
Your younger pullets should most likely start to lay around 6-7 months of age. Look for the "submissive squat", redder combs/wattles, and lost of "talking". As for your year-olds, are you positive that they are year-olds? What breed are they? And what breeds are the younger ones?

What do you feed your flock?
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
284
316
Strasburg Ohio
Hello-

Some pullets (young hens) start laying at 17 weeks, others can take up to 25 weeks. It depends on what breed they are. Now, the two hens you have that are nearly a year old should be laying. If you haven't had them very long, it'll take a while for them to become comfortable in their new surroundings, so maybe they're just not ready feeling nice and comfy-cozy yet.

What kind of accommodations do you have for them? Could they be eating their eggs? Could they be laying the eggs outside somewhere that you're not finding them? Are you sure of their ages?
 

collegegardener

Chirping
5 Years
May 16, 2014
135
14
88
Russellville, Arkansas
Yes, I am sure of their ages. The older are barred rocks. They just recently started to get layer pellets and oyster shells as they please. The younger are australorp, EE, and a production red. I have had the older barred rocks for about a month now. There are 4 nest boxes in the coop, plus roosting bars. They have a nice sized run and get to free range quite often. They also get treats every so often, veggies, fruits, and mealworms.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,356
123,919
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, I am sure of their ages. The older are barred rocks. They just recently started to get layer pellets and oyster shells as they please. The younger are australorp, EE, and a production red. I have had the older barred rocks for about a month now. There are 4 nest boxes in the coop, plus roosting bars. They have a nice sized run and get to free range quite often. They also get treats every so often, veggies, fruits, and mealworms.
Why just recently...what were they getting before? and what else do they get to eat, they needs lots of protein.

I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container. The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.
 

collegegardener

Chirping
5 Years
May 16, 2014
135
14
88
Russellville, Arkansas
They were getting distiller's grain before which is a higher protein than the layer pellets they're getting now. It is often fed to egg layers though. The only reason I switched them is because I don't have access to the distiller's grain right now.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,356
123,919
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Other grains an be great, but formulated feed has vitamins, minerals and other things that can improve health and production.
Feed changes can be stressful. A good consistent base feed and properly proportioned other foods will get them getting the job done.
 

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