My birds won't lay

coweatchicken

Hatching
10 Years
Aug 29, 2009
5
0
7
Beaufort
I don't remember how old they are off the top of my head, but they should be old enough to lay. I've built them a coop, they have a secure yard, and they have fresh food and water at all times. I let them out in the yard when the dogs are put inside so they can hunt for bugs and eat grass and seeds.

My problem is is that they have not laid a single egg. There's four of them, and I'm concerned it may be the dogs scaring them. Does anyone have experience with their dogs harassing their chickens? If so, what did you do to keep the dogs away from them? My dogs have turned into complete asshats. The chickens are kept in a corner of the yard the dogs NEVER went into before, but since I've had the birds, they rub themselves on the fence, sit there and stare at them, and even play right in front of them. Besides putting a fence around the chicken fence, to keep the dogs out of that corner of the yard, I have no idea what to do.
 

bnchristian

In the Brooder
10 Years
May 4, 2009
21
0
22
Do your hens seem scared of the dogs? I have to American bulldogs that play around and snoop around my chickens and my sill girl has even accidently been let out and chased them a time or two, and they just don't relly seem to mind. My horse even broke into their run and ate their treats and all are laying fine. If you have flighty hens it could be the dogs, do they have a place to lay?
 

coweatchicken

Hatching
10 Years
Aug 29, 2009
5
0
7
Beaufort
They don't really seem to be bothered by the dogs when the dogs are near the fence. They huddle together and peck and eat and the dogs are wrestling and growling and barking right there 2 feet away.

The coop has laying boxes inside, and I've put out pine straw and grass clippings. Is there anything else I can do to entice them to lay?
 

Uppity Peon

Songster
10 Years
May 1, 2009
1,091
9
161
Willamette Valley, OR
I'm guessing either they are not quite old enough (it seems like forever when you are waiting) or they are hiding the eggs. I get most of my eggs in the morning.

Watch where they go in the morning and listen for the egg song.
 

jenjscott

Mosquito Beach Poultry
11 Years
May 24, 2008
3,701
44
256
Southeast Arkansas
Age and breed has everything to do with it. Some lay at 16 weeks, some don't lay until they are more than 6 months. It sure seems like a long time. Are their combs and wattles bright red? Or still a little pinkish? The will turn bright red before laying.
 

coweatchicken

Hatching
10 Years
Aug 29, 2009
5
0
7
Beaufort
I just looked, and only one's comb is bright red. The others are very pale, more an orange-pink color compared to the one's bright red. They're all the same lay, could there be something wrong with the other three since they're the same age?
 

crazyhen

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 26, 2008
3,196
101
264
mtns of ,NC.
Hens mature at different ages within the same flock and age group. some of my buff-os layed at 20 weeks and one at 26 weeks the same age group. Gloria Jean
 

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