my chickens are over 24 weeks and none are Laying. PLEASE HELP!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sarahbckb, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. sarahbckb

    sarahbckb New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2014
    I bought 7 RIRs (3- 19 wks and 4- 12 wks), a 9 wk leghorn and a 24ish wk silver Wyandotte about 9 weeks ago.

    The Wyandotte finally started laying at about 32 weeks and I don't think any of the others have laid anything. The first egg we ever got was larger and a smidge darker than the last three we got so it may have come from one of the RIRs but we haven't got another like it in almost 2 weeks. The Wyandotte laid the other three we got.

    My RIRs are now 28 and 21 weeks and still no eggs. The 3 older RIRs all have dark red combs, and as of this week at least one is squatting. The breeder who I bought them from said that his 24 weeks RIRs were laying. So why aren't mine?

    Food? We were feeding them twice a day, but thought maybe they weren't getting enough food or were stressed from running out of food so about a week ago we switched to continuous feed. They get commercial layer feed, are allowed to free range in the evenings and get garden and kitchen produce scraps.
    Water? They always have plenty of water

    Stress? We do have two dogs, but they never bark at them. Neighbor dogs sometimes bark at them from their yards. We used to let our kiddos play with them (they would chase them around the yard and pick them up gently) but have stopped that incase it is causing stress.

    They don't seem to be diseased or anything.

    I have at least one RIR who is squatting. About 10 days ago we got our first egg. It was laid in the middle of the run, larger and browner than the wyandotte's. We haven't gotten another like it. could this have been one of my RIRs? Why would they lay 1 egg and then no more in 10 days? My now 20 week RIRs still have light, small combs. Could my birds be maturing more slowly for some reason?

    I have asked everyone I know who has chickens and no one has a clue why my older birds wouldn't be laying yet. Does anyone have any insight??
    thanks!
     
  2. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    First are they getting enough light? Chickens typically need from 12-14 hours minimum of light to assist in egg laying. Do they have an established coop routine? In the coop by a certain time out at about the same time every a.m. will help them in developing a laying routine. Do they have nesting boxes inside the coop? The nest should be apart from but in the coop, lower than their roost and offer them some privacy. Are you sure they are not laying when you free range them? Check around a make sure there are no eggs hidden under bushes etc. Either a good flock raiser feed or a layer feed should be adequate. Put out some free choice oyster shell or ground up egg shells for added calcium. If you moved them recently that can stop egg laying until they adjust to their new surroundings and routine. You say you 20 week old RIRs have small pink combs. At 20 weeks they should be showing signs of being more mature than that...are you sure of their ages? Be patient. My Barred and Partridge Rocks were the first to lay regularly followed by my Columbian and Silver Laced Wyandottes. My Andalusians did not lay their first egg until almost 26 weeks. In each case there was about a week between the first egg and routine laying.
     
  3. sarahbckb

    sarahbckb New Egg

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    Jun 14, 2014
    Thanks!

    I don't think they are laying anywhere. We have kept them cooped up for several days and still no eggs.

    The age and light requirements you suggested are interesting though. They are outside most of the day (they can get in and out of their clubhouse as they please) but their run is shaded from trees most of the day. Do they need 14 hours of direct sunlight? If so, maybe that's our problem. My husband adds oyster shell to their feed but it's only a few cups to like 20 lbs. mane we should set some out separately for them?
     
  4. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    Shade is fine so long as they have the number of hours exposure...even artificial light is o.k. in those short daylight winter months. Mixing the oyster shell with their feed is o.k. however I would put it in its own dish so that they will have the choice...it is amazing how chickens know what they need. They have been through several changes lately (being brought to a new home, having children play with them and then not, being free range then being kept in the run. Give them time to stabalize and they will be fine and start laying soon I am sure.
     

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