My chickens aren't laying and they are way past due.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AustinRhea, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. AustinRhea

    AustinRhea In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2013
    Knoxville, TN
    I have 13 hens. 3 I got on November 10th, 2012. Two of them are White Leghorns and they are definitely laying and started at 31 weeks old. The third is a Speckled Sussex. She started laying around 40 weeks old but I don't think she is laying now. She had gone broody for a while. She would sit in one nest and the other hens would sit in the same nest and lay. She stopped being broody about 3 weeks ago and she has only laid about 3 or 4 eggs since. I got 9 chicks on March 30th, 2013. Two Barred Rocks (now 32 weeks old), 3 were supposed to be Speckled Sussex but they don't look like my other Speckled Sussex (now 26 weeks old), and 4 Ameraucanas (now 23 weeks old). I also took in an Easter Egger from a friend that has been laying faithfully for months. She has only laid 2 eggs in the 9 days she has been here.

    I understand the 4 Ameraucanas and the 3 supposed Speckled Sussex not laying. The 7 of them are right on the cusp of laying age. I don't understand why my Speckled Sussex isn't laying and why the Easter Egger isn't laying. It doesn't make any sense to me. They always have food available and I just installed a nipple watering system so they can have cleaner water constantly. The temperature here in Knoxville hasn't been that bad this summer. Actually we usually hit 100 or 105 sometime in July and August. But we haven't gotten over 98 and that was only a few days in July.

    Their poop has never really been black with the white spot on top. A few of my girls have that color but most of them have a maroon color with a white top. I was worried about it when they were younger and I gave them antibiotics. It never changed and they seem healthy and gained weight appropriately. They don't have worms present.

    They are fed DuMor Layer feed, freeze dried mealworms at least twice a week, and a Flock Block once every 2 or 3 months.

    They have a 10'x8' hen house with a 10'x8' run. So space isn't an issue. They also have 8 nesting boxes. I am having a water leak issue so only 4 of the boxes are usable right now. The water leak will be resolved this week.

    Any ideas?
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    If I understand you correctly, you got the EE 9 days ago? If you move hens (or they get upset for some other reason), they will often stop laying for quite a while, so it not laying right now is really not that unusual, if she doesn't go into a molt because of the time of the year, she should start up again in a couple of weeks.
    I'm not sure I follow with the leghorns and sussex, are you saying they did not actually start laying until 31 & 40 weeks old?
    At any rate, sussex are not really good layers, so I wouldn't expect more than a couple three eggs a week from her anyhow, especially if she is just getting over being broody.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm also trying to weed through to your question...

    The easter egger is new and has laid 2 eggs in 9 days? This is more than I'd expect from a bird that was just moved and introduced to a new flock.

    The speckled Sussex was broody, and gave it up 3 weeks ago, and has laid 3-4 eggs since?

    I'd say both those girls just need time. Reproduction isn't like throwing a switch, their bodies need time to adjust to changes. A hen fresh off brooding, even if she didn't hatch chicks, usually needs several weeks for her body to recover and begin laying again. Brooding takes quite a toll on a hen, and her body isn't ready to reproduce right away again.
  5. AustinRhea

    AustinRhea In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2013
    Knoxville, TN
    I thought she had been laying. I didn't realize broody hens didn't lay. All this is new to me.

    Sorry I was confusing to everyone. I will try to explain better.
    *I'm not having problems with the leghorns now, but yes they didn't start laying until they were 31 weeks old. I thought that was normal. I got them in November and they were 16 weeks old. I got my first egg at the end of February.
    *The Speckled Sussex didn't start laying until she was 40 weeks old. She was 18 weeks old when I got her, but she was in the box with the 2 White Leghorns, another Speckled Sussex, and 2 Barred Rocks and they had picked out all her tail feathers and back feathers. So I thought it was normal for her to lay later because of the drama she had to deal with. She was picked on for a long time before she was high up in the pecking order. She was broody for a while, maybe a month. I didn't realize that hens don't lay while broody so I didn't try to make her stop.
    *I am almost positive that the Barred Rocks are laying because I am getting 2 white eggs (White Leghorns) and 2 brown eggs a day. Once a week I have been getting 3 brown eggs, which is why I think my Speckled Sussex is laying occasionally.
    *I got 1 blue egg the day after I got the EE from my friend. I assume that was already in progress from her previous home. I got 1 more blue egg 4 days later.

    My girls aren't free range, so they can't hide their eggs. They have laid elsewhere besides the nesting boxes but I always find them. I have mice in the hen house, but not rats, and my dogs take care of any other predators (killed 2 opossums, 2 skunks, and they ran off a raccoon).

    I gave all the information I did because I read the sticky thread on egg laying and these are the things they brought up that could be causes. I wanted to give information that would rule out all the usual things the sticky article mentioned.

    Thank you for weeding through my post and trying to help me.

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