My chickens have not started laying yet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mikeclfc, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2015
    I am new to keeping chickens, we did quite a lot of research before we decided to get any chickens. We bought a 2 story coop, and built a additional 8 ft run. There are way to many hawks in the area to let them totally free range, I let them out when I am home to keep an eye on them and they don't ever seem to want to go far from the coop, they seem to just stretch there wings and go straight back to the coop. I started with about 4 young hens, 2 California whites and 2 jersey giants, I was told they were about 3-4 months old at the time, they looked pretty small and seemed quite used to humans so I believed what I was told from gave them to me, since then I have acquired 2 other chickens, one a 6 month old red and another calfornia white which i suspect to be a rooster (although its not crowing, is significantly larger than the hens and has a large comb and pointed tailfeather). I have had these chickens for around 3-4 months now, I feed them flock raiser and laying crumbles, and water them every day, I was wondering what maybe causing me to get no eggs? I understood that chickens can start laying from 6 months up and thought that maybe I would have gotten at least 1 egg by now (that's the whole reason I decided to get chickens) Im also wondering if its something im doing in the coop? maybe cleanliness, or location of food and water etc? As of right now all the chickens are between 6 and 9 months old maybe a little older. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2015
  2. Oglan

    Oglan Out Of The Brooder

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    Something to consider is that hens do lay fewer eggs in the winter season, so if they come "of age" during this season, sometimes it happens that they don't begin laying in earnest until the spring. Some people will choose to use supplemental light for healthy hens in the winter time to increase winter production, however, most hens need to use those calories to help them keep warm during the winter rather than to lay eggs, so extra light is not always the best idea.

    Another thing that might be occurring is that your chickens could have been exposed to parasites like worms, mites or lice. Wild birds could have brought something into your coop area or they could have been exposed to something when they were free ranging. Check carefully for parasites, as the anemia caused by a severe infestation causes production to go away (or to delay its start).

    If they free range, another possibility is they might have begun laying, but could be hiding their eggs in a secret nest somewhere. If you think this is the case but you can't find the hidden nest, you can leave them in the coop for a few days to see if any eggs appear inside. On the other hand, if your hens don't regularly free range but are closely confined and bored, they might be eating their own eggs... or possibly a predator of some kind is stealing your eggs.

    As you can see, there are many things that could be going on, and you will have to observe them closely to be sure. However, if their diets are balanced, and they are healthy and safe, then chances are good that you will start gathering your beautiful, beautiful eggs somewhere between 4 and 9 months, depending on the breed and the time of year.

    other resources

    http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyar...t-what-age-do-hens-start-laying-eggs-H41.aspx
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/why-are-my-hens-not-laying
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Can you post a picture of your birds?
     
  4. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2015
    I can take pictures tomorrow. I don't think they have any health issues, they seem to be healthy, all eating and drinking, they're feather are Shiney and clean they move around and fly ok. But I suppose I wouldn't know if they was unhealthy or not other than site. They are starting to molt right now. I wasn't sure if it was the cleanliness of the coop, they all use the bathroom in the coop even though I let them out regularly. We clean the poop out, and use straw but they dirty it very quickly.

    they definitely are not laying outside the coop as they don't go far enough away from there to lay anywhere else and if they did I would see the eggs in the grass right by the coop. I'd read about the daylight hours being an issue but i figured that we still have and have had 10-12 hours a day here in Louisiana right now. I would think it's most likely to be age related. Kind of annoying as I've been keeping them for almost 6 months and not had 1 single egg from 6 chickens lol.

    Thanks for your help
     
  5. 37 Caddy

    37 Caddy Out Of The Brooder

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    How much light is in your coop,lots of windows?,my birds are out free ranging a lot and i still need extra light in the coop.it gets dark here now at 6;30 and isnt light till 7;30 in the morning.I put a pair of 60 watt bulbs from the ceiling,they come on at dusk and stay on till 9 pm,it does make a difference in the egg production,i was getting3-4 a day from 10 birds it went up to 8-9 in about a week,that is normally what i was getting in the summertime,they need the light to trigger their brain into laying?give it a try and see if it helps. Harvey
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I too wonder about age if they are molting....most 6-9 month olds won't be molting now, tho I did have one one 9 month old molt last winter after a few months of laying.

    How big are your coop and run(feet by feet)?
     
  7. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2015
    When I say molting, I have seen them loosing quite a few feathers since the weather turned a little cooler. Maybe im mistaken.my coop is about 6 ft long 2 stories and the run I built is 8ft long, both about 3 ft wide
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Crowding could be an issue.
     
  9. 37 Caddy

    37 Caddy Out Of The Brooder

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    If they are too crowded they will tend to pick out each others feathers,do you have roosts for them,gives them something to do?I dont think the cold is your issue,i get eggs here when it is minus 20 celsius.Jersey giants are good layers,i would try some extra light and see if that helps. Harvey
     
  10. mikeclfc

    mikeclfc New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2015
    All of the comments are valid as i'm new to this, I have taken advice from people around my area who seem knowledgeable. I was told my coop and run could hold up 10 chickens if i wanted but i thought that was excessive i really only intended to have 3-4 but I was given 3 others by other people. I have also talked to local feed stores and hatcherys who all said the same about the coop size. The roosting bars in the coop is at the top and there is ladder down to the bottom and then i added a roosting bar to the run with is joined in between one of the cross sections, I think it may be over crowded because it get dirty very very fast. But the chickens seem to like it in there a when i let them out they don't want to stray to far and some of them are quite tame and will eat out of your hand with no issues. I wondered weather the California white is actually a rooster and that may be the issue, he/she seems to push the white leghorns around with those being the smallest hens. Any advice of adding light in the coop with no power out there? maybe the batteries powered LED lights? I live on 6 acres and the coop is around 1300 ft from my nearest power source. I could reduce the flock size also.

    Thanks again for all advice.





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