My Hens, first time chicken owner, impatient and concerned

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KNAndrs, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. KNAndrs

    KNAndrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2011
    Superior, WI
    I need a consult, I need to know if my birds are struggling or on track. They are on free choice grower mash, supplemented with oyster shells and grit. The coop is lighted 16 hrs a day with heat set at 50 degrees because we have already had 20 degree nights.

    I have 4 that were hatched on 5/6/11 and haven't started squatting yet, but I wonder if they are undersized. Each one is about 3 lbs. These are the ones I am waiting on to lay. I know they are only 20 weeks old, but I am a concerned parent.

    My RIR

    My EE

    My Barred Rock

    My Brown Leghorn

    My 18 month old GLW, bought August 6th, waited 3 weeks for an egg she gave us 6 then stopped laying 4 weeks ago.

    My Lakenfelder hatched February 2011, bought September 3 gave me one egg and stopped.

    My 2 Bantam Cochins just started squatting today, bought in July (hatch day unknown) and have been a real pleasure.

    Thanks for all your help and advice. This is my first time with chickens.
  2. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Time to switch to layer pellets.
  3. Farm_Maven

    Farm_Maven Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2011
    My BR hen just started laying this week and she is almost six months old. MY RIR's are the same age as my BR's and I'm pretty sure they are my last two holdouts. 11 eggs for 13 hens day before yesterday. I don't have any experience with the other breeds you have. But yours look way smaller than any of mine did at that age. Could they possibly be a Bantam version maybe?
  4. Ema

    Ema Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    Every chicken is different, just like people mature at different times so do chickens. They will lay when they are ready. for the time being if you have some that are laying its time to switch to layer feed or do a mixture of what you have left and layer until its gone.

    Keep in mind that chickens who begin to lay too early will more than likely stop laying rather quickly too. slow and steady wins the race. :)

  5. stubbornhill

    stubbornhill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 11, 2011
    Shapleigh, Maine
    Your RIR and Leghorn are going to be lightweights (in comparrison) anyhow. But Well Worth The Wait for their eggs! When they do start laying you will be very impressed with the size of egg those two little ladies will give you. [​IMG]
  6. Cosmopolis Chick

    Cosmopolis Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2010
    Grays Harbor
    Quote:hi, I am just replying to 'bump' you up.
    I'm no eggspert nor expert either! So - this may be just so much blah blah blah. [​IMG]

    Your Cochins are too cute for words. Your birds are all quite lovely.
    The rest of your hens are mostly too young, and the ones that laid and then stopped are likely
    taking a little vacation.
    I know, I know. Annoying but sometimes there is no reason. Mine do it all the time and live in the lap of luxury.

    BTW, I would not heat the coop, I know it's cold and gonna get colder in WI. but they'll be hardier
    if they don't have to step from 50 degrees to the outside, and then back in several times a day.
    Plus - maybe less poop inside the coop? Just insulate your coop and have really thick hay on the floor, 24-30" is not too much.
  7. silkymom1986

    silkymom1986 The Silkie Villa

    Sep 28, 2011
    Byhalia, MS
    We have 3 RIR about the same age, I have been told they don't start laying until 6 months old, and with the cooler climate they will lay less even with the light. It has just started cooling down here, MS and we are alreay getting fewer eggs from our layers. And it's only gotten down to the 60's. I wouldn't be worried.
  8. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    I agree to switching to layer feed. I live in MN and we do not heat the coop. The chickens stay warm enough and are not wimps.
  9. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Sounds like you got the bases covered. As you said the new girls are 20wks and by looking at the pics they look to be getting close. I have RIRs and Barreds from last year that were born in mid May and one RIR was first to lay just shy of 22wks and by 27 wks they were all laying. My point being they have their own schedule so just be patient. Case in point I added 3 Buff Orps this year and one started at 20 wks and the other two now 24wks and the comb and wattles are just starting to turn red. Also have 3 Cinnamon Queens with only two laying at this point both at 22wks. Have they show any interest in the nest boxes? That is a cue as well as the egg song. They like to practice.

    As far as your GLW goes,does she free range and decided to change her laying spot? Notice any feathers missing,maybe she is going through molt?

    Patience, patience, patience!!! I went through what your going through. Every day would check and check then it finally happened.
  10. KNAndrs

    KNAndrs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2011
    Superior, WI
    OK I am going to drop the temp in the coop and add more hay to the floor. Do I need to be concerned about their size/maturity?

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