My leghorns are 25 weeks old and not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Birdine, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello, i am trying to figure out why my leghorns are not laying eggs yet. I have heard that leghorns lay early and were bred for laying early but I m not sure why my chickens have not layed eggs yet. Can someone help me? I give them water every day the required food, I let them out at 8:00 every morning and put them away at 8:00 and occasionally put a lamp in there. Also, I did add 2 new older birds to there flock about a month ago. Could this mess up there egg laying? I also have a duck, i am not sure if that is a problem, she does seem a little bossy. Anyone have any ideas? Thank you!
     
  2. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think they're just not ready my hens lay constantly and I'm adding and removing hens all the time I also have ducks and Guineas with them
     
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    Welcome to the club, I got a LH because it was supposed to lay at 16 weeks. [​IMG]

    She barely started thinking about it around 22 weeks and it took a bit longer than that before I got eggs regularly.

    So, adding new hens could have delayed things a bit. But also we are heading into winter hours here so that might add to it.

    What do you mean when you say "required food"? Do you give treats? Do you offer oyster shell on the side? Size of coop and flock? How much roost space?

    If you do add a lamp, it needs to be in the morning. If it shuts off at night they might be caught in the dark off their roost and not able to get back. Doing it sporadically could also delay your laying. Chickens are creatures of habit and any alterations can be stressful.

    One thing for sure, no one probably gave her the handbook on when Leghorns should lay. And every bird I have no matter what breed or where from is an individual, and will lay..... when they are good and ready! Whether I like it or not. [​IMG]

    One other possibility is she could be hiding a nest. [​IMG]

    My guess is she just isn't ready. I feel your pain. [​IMG]
     
  4. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    They have a run about 150-200 square feet. They have a coop 8 by 8 and also I only 10 in it right now. They have about 8 feet of roost. When i meant "required food" I meant the amount of food that they should be having (1/4 pound per day per chicken. ) And they shouldn't be hiding any eggs because they have a run. I offer crumbled up egg shells but ive heard that that should stop them from laying eggs they would just lay without shells. I will start putting the light out in the morning instead. Thank you for replying fast! You were lots of help!! Thank you thank you thank you!![​IMG]
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    For layers, they need to have free choice feed the whole time they are awake.

    But still, what are you feeding? What type and % of protein and calcium?

    Shell less eggs are actually a result of the system and shutting down most of the time. A hen will use up her own calcium in her body to lay eggs as long as she can. The crushed egg shells is fine, but unless your using layer feed, they won't have enough to sustain long term.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    ES4L has asked some good questions.
    Overall nutrition is be important, especially to layers coming into maturity this time of year.

    If you want to use light...do it right....or you could get the opposite results that you want.
    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.

    8x8 and 8 feet of roost is tight.....crowding stress can have an effect on laying, as doe the new additions.



    Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
    Squatting:
    If you touch their back they will hunker down on the ground, then shake their tail feathers when they get back up.
    Tho not all birds will do this, especially if there's a cockbird in the flock.
    This shows they are sexually mature and egg laying is close at hand.

    Combs and Wattles:
    Plump, shiny red - usually means laying.
    Shriveled, dryish looking and pale - usually means not laying.
    Tho I have found that the combs and wattles can look full and red one minute then pale back out the next due to exertion or excitement, can drive ya nuts when waiting for a pullet to lay!

    Vent:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     
  7. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I have just recently realized (in the past 3 days) that they have started hunkering down when i go to catch them. There combs have also grown significantly in the past week getting red too. There vent seems dry though.
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Mine usually take about a month to lay from when they first start hunkering down.

    @aart not to sound dumb.... but when you describe the vent as being dry/tight or moist/wide, are we talking a visual inspection or a gloved finger.... what?
     
  9. Birdine

    Birdine Out Of The Brooder

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    Ha! Just a visual inspections. Not to eager to stick my finger in her vent.[​IMG]
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes visual only......takes some experience looking at both active and non active layers to tell the diff....and I still find pelvic spacing to be the best indicator.
     

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