New chickens received July 2018 not laying eggs yet

Dreem

Hatching
Dec 3, 2018
1
0
2
Last year we had a banner year. I had 21 hens which I received the first week of March 2017 and one wonderfully caring rooster. The hens were faithfully laying almost one egg per day starting July 1 2017. They continued thru last winter. In the beginning we had many double yolk eggs, and they finally settled down to single yolk eggs, one per day, except for our bantam hen.
I gave them layer feed, kitchen scraps of fruit/veg/rice —no meat.
They free ranged until May 2018, when a local fox started to prey on the chickens and feed her young. We lost about 9 chickens quickly. Since May 2018 the chickens have not been able to free range. In June 2018 the loss of our rooster became the last straw, and we bought 2 guardian dogs to help with the problem in Sept 2018, as soon as older pups became available.
In July 2018 we bought 12 bantams to replace the rooster, 12 iga browns, then another 12 iga browns.
Today we have 44 hens. Amazingly enough the new ones have not started laying eggs and they look smaller than last years hens. We merged the flocks after the younger ones were 8 weeks old.
Today we had only 4 eggs — no predators, no free ranging, plenty of food. Any suggestions would be welcome. We have northern weather in NJ.
 

Windy_Acres

Songster
Mar 3, 2015
118
139
141
Ontario, Canada
For this years pullets, I'd say patience is all you need! Even if you got them at te very beginning of July, they are barely 5 months old, and probably just aren't ready to lay yet- some may wait until the day get a bit longer to start, as well.

As for your older girls, do you have light in the coop? Many chickens lay well their first winter, but after that won't lay when they get less than 14 hours of light- I have a timer that turns my lights on early for a few hours so the girls still go to bed when the sun sets.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,043
125,768
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SW Michigan
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Diet may be slowing young birds growth/maturity,
layer feed shouldn't be fed until birds are laying...
... as well as it being the 'dark season'.
 

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