New hens - not chicks, not laying AT ALL

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by alexis&earl, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. alexis&earl

    alexis&earl Hatching

    Nov 4, 2007
    Elkton, Maryland
    We purchased 8 RIRs and 1 rooster on Sunday, we don't know how old they are but were told they have laid eggs in the past, but they are not laying eggs since arriving at our home. We have them in a 10X8 house with 4 nesting boxes and lots of roosts, but all we find in the boxes are poop. We allowed them to free range immediately but also gave them the standard chicken food from the Tractor Supply Store. Any thoughts? Were we hoodwinked into purchasing 'old' hens?
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Several factors are working against you here...

    First, it can take hens several weeks to settle into their new home and start laying again. Your situation is not unusual at all, just be patient on that front.

    Secondly, it's the time of year that hens usually slow down their laying, and some go to very infrequent laying or stop all together in the winter. Some here use lights in the coop to simulate longer days and keep them laying - depends on what you want to do.

    Enjoy your new girls - they will eventually start laying. Even very old hens that are 'too old' to be production hens still lay eggs, just not as often.

    Oh, and just make sure the food you are using is food for laying hens - just check the bag and it will say if it is layer pellets for egg prodution or 'finisher' which is used for meat chickens.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  3. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Songster

    I agree....mine were full grown when they got here.....took about 2 weeks before they started laying again.....hope this holds true for you too.
  4. blue90292

    blue90292 Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    give them some treats, like wet cat food for a little extra oomph in their protein count. that'll help them also.
  5. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    alexis&earl - are these birds for sale, trade or giveaway. If not and you were just seeking advice, I will move it to a more appropriate section. Let me know. Thanks.

    I agree that they need an adjustment period and if they are not supplemented with light they may not even start again until spring. This is not the bird's fault, but part of nature.

  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Besides the move...and the dwindling daylight hours....they could also be molting.

    In my experience- free ranged chickens tend to recover more quickly from moves as well as lay eggs longer in the waning light...but if they're molting, then it may be a while.

    Be patient...I've heard of hens laying eggs into their teens....they just don't lay as many as young hens. I have one whose age I don't know but has been with me for almost 3 years now-- she had slowed down to 2 days eggs, 2days off, 2days eggs, 2days off....not the 20days eggs, 1day off she did when I first got her!

  7. alexis&earl

    alexis&earl Hatching

    Nov 4, 2007
    Elkton, Maryland
    Welp, they are not the 'ultimate layers' we had hoped for, but now we just love them and enjoy watching their antics. They are a HOOT!! Thanks for the responses....

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