New hens not laying yet- when will they start?


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 9, 2012
Rochester NY
I got rid of most of my roosters :) They went to great homes with lots of hens in the country (I'm in the city). I swapped some roos with a home steader for 2 Buckeye Hens. They're big, friendly girls and are eating and seem to be settling in.

Two things- There are two levels of roosting bars in the coop. At night, the younger ones (2 RIRs, 1 EE banty and 1 remaining EE roo) are about 10 weeks and are roosting on the upper bar. The lower one is unused and the upper one is only about 1/8 occupied. Why won't the new girls roost? They are sleeping in the nesting boxes!

Second, they aren't laying. They've been here for 4 days now. I didn't think they'd lay for a while due to stress, but when do you think they'll start laying? They were free-ranged before and now they are in a coop with a pen attached (big enough, but not huge). Do you think they know how to use nest boxes?

I put fake easter eggs in the boxes this morning and fresh shavings to hopefully show them what to do.

Any other thoughts? They're eating layer feed, cracked corn, they have grit, and I feed them lots of fresh veggies, fruits and meal worms!
If they are truly a year old, and are not molting or broody or sick, you should get eggs within a week or so. Sounds like they are still trying to find their place in the flock, and should eventually work their way onto the roost. Watch for signs of over aggression-bloody, torn combs. Were these birds quarantined before introduction?
I do not have a proper quarantine area so I asked the woman I got them from them to keep them separated from her flock for 10 days before she brought them to me- no signs of illness etc.

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