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New here....need help with chickens that won't lay!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by magnolia momma, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. magnolia momma

    magnolia momma New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Hello All!! I am new here and new to chickens as well. We have 12 hens and 1 rowdy rooster that are almost 27 weeks old. We have quite a mixture....2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Cuckoo Marans, 2 Silverlaced Wyandotte, 2 Buff Rocks, 4 Americaunas (sp?). They free range with our 4 goats and have a coop to roost in at night. We have not had problems with predators just our blood hound dog that has successfully gotten 3 of them most recently one today! They are fenced in away from the dog but every so often fly over the fence even though I clipped one wing on each bird. All this to say that we have not had a single egg. I have looked high and low in the barn and fenced in area as well as the nesting boxes at not an egg to be found. Everyone I talk to (my older patients at the nursing home I sometimes work at!) has told me to be patient. The thing is I ordered about 28 chicks from the hatchery back in the Spring and gave some to a friend. Her chicks have been laying for a whole month!!!! I put rocks in the boxes to "trick" them but no luck. Does anyone have any helpful hints??? My friend has said she would "loan" me a hen or two to show my girls what they are supposed to be doing! Thanks ahead of time for any help!

    Laura
    Magnolia Momma!
     
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    It's kinda like being pregnant and wanting to deliver. It'll happen when it's supposed to. Sorry I can't help more.
    sharon
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Laura!

    The average laying age for chickens is around 20 weeks, but alot of the heavier breeds can take a good five to seven weeks longer to begin laying. And there are lots of factors involved......Hens really like a nice cozy nesting area. I've hear some people will put a curtain in front of the nesting boxes for their hens. Another thing is, put some golf balls in the nesting boxes to "give them a hint" of where they should be laying.

    Daylight hours really affect egg production. I think this is because, hens are always eating eating eating. When it's dark, they can't eat, so they don't take in enough to produce those eggs. Are your daylight hours shorter now? If they are, you'll still get eggs, just not much. This could be affecting your new hens....that could definitely delay their starting to lay.

    Have you switched to a good layer feed? Now is the time if you haven't switched already. One thing I do is, at first, with my new layers, I don't let them out to free range until 5pm when I get home. (They can go into the run, but no free ranging.) That way, most of the egg laying is done before they go outside, and I don't have to try and find those eggs.

    As last resort, could something be eating your eggs? Like raccoons, or a nice big hungry blood hound? [​IMG] And if you have a space under your coop, and they can squeeze in there, they may have a secret nest there......I know you said you've already looked.....

    Good luck to you! Eggs will come......they will!

    Sharon
     
  4. magnolia momma

    magnolia momma New Egg

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    Oct 25, 2010
    Thank you to both Sharons!!! They are getting a good layer feed and scratch too. I will continue to be patient!!! I actually don't mind the "search" for eggs. My girls think it is fun. It is kind of like an Easter egg hunt!!! I just want to actually find some eggs someday!! The days are getting a little shorter but we are in Mississippi so have daylight 7-6!! I will let you know what happens in the next week for so. Thanks again and I look forward to learning more from all of you!!

    Laura
     
  5. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    I would lock them in the coop for a couple of days and see if you get an egg. If you are free-ranging, they could be laying anywhere. Good luck! By the way, I just lost my bloodhound today. She was 13 and died in her sleep. They are such amazing animals. There aren't too many of us bloodhound owners out there.
     
  6. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    What are the odds of two Sharons answering! There aren't a lot of us around. I am also waiting the great wait. I am thinking all three polish may be roosters. In which case it's really going to be a long long wait! LOL
    sharon
     
  7. Duramaxgirl

    Duramaxgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the private nesting boxes. I had a nesting trough for my BLRW. And no eggs by 27 weeks. So I decided to make 4 individual boxes in the trough. I made them real nice and cozy added pine shavings and golf balls. Guess what I got my first egg the next day! It was like they where waiting for me to 'fix' there boxes.
     

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