Newbie Question about chickens not laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrwoodboat, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    8
    91
    Nov 25, 2012
    I mentioned that I picked up 8 chickens the week before Christmas- there were 4 RIR, 1 BR, 2 EE, and 1 Austrolorp pullet. The guy I got them from said he had been feeding them sweet feed but they were all free ranging on his property (catching them was another story LOL). Anyway, I asked him if they had been laying and he said he didn't know because he did not look for the eggs, he just liked having them around but where he was moving, he couldn't take them.

    7 of the birds appear to be full grown, at least compared to my Star and Jersey Giant (who both lay everyday) but not a one of them has laid an egg in 3 weeks. I am feeding them grower/finisher to get them protein (the sweet feed I looked up was very low in protein) plus I am giving them oyster shell which they readily eat. So, my question is this- do I need to just give them some time to get regulated and back on a layer diet or if they haven't laid by now, is it a good sign that they are done? They do go out and forage some in the evening for about 30-45 min plus I give them greens every other day and a little scratch on Sat and Sun.
    thanks
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,262
    7,711
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    short days coupled with the stress of a new environment has shut them down temporarily. They are adjusting to their new home. You are providing proper feed and the daylength is increasing. It make take a while, but they will start/resume laying.
     
  3. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    8
    91
    Nov 25, 2012
    whew- good...their weight feels better- thinking that I can take them off of the grower/finisher and just feed them layer pellets now- was just mainly concerned about the sweet feed- I have no idea how long he fed them on that.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    63,262
    7,711
    726
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Probably a lifetime on the sweet feed plus what they could forage for. Not too bad through summer/autumn,but slim pickings this time of year.
     
  5. Melabella

    Melabella Overrun With Chickens

    5,343
    207
    291
    Jun 2, 2011
    Sounds like you will have a nice little flock after they are all settled in. I am sure they will love the right feed you are providing. Sweet feed is hardly enough to prepare girls into adulthood, let alone lay eggs!

    Put a little Unpasturized Apple Cider Vinegar in a plastic waterer for them. The cultures in it will do wonders for their digestive system, and even clean out any parasites they might be harboring.

    If you can post some pictures of them, we'd love to see them!

    Good Luck!
    MB
     
  6. QuirkySue

    QuirkySue Chillin' With My Peeps

    205
    3
    71
    Sep 19, 2012
    BC, Canada
    My first ever four chickens were fed only scratch until I got them. Is that the same thing as sweet feed? It took a few weeks for them to look good and start laying, and I'm a total newb.
     
  7. mrwoodboat

    mrwoodboat Chillin' With My Peeps

    292
    8
    91
    Nov 25, 2012
    I ng, but when I had horses,sweet feed was rolled oats and some molasses along with other grains. What we called scratch was cracked corn and some grain but didn't have any molasses in it
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by