Nine-Month-Old Pullets Still Not Laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Keileigh, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. Keileigh

    Keileigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hatched eggs from my own chickens for the first time this year. They were all sired by my EE roo and out of EE, Cuckoo Marans, White Leghorn, and Golden Comet hens. They hatched on February 9, and I bought a few more pullets (SLW, GLW, EE, and Australorp) from the local feed store the next day to fill out the ranks.

    Normally, I buy chicks in mid-March or April, and they're laying by August or September, but nine months later, I haven't seen an egg out of any of these girls. My older hens are molting, and I had been counting on the fact that the new ones should be laying by now. They were housed separately till very recently, so I knew that only the older girls were laying (prior to molting).

    I'm checking the nests many times a day, but have yet to find an egg, a pullet in a nest, or any sign that an egg was laid and eaten. They were on grower/finisher till about 6 months of age, and now they're eating regular 16% layer ration (and lots of it, of course!).

    I expected the EEs and EE crosses to start a little later, but even for them, 41 weeks seems like a long time, and it's ridiculously long for the breeds from the feed store. I've just never had a situation like this in many years of keeping chickens, and right now I'm tempted to cull them all and start fresh in the spring rather than pay to feed them through the winter with no return.

    Any thoughts on what I might be able to do to get them going? Or should I cut my losses and start with a new flock next year?
     
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Are you free-ranging these birds?
     
  3. Keileigh

    Keileigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, they're in a coop and run. Good-sized, but fully visible. Also, for what it's worth, the pullets have been in this run since late spring, and the older hens were in a second run that shared two sides with it, so they were well-acquainted by the time we combined them. It was a very peaceful transition.
     
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Boy, I'm stumped then except for taking into account that it is now dead-on winter. Colder temps, much shorter days, molting, you name it. IT all contributes to much less egg production, and in rare instances none.
     
  5. Keileigh

    Keileigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I always prepare myself for a big drop in production come winter, but I was really hoping those new girls would give me a couple good months of laying before things cooled off! They sure look ready to lay -- big old fluffybutts, especially the Australorps! I think I'm going to try switching feed brands and just see if it makes a difference before I give up on them. Our feed store stopped carrying the one that my older hens had been producing really well on, and I honestly can't remember how they did initially after we switched to the new brand. It's a simple enough change to make, and maybe it will help...
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah, that might be part of the problem. What brand were you feeding before the probs started? Me personally? I feed Purina Layena crumbles...my black australorp ladies scarf 'em up! [​IMG]
     
  7. kingsleycoop

    kingsleycoop Out Of The Brooder

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    I currently have a two rescued White Leghorn, estimated about a year. One is laying fine, but we have yet to see any from the other. Let me know if you find out anything from your gals/new feed!
     
  8. Keileigh

    Keileigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were on a brand called Faithway from a small mill somewhere in Alabama or Tennessee, I think. It was so nice because it actually smelled like fresh grains! They've been eating Nutrena for a while now, but I'm going to pick up either Layena or DuMor from TSC today and hope it makes a difference! Thanks for your help. :)
     
  9. Keileigh

    Keileigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Will do! My WLs were probably the best layers I've ever had, so I hope she'll get started for you soon. It's amazing that those little bodies can produce so many big eggs!
     
  10. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop

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