No eggs for me yet...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by adamziegler, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. adamziegler

    adamziegler Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2009
    I am a complete newbie. I live in North Western Illinois. Cold winters and hot summers.

    Quick history so far. We started with 4 chicks in the mail (2 buffs, 1 BPR, and 1 dominique) back in early June. We lost two (the buffs) to an animal when we were out of town. We replaced them with 1 buff and 1 Ameraucana from a local breeder (hatched in late April). The BPR was found dead one day in the coop. Down the three healthy birds. They were on starter feed + 'free range' ~6 hrs a day 4-5 times a week in the back yard/ garden. In the past month I switched them over to layer feed. They get a handful of scratch a few times of week.

    We still have not seen any signs of eggs. Any suggestions on what I might do different?
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Not sure the exact ages of your surviving birds----but chicknes do need really good nutrition during that developmental time. Layer rations don't cause laying. Infact, they generally contain less protein than the grower/starter rations. (16% vs 18%) If it were me, I would expect laying around 5-6 months maybe longer for some of your breeds. I would boost the protein and not put them on layer until after they lay. But I would always have oyster shell available 'free choice'

    It could be that you are just doing everything perfectly, and your chickens aren't ready---are delayed due to the shorter daylight hours --etc. Lots of variables....

    it could be that there is something that you could do differently. -- But mostly, I bet you will just have to wait a little longer. If they look mature (red combs and wattles) and their vents are larger then they are probably just about ready. If you don't have those attributes, then it is just too soon to expect eggs.

    Hang in there.
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I would expect eggs by now at least from the two that hatched in April. My April hatches have been laying for about a month. Is it possible they have a hidden nest somewhere? Do they squat when you approach them (they don't all do this but if you have hens that do, it tells you they're either getting close to laying or are already laying). Are their combs/wattles getting larger and red?
     
  4. adamziegler

    adamziegler Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2009
    Thank you both for the quick responses...

    The Buff and the Ameraucana are about 30 weeks old. The Dominique is about 23 weeks old. They were on starter feed until about 4 weeks ago when we were running out of starter. I have had oyster shell available to them for about 8-10 weeks.

    The combs are large and red. I don't notice any signs of squatting when they come close.

    What are some recommendations for increasing protein? Should I get a bag of grower? Give them more scratch?
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2011
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    It sounds like you really take good care of your flock.....

    not scratch...it is actually pretty low in nutrition and protein, more of a recreation. A friend gave me some scratch and my birds really turn up their noses at it. Especially the corn. I think it could be stale...

    I would mix some supplement into the existing feed that you have on hand. I bought a really high-end (read expensive) supplement for my bunch and they wouldn't touch it. Lately I picked up something at Tractor Supply that is called something like 'show conditioner' or some such name. It is a protein booster. The manufacturer is Manna Pro. In my experience they have top notch animal products. The bag wasn't large and the price wasn't bad. Read the labels for percent of protein when you are in the stores....

    You can boost their protein with human left overs. Cheese, cottage cheese, youghurt, any left overs with lots of eggs---like if you had extra scrambled eggs etc. My belief is that it does make a difference in their egg laying and the egg sizes.

    You probably don't want to go out and buy another bag of feed when you just got one. I have switched from Layer to "Flock Raiser" -- there seem to be a couple of varieties and one has 18% protein one has 20% protein. (I have one that may be molting---so I want more protein for her to be able to produce feathers)----

    I'm still thinking that they need more time--- it sounds like it is going to be any day now---based on how you determined their maturity, their ages and the like. How many hours of dalylight are happening up there in NW Illinois? We have around 11 down here...and mine are still laying well-- Some folks have a complete chicken shut down for winter length of daylight.

    Here is another consideration. If the chickens have parasites internal or external, it will interfere with their egg laying.

    Hopefully the suggestions that you get from BYC forum will lead to the answer. In the Chicken behaviors and Egglaying -- there is some information at the very top -- I think it says "why aren't my chickens laying?" See if there are any insights there that could help.
     
  6. adamziegler

    adamziegler Out Of The Brooder

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    May 31, 2009
    We are just shy of 10 hours right now.

    I keep an eye on their droppings for parasites, but do not notice any as of yet. Might there be other parasites that I am not seeing? The birds are allowed to roam around the garden.

    I have spent quite a bit of time searching through the forums before posting. Needless to say not all the advice I have read coincides with the rest. I try to make educated decisions.... it seems in this case I might need to be a bit more patient, and maybe add a bit more protein to the diet.
     
  7. broodysilkies!?!

    broodysilkies!?! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have some silkies and they just turned 1 year old but one still hasn't layed yet so i feel your pain.....

    the other silkie was 11 months old before i got my first egg



    all i can say is keep looking and one day there it will be!

    GOOD LUCK!!!!! [​IMG]
     

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