Not laying. Golf balls are not working.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aarkatin, May 15, 2010.

  1. aarkatin

    aarkatin New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    May 2, 2010
    South Easter PA
    I have 9 White Leghorns, free range, they are 25 weeks old. I've heard that these birds are good at making nests other than in their coop, but there is nothing in our yard. I've put golf balls in, that hasn't worked. I'm new to the chicken thing and when i purchased them they said they would be ready a month ago. I'm going to be selling half because i ready to move some chicks in and the coop will be over crowded. Do I need a rooster? Do i need more space? (we have a 4X5) They are feed layer, isn't that what the need? What do i have to do to make my girls happy?
     
  2. awalters0815

    awalters0815 Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    0
    109
    Mar 31, 2010
    Plainfield, IN
    Give them crushed oyster shells as a supplement. I would expand the coop a bit also. Check feathers for mites. IF they are healthy, then they are probably just not mature yet. My guess would be they will start laying in a few days. I definitely think you need a much larger coop though. 4x5 is way too small for 9 ladies.
     
  3. simpsoncj

    simpsoncj Chillin' With My Peeps

    433
    6
    121
    Dec 27, 2009
    Have you noticed their combs getting redder? If not then they just haven't matured yet. If they are getting redder then they are probably getting ready to lay. If you spend some time with them you will see if they are laying. They usually will walk around the yard sort of talking out loud to themselves, sometimes yelling to anyone who will listen! Also I noticed that when one of my chickens who were hatched together started laying then it was just days and all of them were laying. Seems like you would notice that for sure. Are they in the coop all the time? Do you have a run also or are they free ranging? If free ranging you may want to make sure they can't get under anything. I had a hen who was crawling under my coffee roasting shed! It really does seem like your coop is too small for that many full size chickens. You don't need a rooster for eggs, only if you want to hatch the eggs.
    CJ
     
  4. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

    654
    1
    141
    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    As to the rooster, no, you don't need one. Chickens will lay without having a male nearby, but their eggs won't be fertile.
     
  5. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    5
    121
    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    Golf balls do not encourage egg laying, they just clue-in the hens where to put them. Move the balls from nest to nest. Chickens will notice that they've moved, and it makes sure they notice them and don't forget. I also used it to get them used to me checking for eggs.

    Oyster shell does not encourage egg laying, it provides calcium supplement once they DO start laying. Even without it their first eggs will be strong enough. It's a long-term issue.

    They're combs may be big and getting red, but they're not quite there yet. They'll start when they're ready.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,765
    4,382
    536
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    [​IMG] Welcome [​IMG] to [​IMG] the [​IMG] forum! [​IMG] [​IMG] Glad [​IMG] you [​IMG] are [​IMG] here!

    You are getting some decent advice here. A rooster makes absolutley no difference as to whether they lay or not. Golf balls do not get them to start laying. They just encourage them to lay where you want them to lay. Layer feed contains everything they need to lay good eggs. Feeding them extra calcium, like in oyster shell, will not encourage them to lay. They should be getting all the calcium they need from the layer. If your eggs have thin shells, offering oyster shell free choice is a good idea, but if your egg shells are thick enough when they start laying, feeding it is really just a waste. It does not hurt anything and it seems to make a lot of people feel better to feed oyster shell, but if the egg shells are thick enough, the chickens really don't care.

    Chickens are all different with individual personalities and rates of development. No one can tell you exactly when they will start to lay. My first one started at 18 weeks. (23 pullets total) Two more started at 20 weeks. Two more started at 23 weeks. Several waited a lot longer to start. When they start depends on heredity, health, stress level, nutrition, and other things. How they are fed while they are quite young can make a difference in their laying. Everybody is real anxious to get that first egg. I was too. And with 9 leghorns 25 weeks old, I'm not shocked but a little surprised you have not seen a few. As anxious as I was for that first egg, I think we are really better off if they delay laying until their bodies really mature enough to lay eggs safely. My one that started at 18 weeks did not make it to my permanent laying/breeding flock. Her egg laying system never did straighten out the way it should have. At 25 weeks, though, your leghorns should be beyond that problem.

    The rule of thumb on this site is that you need 4 square feet of space for each chicken in the coop and 10 square feet per chicken in the run. There are a whole lot of assumptions in that rule of thumb. It is intended to keep everyone out of trouble from Anchorage Alaska to Miami Florida, from Phoenix Arizona to Little Rock Arkansas, from Cape Town South Africa to Inverness Scotland. It is supposed to cover three chickens kept in a big city back yard to someone living in the wide open spaces with a large flock. One of the big reasons for that much space is the assumption that your chickens will spend several days in a row locked in the coop without even being able to go outside into the run. That is often due to winter weather but there are lots of other things that could cause that. If your chickens free range outside every day and are not locked up in the coop for long periods of time, your 4x5 coop is probably big enough. It would be even better if you feed and water outside, but that is mostly so you can give them enough room for nesting boxes and roosting without them roosting over the food and water, fouling it with their droppings. If you do leave them locked up in there for extended periods of time, yes, your space may be too small. We all have different circumstances and requirements.

    I advise patience. They should start real soon.

    Good luck!
     
  7. aarkatin

    aarkatin New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    May 2, 2010
    South Easter PA
    There are four that have really red combs and they have no mites. It should be soon that my eggs will be here. Thanks everyone!
     
  8. simpsoncj

    simpsoncj Chillin' With My Peeps

    433
    6
    121
    Dec 27, 2009
    Ridgerunner, I just wanted to say I loved your post. It is well thought out and all great advice!
    CJ
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by