Oyster Shell? Or do I use something else?are my chickens too young to lay eggs?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by capthollis, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. capthollis

    capthollis Out Of The Brooder

    Hey friends , I have 2 hens that I've recently acquired from my Grandpas passing. These 2 hens have not laid any eggs since I've moved them here, but I don't know if they've ever laid eggs before, because they look on the young side to me? They are black Australops, beautiful birds! How old does a bird have to be before she lays, I have no idea how old they are? Also how do you feed the oyster shell to them, do you mix it in there feed or put it in a seperate bowl? Can I use something else other than shell such a lime/stone or gravel?
    Thank you all, y'all are always so helpful to me and I appreciate it.
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Sorry for your lose. [​IMG] Do you know what type of feed they were getting before you got them? ie. Starter/Grower or Layer feed. That would give you a clue if not, the hens comb will get pretty bright red colored and look a little puffed/swollen when they get close to laying age. If their comb already looks red colored they should get Layer feed - it's complete and calcium is in it. If their comb still look light pink/pale give them Grower feed and you can put Oyster Shells in a seperate dish - free choice and they will eat it if, they need it. When you see the first egg and you have used up the Grower feed - switch them to Layer feed. You should also give them grit free choice if, they don't have access to course sand/gravel for digestion in their pen or free-ranged. They may go off laying just because of new home for a bit and shorter days. Good Luck.
  3. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    Following a move to a new location sometimes the stress will cause the hens to stop laying for short period until they get accustomed to their new home. That is if they were laying before you got them.

    I have 5 Australorps and was told that they should start laying by 20 weeks of age, but they are now 22 weeks and still no sign of the first egg. The only advice I can give is to just be patient and they will lay when its time.

    I will be keeping them on a 20% protein feed and will be keeping them off of the layer feed and/or oyster shells until they start to lay. The oyster shells are used to all the eggshells to become more durable along with the added calcium in layer feeds. If you decide to give them oyster shell you can ration it out in a separate bowl and they will eat it as needed. If you are looking to add something to aid in digestion you can mix a small amount of chicken grit in their feed.

    I know its hard sometimes, but patience is the best advice that I can give and just let nature run its course :)

    I hope this helps and if you need more help we are all here to help each other!!!!!!!

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