Please Respond - Chickens not laying yet

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dquarles74, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. dquarles74

    dquarles74 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've posted a couple of times to get advice and I don't get a lot of feedback here. I'm not experienced enough to answer many questions but I read through everything. So not sure if my lack of responses is because people are not familiar with my name or what. But I am desperately seeking answers. I have 18 hens and 1 rooster (he was an accident, thought I was getting another hen). Of all my birds 6 of them are older - as least 1 yr or older. I got the older hens in April. The remaining12 hens were hatched within a day or 2 of May 21. The older hens were all laying regularly until around August when they started molting and the TExas heat (I assumed) caused them to slow down laying. I recognize all their eggs. Only 2 of those 6 are laying now. About every other day. Of the young ones I've noticed 1 new colored egg, but not sure who it's from, but I get it about every other day. So from 18 girls I'm getting 2-3 eggs per day. Aren't they all old enough to lay now??

    They were free ranging during the day, until the last few weeks. I've been keep them in the run and coop area in case they were laying elswhere, then I let them out to free range about an hour before sunset. I feed them veggie scraps, pasta, laying pellets, scratch. I thought by now since they are 27 weeks old I should be getting around a dozen eggs per day :/

    Frustrated.....
     
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Since they are molting they usually stop laying, also since its getting close to winter the days are shorter so the amount of light they are getting isn't enough to keep egg production normal. Most chickens stop laying during winter, although some lay every now and then. Few chickens continue through the winter.
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they were born end of May then they are about 6 months. This is a good average age to start laying but not the rule. Up to 8 months or so is still in the normal range. Breed and quality of stock also cause some variations. The short daylight hours probably isnt helping. Do you have a light?

    I wouldn't worry. They will lay soon.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  4. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, they generally need about 16 hrs of light a day for optimum production. Our 6 used to give us an average of 5 per day and we're now down to about 2, maybe 3 on a good day. Providing some extra light in the mornings and supplementing their protein and making sure they have either oyster or egg shell available for calcium will help a lot.
     
  5. dquarles74

    dquarles74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2012
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    I found the old thread about winter laying and am going to buy a timer at Walmart tonight and try that. You think setting it for 5-8am and 4-8pm will be good enough? I'm in east Texas so it's not that cold here. 50's-60's today, rarely below 30 even on coldest day.
     
  6. dquarles74

    dquarles74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2012
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    OK - I got a timer today - and have it set from 5am-8am - I let them out to free range at 7:30am each day - then again from 4pm-8pm…. we'll see how long it takes to get more eggs :) Thanks for the advice.
     
  7. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Breed and genetics can also play a role in laying behaviour. Adding artificial light should help and may take a couple weeks. :). Good Luck
     
  8. dquarles74

    dquarles74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 3, 2012
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    Well about a week of lighting I'm getting 3 eggs every day - the same three hens - so it's an improvement for sure but those other girls need to start paying up! LOL
     
  9. Smoochie

    Smoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They better be golden eggs if they wait too much longer. ;)
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a dozen hens and only three are laying so don't dispare. Its the time of the yr. Wait until about Feb and they will start up again or start for the first time. Heat only matters when it is too hot. They take a long break sometimes in winter. They will be healthier if left to natural responses but I have to admit I get very tired of waiting sometimes too. Gloria jean
     
    1 person likes this.

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