Several weeks and... No Eggs!? Help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LemonAden, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. LemonAden

    LemonAden Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2010
    Hello everyone! I am very excited to be a new member of this forum.

    My partner and I live in St. Louis, MO right now while he is attending law school. We plan on buying a big farm in New Hampshire when he graduated, but until then, we thought it would be nice to get a head start and raise some chickens right here in the city.

    We spend an entire weekend building a coop and setting up a run in our back yard.. Only to find out that after we got 6 chickens from CraigsList.. Our city requires a permit to keep chickens and they only issue the permit to 5 people per year. If you get caught without a permit, you receive a $200 fine.. PER CHICKEN!

    In a panic we went down to city hall and found out we could get a permit.. for $150, which pays for the permit itself, and 3 annual inspections to make sure that it is not smelly and loud.

    We were the last ones to get a permit issued out of the 5 people, and that day alone, 3 other people decided to get a permit also.. Chicken raising must have been in the air that week, haha.

    We researched for weeks about lighting, laying and everything we needed to make our chickens lay eggs before we decided to do this, and now that we have everything set up, our chickens are not laying eggs.

    We purchased 6 of them from a woman with a farm on Craigslist. She originally told us that they were Araucana chickens but after checking a bit more, we found that they are probably Amaraucana. They are all black, with black legs and a little bit of red on the beaks and head.

    She had raised them all from eggs and they were 7 months old when we picked them up from her. She said that they will lay blue/green eggs and will start laying any day now.

    That was 3 weeks ago. We took her advice and switched them to 17% Protein laying feed. We set up lighting in the coop that turns on a 60 watt bulb in the coop at 2:30 am, with a 100 watt bulb outside at the end of the run to simulate daylight.

    The chickens go to bed at 5:pm so this gives them 9 hours of sleep.

    They are happy, healthy and love the feed. We let them free range on the weekends and have build perches both inside and outside the coop.

    It has been almost a month and they have not layed a single egg, nor do they show any signs of laying.

    Does anybody know what I can do to help things along?

    We are using 3, 5-gallon buckets as nesting boxes. They are filled with straw and leaves. The woman told us that they would definatley lay eggs in this sort of box.

    We are stuck. Ideas? [​IMG]
     
  2. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know, but maybe post some photos of the hens so the experts here can comment on age, possible roo-ness? I'm searching why I'm not getting eggs myself...
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    You aren't doing anything wrong. People don't usually sell chickens at point of lay; they are more likely to sell them when they have slowed down. It's pretty hard to tell how old a chicken is, once they reach full size.

    How many feathers do you see lying around? This is sometimes the only real sign they are moulting.

    The cooler weather and the stress of moving could also be factors, if they are really 7 months old. Have you seen any growth at all since you got them? Not so much increase in height as increase in heaviness, girth, overall size. Chickens reach full height and then finish growing this way, sort of "growing out." At 7 months I believe you should be seeing some sign of this finishing off process. You might try picking one up then repeat in a week or two; see if you can feel a difference.

    Another thought, some people have reported it took a full year from baby chick to egg #1. And this was an EE. I know next to nothing about breeds -- but I do know that what many call Auracauna or Ameraucana is really an EE. I don't even know if there is such a thing as a black EE, and I have a few EE's.

    Nothing wrong with your nests; chickens lay in all sorts of containers, or none at all, just a hollowed out spot. (I've never spent money on a nest; I just scrounge something.) If you see combs reddening or they are squatting, be sure to do a good search of everywhere they free range. They love to lay under a bush or in a woodpile or wherever they decide is a good spot.
     
  4. LemonAden

    LemonAden Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2010
    I feel a bit better knowing that the nests are OK.

    There arent many feathers lying around as we were told that they were just coming out of a moult when we bought them. They do look a bit "fuller" since we bought them if that is what you mean?

    We are going to pick up a Rhode Island Red today that is already laying and see if it will help the other birds start to lay. Does that work?
     
  5. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Seven months is a bit early to tell what's going to happen. Pictures would be quite helpful.

    What actually concerned me was that you are picking up a RIR today. One of the Golden Rules for a flock is quarantine.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=12751

    One innocent addition to a flock can mean a mountain of heartache. Please keep this in mind.

    Meanwhile, post some pics and let's all guess when eggs are coming in!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The first big moult is at around 1.5 years, which is when people usually sell hens, because they will resume egg laying after the moult, but not as many. On the other hand this is when you get huge jumbo eggs. Mine from my older hens are bigger than jumbo store eggs.

    I would NOT add another hen. No, it will not help. More likely it will delay eggs even more, because of the added stress of integration. There will likely be major integration problems, and there is the problem of quarantine (which is not 100% guarantee of being safe from disease transmission.)
     
  7. LemonAden

    LemonAden Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2010
    I wasnt able to take a good photo because they like to move around a lot.. So I took a HD video instead.

    You can see it here on YouTube... make sure to load it at 1080 instead of 360 which is the default.. this will allow for full HD.

    hopefully this will help figure some things out,
     
  8. dee88

    dee88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMO, Your chickens look younger than 7 mos. They look about 17-20 wks. old and that's when about the time they start laying. I would give it a few more weeks. How many chickens did the lady you got them from have? I think she may have made a mistake!
     
  9. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    Looking at their tail feathers I would say that they may be younger than the lady described. They may be pure Ameraucanas hard to tell but if you got them from someone who didn't buy them from a hatchery it is likely that they will lay at an older age. I have four Ameraucana pullets that were supposed to be at POL when I bought them. They were supposedly around five months and that was almost two months ago. I have yet to see an egg although I suspect highly that mine were also younger than advertised when I bought them. EE's and Ameraucanas seem to lay a little bit older from what I have read on the posts here. They look healthy and happy so I wouldn't worry about something being wrong just have to wait that wait. Watch their combs and look for squatting. When their combs start getting bigger (although as possible Ameraucanas their combs don't get real big) and they start getting more red in the face and on the comb you will be getting real close to them laying their first egg.
     
  10. tracyork

    tracyork Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2009
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    Hi there, I was looking for something else on here and saw this post....

    I hatched B/B/S Ameracauna's from a breeder last year. There were 2 black pullets and they looked exactly like yours. In my experience they were smaller than other breeds I have had and they were slow to mature, although it was over the winter. They didn't start laying until at least 8 months. Once they started they were pretty productive though. I eventually rehomed one of them, who was pretty flighty and difficult, but the other has settled into being a pretty nice hen. She just hatched some cuckoo marans eggs for me, and has finally filled out and fluffed up. She is about 14 months old and still has virtually no comb to speak of.

    They look young to me, so just be patient (I know it's hard). I bet the eggs will be beautiful when they start producting. Hope that is helpful to you!
     

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