Started, then stopped, laying??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Clark Fowl Fans, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Clark Fowl Fans

    Clark Fowl Fans Just Hatched

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    Sep 19, 2016
    I have 5 BOs and am new to chicken raising. My girls were hatched in April and one just starting laying about a week ago. I was letting them free range, so on the 3rd day when there wasn't an egg I thought I'd better close the run to help her learn where to lay. She dropped her egg in the run. Since then I let them out again but no eggs. So now I've closed them in the run again but have had 2 days without eggs. Is it possible they don't lay every day at first? Am I stressing her with the changes and that's why she stopped laying? Is it possible it's the change in weather in WI this week or so? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC and congrats on beginning to get eggs.
    The initial start of a laying cycle can be a series of stops and starts, yes, and even after the bird establishes a regular laying pattern she will not lay "every day" -- average for BO is 4-5 eggs per week.
    When I have new layers I will generally confine them for 1-2 weeks in order to allow them to become well "homed" to the nest boxes as the place to lay. While the changes may be contributing to a stressed feeling for your bird, it is unlikely that is the cause of the sporadic production you are seeing - it is most likely simply a result of her being a new layer and not yet in an established pattern.
    Have you "seeded" your nest boxes with fake eggs, golf balls, etc to demonstrate to them that is the place to lay their eggs? Have you seen her, or any of the others, investigating the nest boxes?
     
  3. Clark Fowl Fans

    Clark Fowl Fans Just Hatched

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    Sep 19, 2016
    Thanks for the comments! Yes, I have ceramic eggs in both of the nesting boxes, and one is covered and one is not (to see which they prefer). She laid in the covered nesting box twice now, so I think she understands that is what it's for. Given that none of the others have started laying yet, I'm thinking that I should let them all free-range still for another week or two & then shut them in again for a week? They are certainly cackling loudly at me for being confined & I feel harsh doing it to train only one. ;) I know, I'm a silly momma....
     
  4. JenniferCNY

    JenniferCNY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't feel too bad! I would guess the others are learning too about where to lay when they do start. Two of my 8 pullets are BOs and I ADORE them!
     
  5. Clark Fowl Fans

    Clark Fowl Fans Just Hatched

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    Sep 19, 2016
    She's doing great now that I let them free range again and has resumed laying almost 1/day. I even checked on them this a.m. when I found the other 4 scratching in a pile together without her and caught her hanging out in the nesting box. She obviously knows where to go! Do you think that having her example will help the others learn when they are ready to lay, or do they each have their own learning curve? This pic is of tulip, our layer. :)[​IMG]
     

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