Starting a new flock with chickens that are already laying?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by McKinneyMike, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. McKinneyMike

    McKinneyMike Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2013
    McKinney, TX
    I hear many people talk about buying egg layers to start their flocks and then there is a long delay before they start laying again. Is there a general rule of thumb about how long it takes these birds to get comfortable enough to begin laying again after being moved to a new environment?
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It's hard to say, as they are all different. I would say a rough guesstimate would be anywhere from a week to a month.
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Whenever I have gotten layers, they will lay immediately within 24 hours, and then they might take a few days off, and then start laying again.

    The short days of winter may be affecting their laying, but I am much farther north than Texas, and my day length is getting lone enough that more of mine are laying.

    If you bought layers - hope you didn't get really old hens who might be done laying.

  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I started with a mixed age flock 5 layers, 1 cock @ around 2 years old..... 3 pullets,1 cockerel @ around 3-4 months old.
    They laid, and kept laying, the second day I had them....the cock showed them the nests.
    Was great, except for the lice and leg mites they brought with them.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Another potential problem is that chickens have a natural laying cycle. The natural cycle is that they lay well in the spring, summer, and maybe early fall, but then the stop laying, molt, and recharge their system when the days get shorter. The in the spring when days get longer they start the laying cycle again. A lot of people manipulate that natural cycle by managing the lights, so this is not just seasonal.

    You still have to take care of chickens and feed them whether they are laying or not. Some people don’t want to spend their time and money taking care on hens that are not laying, so they sell them. Let the new owner pay for the food and spend the time and effort managing them while they start on a new flock. This can take months and it can be any time of the year, depending on how the lights have been managed.

    As others have pointed out, sometimes there is practically no drop-off or they get over it pretty quickly. Sometimes it takes a while, days, weeks, or even months. It’s hard to come up with an average that covers all cases.

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