Still no Eggs and Chickens are being very pecky!

KMurphyVT

In the Brooder
Aug 9, 2020
22
40
33
Hello,
I have 20 week old Golden Comets and Speckled Sussex. They are in their coop/run area for most of the day, but free range for 3-4 hours in the afternoon. I’ve prepared the nesting boxes and placed a fake egg in two of them. I have 3 nesting boxes for 8 chickens. However, still no egg :(. I have noticed a change in my Golden Comets combs as they are much redder now. Any ideas on when they should start laying?
My other question is when I go into the coop in the morning to clean out their poop and feed them, my Golden Comets are very very pecky. Instead of going to their pellets or compost I’ve given them they always come over to me and grab at my pants, shoes, or jacket. It definitely hurts more that they are much larger. Any suggestions on this behavior?

Thank you again!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
May 3, 2009
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Maybe the girls are hormonal. Eggs coming soon from the Golden Comets. The Sussex may take a bit longer.
 

KMurphyVT

In the Brooder
Aug 9, 2020
22
40
33
Thank you! That’s what I was thinking, but man does it hurt sometimes!
 

LateBirdFarms

Songster
Apr 17, 2020
432
818
156
Ontario
I'm surprised you're golden comets aren't laying yet. My golden comets have always started between 16-18 weeks, but I suppose chickens are individuals too! Is it possible they are hiding their nests on you? And you can always try "pecking" your naughty girls back with some stiff fingers, getting them out of that habit before short season comes back around will save you a few bruises in the long run
 

KMurphyVT

In the Brooder
Aug 9, 2020
22
40
33
Hi,
All the books I read said that Golden Comets would lay early. I‘ve checked all over the run and can’t see anything, and it would be weird for them to lay outside in the late afternoon right?
 

LateBirdFarms

Songster
Apr 17, 2020
432
818
156
Ontario
Hi,
All the books I read said that Golden Comets would lay early. I‘ve checked all over the run and can’t see anything, and it would be weird for them to lay outside in the late afternoon right?
Wouldn't be strange at all, my girls lay randomly throughout the day when they first start for the most part, though I do have a 2yr old golden girl who likes to lay consistently at about 3PM every single day, but the first time layers leave me eggs well after sundown since my coop is lighted. Is it possible to confine them to the run for a few days? If your girls are just getting ready to lay, it'll help home them in on the nesting boxes if they're kept close to them, or at least let you find their eggs with a bit more ease so you know if you have to take more drastic measures and confine them in the coop so they have no other option but to use the boxes. And if they're already laying you'll know in no time for all the same reasons!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Feb 2, 2009
26,142
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Southeast Louisiana
Golden Comets are not a breed. It is a marketing name of what should be red sex linked hybrids. They might be a cross between two different dual purpose breeds or they may be based on the commercial hybrid layers. If we knew which hatchery you got them from we might be able to tell which you have. The ones based on commercial layers should have smaller bodies, lay big eggs, and are more likely to start earlier. The ones made by crossing dual purpose breeds will be a lot like their parents: larger bodies, eggs may not be quite as big, but if they are from hatchery stock still often lay fairly early.

They are 20 weeks old. They are still very young. It is possible they can start as early as 16 weeks, it's possible they may not start for another month or more, even in the middle of summer when days are longer and all that. You are headed into a not so great time of year if you are north of the equator. By talking about Golden Comets I assume you are in North America.

They are 20 weeks old, still really young. I did not see where you said how many you have. The more you have the more likely you will get one to start young. Their combs and wattles turning bright red is a great sign it might not be much longer, but it's just a sign. There are other things that can turn the combs and wattles bright red, at least temporarily. It is still a good sign.

Don't let the time of year concern you too much. That can have an effect but I've had pullets lay their first egg early December, the shortest days of the year. If you listen too closely to people that say there are rules then those pullets broke the rules. My chickens break rules all the time, that's part of what makes watching chicken TV better than anything on cable, dish, or antenna.

Hard as it is, be patient. From what you describe I don't think it will be much longer.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
87,756
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SW Michigan
My Coop
That’s what I was thinking, but man does it hurt sometimes!
Peck them back!!

Have had this happen several times, mostly with hand fed chicks often as they come of age and get spunky. It's pretty easily curbed with calm and deliberate determination.

I peck them back, on the head or anywhere I can reach, with the tips of thumb and first 2 fingers, as hard and fast as many times as I can before they get away. Well, not hard enough to hurt them, just startle them and let them you mean business. That's what another chicken would do, so they understand that kind of communication.

If that doesn't work after a couple applications, I hold them down to the ground with my hand on their back until they submit....again firmly enough to get the job done but not hurt them....add a few finger pecks and/or tug on the feathers on the back of their neck.

 

LateBirdFarms

Songster
Apr 17, 2020
432
818
156
Ontario
The method @aart is suggesting is exactly what I meant, with much greater detail. Follow those instructions and you'll find your flock much more respectful of your position! (And your legs won't look like you were attacked by an angry horde of pinchy kindergartners come summer!) From my personal experience, my girls won't just stop the biting on their own. It never seems malicious, just inquisitive, but your right, it hurts like the dickens!
 

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