Still no eggs...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Annabele, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Annabele

    Annabele Just Hatched

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    I bought my first 4 chickens last Friday, and was told that they are all laying eggs already. But I haven't even seen one yet. Also, they are terrified to go outside. I have a huge yard and want them to be free range, but they refuse to leave the barn. AND one of the chickens is a bully. I have seen her not let others eat as well as peck at them to kick them out of a spot. Here are my chicken problems... Any advice? I spent a good amount of money on these chickens already, and now I'm feeling pretty discouraged.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Do you know how old they are? Are they molting? If you move hens (or they get upset for some other reason), they will often stop laying for quite a while, so them not laying right now is really not that unusual, if they doesn't go into a molt because of the time of the year, they should start up again probably within a couple of weeks. It does take chickens a little while to get used to their new homes, do you know if they were allowed to free range where they came from? If they have ever really seen the outdoors? They should gradually get braver, you might try feeding them some scratch/treats near the door and then throwing some outside to give them some incentive to go through the door. Chickens do have a pecking order and there is usually one chicken who is in charge, and often can act as something of a bully, as long as she is not drawing blood or really hurting the others I would let them work it out... they have to sort them selves into some sort of order since they are in a different group at your house than where they came from. You are sure they are all hens, they didn't give you a roo?
     
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  3. Annabele

    Annabele Just Hatched

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    I was told that they are about 8 months old. And I don't quite understand what molting means... Thanks for all the advice, I will give them more time and try to be more patient... And I'm pretty sure that the are all girls.
     
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  4. Skelley1024

    Skelley1024 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Annabel! We, too just got our 4 little ladies on the weekend. However, ours are doing well in the behaviour department, but they have not laid any eggs either. I was not expecting them to lay for a week or so. Good to know that it may be a bit longer. Good luck to you and hope your girls get comfortable and start endearing themselves to you!!
     
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  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process is a good article on molting. Molting is basically when chickens shed all or some of their feathers and grow new ones.... kind of like a dog or cat shedding their fur. They can either loose feathers a little at a time, or a whole lot at one time. They generally do not lay eggs at that time. BYC has a contest every year for molting pictures, some of them are almost scary https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...-worst-chicken-molt-pictures-fall-winter-2013
     
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  6. Annabele

    Annabele Just Hatched

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    Thank you for all your advice, Kelsie! I don't think they are molting. There are some feathers on the floor, but very few, and I assume that's just what they normally lose?...
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If they are only eight months old, hopefully they are just a little upset from moving and will start laying again pretty soon, they shouldn't decide to really molt. Occasional feathers here and there are normal, some hens do go through partial molts though, a lot of times you don't really notice that until you start seeing pin feathers showing up. Are you able to take and post pictures? It is a little odd that 4 eight month old laying hens haven't laid a single egg if they were laying when you got them, they will usually still lay at least one egg the next day if there was one or so in the works.
     
  8. Annabele

    Annabele Just Hatched

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    I'm thinking maybe the man I bought them form lied about them laying at all? I don't know. I am giving them a few more days, and if there's still nothing, I will be giving them away. So far all they gave me is poop in every square inch of my barn.... = ( I'm thinking I may not be cut out for this chicken stuff....
     
  9. Annabele

    Annabele Just Hatched

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    And they're still terrified of me. They freak out and run into a corner as soon as I come in to the barn.
     
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Can you post pictures of them? Are they contained somehow in the barn/coop? Have you checked everywhere in case they might be laying eggs somewhere? If you are just letting them run around loose, there is a possibility if they are laying they are hiding eggs even if you don't see them leaving.
    Chickens are creatures of habit and moving them to new homes will usually upset them. If he didn't pay much attention to them and they are not used to people, it is pretty normal for them to be terrified of you. It will take a little while for them to get used to you. Just spending lots of time hanging out them and bringing out treats / food as a routine, and you'll probably find many of them will become as tame. Feeding them healthy treats and things they like will help, they won't come up to you right away but if they start to associate you with food they will certainly get friendlier. Most birds, including chickens, don't really like to be petted the occasional one does or at least doesn't mind it. They will usually get used to being picked up, especially if you do it at night, once they get more used to you and most will climb on you if you are sitting on the grass with them feeding them, some will fly or jump on you for food.
     

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