The Waiting game

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GPowell, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. GPowell

    GPowell Out Of The Brooder

    39
    1
    34
    Jan 17, 2014
    Eastern North Carolina
    I'm a rookie when it comes to raising chickens. With that being said as of right now my small flock consists of 2 Golden Buff hens. I'm truly facinated by them and find myself just observing them for hours at a time scratching around the frozen back yard. I can tell who the boss of the 2 is already hehehe. Here in Eastern NC we have been going through a cold snap, much like the rest of the country. For the past few days the day time temp hasn't gotten above 40 degrees. The night time lows have been in the teens. When I got my hens the guy said the one was laying and even gave me an egg from her. I go and check the nesting boxes every morning and even put a few golf balls in there to try and get them to go in. It doesn't even seem like there interested in the nesting boxes, or laying at all. I used sawdust and some fresh aspen wood shavings that I stole from my snakes to put in the nesting boxes. Does the cold affect my hens that much to where the won't lay. Should I change out my bedding? Are they still stressed from the move? I know this thread is like beating a dead horse and I apologize. Any help tips or tricks would be great. Thank you.[​IMG]
     
  2. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    5
    63
    Jan 21, 2014
    South central Alaska
    It's not the temps! Our hens were all laying when we had -30 degrees here. The light effects them more than anything, or lack there of. How long have you had them for? Are you sure they're laying? I have never used aspen or wood shavings in our boxes, just straw so I don't know if that would be it or not, I doubt it though. My mother in law uses cedar shavings in hers and that puts off quite an odor!
     
  3. GPowell

    GPowell Out Of The Brooder

    39
    1
    34
    Jan 17, 2014
    Eastern North Carolina
    I have had them for one week today. And to be honest I don't know if they are laying or not, I'm just taking the guys word on it. I have read many posts, threads, and articles about what can affect there egg production or lack there of. I thought about putting up some nest curtains to see if that would help. I believe the bigger of the two is just over a year old, I'm not to sure on the other one but she is a lot smaller in size compared to the other. I do let them free range throughout the day in the yard and I do make sure they have plenty of water to drink. They are on a layer feed I got from tractor supply. I believe they are feeling more comfortable with me being in there presence. their not as nervous with me being around. I know they will lay when they are ready. I would just like to know if its something I did or need to change. I will try and post photos of the nest box a little later.
     
  4. alaskanchickens

    alaskanchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    165
    5
    63
    Jan 21, 2014
    South central Alaska
    I've never experienced a decline or complete stop in laying during the winter but a lot of people on here have. They may just be on their winter strike. Do you supplement any light for them? They need 14-16 hrs of light a day. You can also vent check to see if they're laying. I have buff orpingtons that are all the same age and I swear 1 of them is twice the size of our smallest, non of them are the same size.
     
  5. dave1987

    dave1987 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    23
    Dec 4, 2013
    How many hours of light in a day is what effects laying the most. 14 to 17 hours of light is best. If you have electric in your coop all you need is a 40 watt bulb after the sun sets. Nothing to do with the bedding or the cold. Good luck!
     
  6. dave1987

    dave1987 Out Of The Brooder

    12
    0
    23
    Dec 4, 2013
    I was always taught never to use cedar, just pine or aspen. I've been told that the oils in the cedar that give off its aroma can lead to respiratory illnesses, especially in young birds. I'm like you though, I only use straw, but then again they say not to use straw because it doesn't absorb as much moisture and if left unclean the molds of course can cause a respiratory illness like pneumonia in chickens called aspergillum.
     
  7. GPowell

    GPowell Out Of The Brooder

    39
    1
    34
    Jan 17, 2014
    Eastern North Carolina
    Thank you all for the great advice. I'm hoping that they are on a bit of a winter break lol. As far as my coop goes I don't have any electricity going to it right now, but it is something I might consider.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,832
    5,580
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'd just leave them cooped up for several days, they need to home to the coop and the change may have put them off laying...but they should start up again soon.
     
  9. GPowell

    GPowell Out Of The Brooder

    39
    1
    34
    Jan 17, 2014
    Eastern North Carolina
    I had them cooped up for three days before I let them out into the yard to free range and scratch around. They found my compost pile today and scratched around in that for about an hour or so before they returned to there run area to grab a drink of water. I hope they start laying soon! So basicly let nature run its course and that there shouldn't be any cause for concern at this point.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by