True confession about my so-called "egg laying machines"...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BigDaddy'sGurl, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    I hate white leghorns. There. I said it. [​IMG]

    I bought 4 on December 3rd as an early gift to myself. They were 26 weeks old then and came from a "poultry farm" less than an hour away. Within 24 hours, 3 had laid and I thought, "Wow! Those leghorns are the greatest!"

    Fast forward nearly a month. Total egg count to date from these "egg laying machines"? 8. That's right. You got it. 8. Not 80, 8. Need it spelled to get my drift? E-I-G-H-T. TOTAL.

    I feed them high protein layer food, I supplement with oyster shell, offer treats at a minimum, feeder of layer crumbles full and water at all times. Approx 15 hours of light a day, dry straw-filled coop and good-sized run, and no eggs from them for over 2 weeks.

    They should not be going through a big molt at their age, and none are losing feathers. One does have a slightly swollen eye and runny nose, but she is isolated and being treated. My other chickens aren't really laying either: my andalusian is still re-growing feathers from a molt, my silkie just doesn't seem to lay in the winter, my gold comet laid once nearly 2 weeks ago and has not "performed" since (which I attribute to her being a newbie to laying) but my BR seems to still be doing pretty well...she is down from 6 a week to 4 or 5.

    Wish I had a bunch of BRs instead of 1 but I digress...

    Have I mentioned that I hate white leghorns? [​IMG]

    Another reason I feel such despise for these "chickens": they are PANICKY. All of my birds were calm, friendly and inquisitive. Until I brought in the leghorns. Now, the moment I enter the run to feed, water, ANYTHING they fly about squawking and frantic until they now have all the chickens reacting similarly; like I'm gonna squeeze their heads off! I have never made a bad move against these birds! Yet they will throw themselves, yes literally throw themselves against the roof of the run in fear and even hurl themselves into my face as they seek to escape me! I wish to goodness I had seen past the promises of lots of eggs from this breed and researched their dispositions before I bought them!

    No offense to loving white leghorn owners out there, but are there any other prolific layers of white eggs that are less flighty and more friendly? I wanted to have brown egg layers and white egg layers but these chickens have ruined me for leghorns, period.
  2. Ms.FuzzyButts

    Ms.FuzzyButts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2009
    North Alabama
    It is highly possible they aren't laying because of the change in location. If I do anything, and I mean anything, different in the coop or on the outside of the coop they will stop laying for days, possibly weeks.. Chickens tend to be creatures of habit. Change it, and their perfect little world crumbles around them as if the world were coming to an end.. I only have one leghorn, but ALL of my chickens stop laying in the face of change. Go figure..... [​IMG]
  3. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    You're probably right but I have had them nearly a month! And they were laying to start with? I just don't like these birds at this point...thanks for your input, though...if they were at least marginally friendlier I would be much more patient, but after almost a month of constant effort on my part (treats, just sitting nearby so they will see I am no threat and they have gotten to where they will let me get within 10 feet of the outside of the run without panic) to non-intrusively tame them, they are still as wild as all "get out". Ugghhh.
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I think leghorns are really birds you need to raise from chicks - mine are sweet and are not flighty at all. but they were my first chicks so they were babied to death.. [​IMG] And they are still laying eggs each and every day (they are about 8 months old). Are you sure they aren't ill?
  5. River Rats

    River Rats Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2010
    I love my leghorns. I've got 53 chickens and my leghorns are the best layers by far. Wish I had more.
  6. vebyrd36

    vebyrd36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 28, 2010
    New Ringgold Pa
    I 2 that I do not care for them. I currently have a pair of brown leghorns, they are so flighty, and are sometines a pain in the backside.
  7. maizey

    maizey Chillin' With My Peeps

    if they were from a big commercial poultry farm then I can understand why they are reacting like they are...its like getting an abused shelter dog. I would expect them to have some issues from that kind of upbringing. I can certainly understand your patience getting thin with them, but maybe they will mellow out with a bit more time and good treatment. Good luck to you.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They are egg laying machines, and also panic makers. The older ones you might have may be older than you think or have stopped for the winter. I say pick up three chicks in the spring and handle them more than you think they can handle. They will always be panicky, but hand raised, they will also be the first at the door, first at your feet, and first to any treats. For me, they lay great for the first two years before slowing down.

    The reason they probably laid the first day there was because the egg was already in the chute so to say.

    Many "farm raised, big operation" birds are flighty, "docile" breeds included. They just don't get the attention they get when raised in small bunches.
  9. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Quote:This is my experience - mine follow me around like dogs.. [​IMG]
  10. Charlene

    Charlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2008
    I'm 1st generation Chinese and my dad loves to tell the story about how the Europeans sold all these white egg laying chickens to the Chinese (who thought the white eggs were cool). And then the chickens promptly flew off into the hills. I'm assuming these were the predecessors of white leghorns. Sorry!

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