Two chickens laying, two aren't laying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kcatl, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. kcatl

    kcatl New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    I have four chickens—a buff orpington, rhode island red, a silver-laced wyandotte and a gold-laced wyandotte. They're all healthy and have plenty of space to roam, plenty of food (organic layer feed, scratch, vegetable scraps and some meal worm treats among other yummy things). We got them in early April of 2016 as pullets (between 8-12 weeks respectively)

    The rhode island red and buff have been laying since mid-summer and are pretty regular, usually 1-2 per day depending on the daylight hours. We're in Colorado so the days are short here in the winter. But the wyandottes are STILL not laying. They are definitely (or seem to be) full grown and of laying age, but we're not getting a single egg from them. I love them and they're beautiful birds but I can't keep paying for their organic feed and treats with no eggs in return. Any thoughts on what might be up with them or how to get them going?

    We've placed golf balls in the nesting box and with the other two laying figured it would only be a matter of time, but no dice. Help please!
     
  2. newhenintown

    newhenintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 22, 2016
    Hayden, Al
    Some chickens mature and start laying at different times then other chickens. Some may start real fast and others may need some extra time. Kinda like kids; this one may know how to do something that that one hasn't caught onto yet. It can also depend on the breed, some are slower then others. I wouldn't call it quits on them yet. Are they squatting when you approach them from behind? Who knows, they could be working on some eggs while we speak or it can take a little more time do to the shorter days. Some hens wont lay at all until spring rolls back around.
     
  3. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2015
    Montana
    Do they free range? Any chance they could be hiding their eggs? I've got a black Australorp who never lays in the coop if she can help it. She waits til she's let out to free range and finds somewhere to hide and lay her eggs. I just found 11 eggs underneath a kayak, which is upside down. No idea how she smashed herself under there.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    First of all, just because they are all the same age does not mean that they will develop at the same rate. Secondly, layer is for actively laying birds only. And it's intended to be the primary source of nutrition, with extras not exceeding 10% of the total daily diet. Starting layer feed before onset of lay can actually slow down development, as can feeding too many treats.
    Get them back on a higher protein starter or grower feed, and cut way back on the extras. Leave some crushed oyster shell out for the ones that are laying.
     
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  5. kcatl

    kcatl New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    Ok thanks for the tips. They're currently all in the same coop/run and getting crushed oyster shells on occasion. They free range in the yard from time to time, but not everyday. I'll check in that area for any hidden eggs!

    The farm we bought them from suggested we start with grower, which we did and then transition to layer, which we also did as soon as the two began laying. Would I have to separate them to transition the two slowpokes back on the grower feed?
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Grower is safe for everybody. In fact, the higher protein content can actually boost productivity, and helps reduce the chances for egg eating and feather picking.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    It should also be noted that you don't ever have to feed layer feed. There is no magic ingredient in it that makes them lay. It's got a lower protein content (just barely enough for egg production) and a lot more calcium, which can be very harmful to non-laying birds.
     
  8. kcatl

    kcatl New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2016
    Denver, Colorado
    So would it be safe to add more grower to the existing feed for all the chickens in hopes of encouraging the non-layers?
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Remove the layer feed entirely and only offer grower.
     

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