UGH! My hens are not laying!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mwewe, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Mwewe

    Mwewe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2016
    I have 4 hens. A Buff Orpington, a Brown Leghorn, and two Easter Eggers. (Ones' mix being 75% Ameraucana, 25% BCM... I hatched her)

    The hen I hatched turned 6 months old yesterday 10-29. and the other 3 are 4-7 days older than her.

    I know that Easter Eggers can be late bloomers, but neither have started laying yet.

    The Brown Leghorn started laying September 15th, and I got about 10 eggs from her before she just stopped completely... No eggs since.
    I already don't like this one much because she's not a Welsummer, which I bought her as, and you can tell now just based off her temperament. She's not a pet chicken like the others and dislikes people, was a BIG escape artist as they're free range (but a 5ft fence and wing clipping solved that). And she lays white eggs. I wanted a colorful basket.
    I read that they are prolific egg-layers, and that once they start laying they don't stop...

    The Buff Orpington started laying early October, and she's been pretty consistent. Today is her 3rd day laying in a row (she's about to lay as I'm writing this).

    Will my Easter Eggers start laying ever?
    What's wrong with the Brown Leghorn??
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have supplementary lighting in the coop? I think pullets will lay either way, but that may help get them going. It does take some time for new layers to get going, so patience may be in order. Also check around well and see if they're laying eggs somewhere besides the nest boxes. That has happened to me many times.

    Your EE sounds mostly Ameraucana, and I have a few Ameraucanas that have taken forever to start laying. I don't have experience with Brown Leghorns, but I wonder if they are as good of layers are White Leghorns? They may not be.
     
  3. Mwewe

    Mwewe Out Of The Brooder

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    A little bit of background info.

    I hatched Einstein, she was the only one out of 8, so I bought 3 chicks for her as companions as she wouldn't stop screaming. If you held her she'd stop, but other than that it was constant noise. I figured she was lonely. They included the BO, Leghorn, and an EE. The EE died unexpectedly 2-3 days later (which really freaked me out because I thought I'd lose all the chicks). The rest were unphased, so I adopted another EE from a friend of a friend who got her and decided not to keep her after a week.

    They lived in my room until about 7-8 weeks, before they were moved outside. They had free range of the whole backyard until they started pooping all over the patio/furniture.
    I got 5' fencing to make their enclosure.
    The enclosure itself is 30' by 15' so 450sq ft for 4 birds. They have tree cover, dirt, and grass (which they're destroying [​IMG]) .
    The coop itself is a child's playhouse that we converted. It has a perch, pine bedding on the floor, and a couple of boxes (that don't get used). They go in at night on their perch, and I'll close the door. In the morning they simply push the door open and have access to fresh water and organic layer pellets.
    They are never locked up.

    Treats include hardboiled egg, egg shells, crickets, mealworms, berries, grapes, tomatoes, cheese, meat (sparingly), and whatever table scraps they'll actually eat. They can be very picky and generally hate their vegetables. But leaves in the backyard are pretty great [​IMG]

    They've been to the vet, at about 3-4 months old, and were given a clean bill of health. He called them chunky, and asked if they were show chickens because they're so calm. I got a fecal test done which came back negative, but they talked me into buying dewormer before I got the results back because I brought in what looked like a tapeworm. The results came back 1-2 days later, so I never gave them the medicine. Good news, but $80 down the drain.

    They are all friendly and social (aside from the leghorn but she's getting better). They love to be held and pet, will jump up on you, and go for car rides with me while sitting in my lap. They go places (mainly the BO and Darwin the adopted EE). I'm raising the BO to be a therapy animal for veterans, and maybe one or both the EE.

    They live a pretty comfortable life as far as chickens go. During the day they're protected by my dogs, a pitbull and a shepherd mix. I've seen a hawk looking at them once or twice, but the chickens are bigger than it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Indiana
    It sounds like they have a great life! It's just the nature of some chickens to start and stop laying whenever they like, and often has little to do with how healthy or happy they are.
     
  5. Mwewe

    Mwewe Out Of The Brooder

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    No supplemental lighting. We have landscape lighting that comes on at dusk and goes off at 1am, but that's about it. The coop is pretty open in terms of what light comes in, and they're out and about as soon as the sun comes up. I live in Southern California.

    There aren't many places for them to hide eggs in the enclosure. The Leghorn did like to escape and lay them by the trash cans on the other side of the gate, but she's too big to fit through the hole she got out of now, and I checked all back there. On the other gate where there is no fencing, she hops over the 24" wiring and through the gate when she thinks there's food, but there isn't a spot to lay. It's all concrete for 40ft, and I have never seen her go beyond the concrete to the side yard (I'm sure she'd go missing for hours hunting up her own food, leghorns are great foragers).

    I do understand that it takes time, but for the Leghorn to lay consistently almost every day and then stop for 3-4 weeks seems very weird to me. They all act very healthy.

    All of them do "squatting" when we go to pick them up. The Leghorn does it the most, then Darwin the adopted EE, Pascal the BO, and finally Einstein the 75% Ameraucana does it the least.
     
  6. Mwewe

    Mwewe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2016
    [​IMG]

    Picture of the two EE and the Brown Leghorn from today. The BO was in the coop laying.
    Einstein is the black one (75% Ameraucana)
    Darwin the adopted EE.
    Hawking the Leghorn.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Check the leghorns vent and pelvic bone spacing.....if positive for laying,
    confine them to coop for a few days to a week to make absolutely sure she's not laying elsewhere.

    Vent:
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     

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