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UPDATE - now almost 6 weeks after getting new laying hens, but they are still not laying!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by raisechickens, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. raisechickens

    raisechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I recently built a new chicken coop (coop is 4x8, run is 12x8). I started off with 3 barred rock pullets (oldest around 20 weeks old at the time) and 3.5 weeks ago I purchased 4 easter egger hens and 1 easter egger rooster. I have yet to get a single egg out of any of them.

    Even after almost a month when I let them out in the afternoons to free range the 3 barred rocks stay together and the 5 easter eggers stay together. They do not "socialize" with each other at all. The rooster chases the oldest barred rock (she has a fully developed and bright red comb but still not laying) but other than that not much interaction. Same in the coop on the roost. They do chase each other a little in the run during the day but nothing major.

    After building a new coop I just knew that I'd have eggs within a couple of weeks. Now that it's been almost a month and I don't have a single egg to show for it I'm beginning to wonder how long this may take.

    I've read countless threads on this site about stress, moving chickens, pecking order changes, feed availability (feed and water are available 24/7), daylight changes, etc.

    I guess my question is this - has anyone experienced something similar, and this time of year how long should it take before I see my first egg? Can't wait for the day I open that nest box and see an egg laying in it.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are the easter eggers?
    The barred rocks are still a bit youngish for the time of year to expect them to kick in.
    If your EEs are at least 20 weeks old and you add about 3 hours of light to the coop in the morning, they'll probably all start up in a couple weeks.

    I have no idea where you live and latitude matters, especially this time of year. But here, we're only getting about 11.5 hours of light and it gets shorter every day. That signals them NOT to lay eggs.

    All those other things you mentioned matter. They are two separate flock and may always be, they certainly won't likely be fast friends.
    Flock dynamics are a crucial element.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  3. raisechickens

    raisechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the reply ChickenCanoe. The EE's were already laying when I bought them. I believe the guy I bought them from since one of the hens had a bare spot on her back from the rooster "holding on" to her. Also, I live in Northwest Arkansas and we're getting roughly the same amount of sunlight as you. I'll add a light on a timer to the coop and have it come on in the mornings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  4. raisechickens

    raisechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I just installed a light so I'll see if that helps, but it's now been almost 6 weeks since I bought them and they are not laying. A rhode island red picked up a couple weeks ago started laying on Saturday and hasn't missed a day yet. The EE's still have a pinkish comb and my EE rooster and Barred Rock rooster do not attempt to mate with them. Any other thoughts? My wife says I bought "defective" chickens. I laughted at that a couple weeks ago but now I think she may have been joking but on to something. Maybe I just need to be more patient, but 6 weeks of no eggs out of non-moulting, full grown hens seems like a very long time to wait.
     
  5. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of thoughts -

    Two roosters sounds like way too many for 7 hens and pullets. Even if you're not seeing much interaction, they may be pursuing the hens enough to stress them.

    EE can sometimes be more temperamental about egg laying than RIR and barred rocks. Sometimes their egg laying increases or decreases in response to weather, temperature, and light more than it does for other breeds. So, it's possible the EE are done laying for the fall/winter season. If they're 2+ years old, this may very well be the case.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Chickens can take patience....it can be feast or famine.
    The EE's may be molting...or any of them may be laying out in range area.

    Light should be ramped up slowly...sudden drastic changes in lighting is just another 'stressor'.
    Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    If the EE's were older layers, they are likely molting, like aart mentioned. The other possibility is you were lied to about their age. (not necessarily intentionally) Also, every bird matures at it's own rate, so you will have some that take their dear sweet time starting to lay. They will lay when their bodies are ready.

    Do you have any pictures of them?
     
  8. raisechickens

    raisechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I have pics of two of them. [​IMG]
     
  9. raisechickens

    raisechickens Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]
     
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    The 2nd one looks like she could be molting, her neck feathers look a bit thin. Take a peek and see if you see pins in there, with feathers coming out of the pins. They both are pretty pale in face coloring.
     

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