We're at 24 weeks and no eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sappysgirls, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Sappysgirls

    Sappysgirls New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2014
    First off I'm new to having chickens and so far it's been great and we love our girls. They just turned 24 weeks this weekend and I have no eggs yet...and they have started to roost in the nesting boxes! I let the free range during the day...I've been checking around to make sure they are not laying I around the house...any words of wisdom for a newbie?
     
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Well, depending on the breed.... 24 weeks is the perfect time to start laying, BUT it is now fall.

    (If you are in the Northern hemisphere)

    So, each day is shorter than the last. Some breeds are much more sensitive to this than others....

    Sooooooooooo

    They take much longer to mature in the dark days of fall, and sometimes wont lay at all until spring time.


    If you do not want to be that patient, then you can give them some light (be VERY careful that you do not create a fire hazard). I think you need to give them 14 hours of light each day to get them to lay in the fall.

    :welcome
     
  3. Sappysgirls

    Sappysgirls New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2014
    We are in Va so fall has been in full swing for awhile now and since the time change it really makes the days feel so short. We have a mixed flock of Barded Rock, White Rock, Australorp and Easter eggers...one big happy flock! Lol. Would you recommend a regular light or would a heat lamp work? Thank you for your help!
     
  4. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and welcome,
    I added a rope light to my hen house and did not notice any increase in egg production.
    Dust can cause fires (explodes) given the perfect set of circumstances.
    I set my light to come on in the mornings and let the flock go to bed with normal sunset.

    Sounds like you have a nice flock
    I wish there were fewer predators, I would love to let mine out all day every day.

    John
     
  5. Sappysgirls

    Sappysgirls New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2014
    John, thank you! We have a German Shepard & an English Setter that keep a sharp eye out for preditors...so far so good! I think I'm going to have to start keeping them hemmed in a little more they are roaming a little to far. Also I'm afraid they might start laying in the woods...that would most certainly attract unwanted attention.
     
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I would recommend a regular light.

    You do not need the heat a heat lamp would produce, and the fire hazard is much higher if you use a heat lamp instead of a regular light.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    If you free range:
    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 2-3 days can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it.



    Roosting in nests is a bad habit you want to break them of asap. Your roost should be at least a foot higher than the nests:
    My experience was that I had some pullets that the older birds wouldn't let roost with them so the pullets wanted to roost in the nests. I put up another roost just a couple inches lower than the main roost and began removing the pullets from the nests after dark and putting them on their roost. Did that for a couple nights, then started going in at dusk and poking them in butt if they got into the nests(I have 'outside the coop' access to my nests boxes so this was easy). Pretty soon all I had to do was walk in and they would leave the nest and go to the roost so they didn't get poked in the butt. Took about 3 weeks total before they got in the habit of always roosting on the roosts instead of in the nests



    Adding light can take weeks to have an effect:
    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.
     
  8. Sappysgirls

    Sappysgirls New Egg

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    Jul 21, 2014
    Aart--Thank You! I'm going to have to change my coop design because my nesting boxes are about the same height as my roost. That's what I get for assuming the guy that built my coop knew what he was doing! Lol. Thank you for the great advice!
     
  9. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our first flock didn't lay an egg until over 26 weeks. They are silver Spangled Hamburgs, and I know it varies between breeds, but it sounds like you're getting close. Our girls love to lay eggs in rotted out tree stumps, bramble piles and any other very inconvenient spot. Lol!

    it's a challenge to find eggs when you allow them to free range, but if you do a little detective work, you'll find them. :)
     
  10. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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