What am I doing wrong.....5 hens, 1 egg a day.....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MTFarm, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. MTFarm

    MTFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2010
    New member from Oklahoma hoping I can find out what to do differently.

    We've recently moved and have had chickens at our new place for several weeks now. We have a small acreage and for the last few days I've gone ahead and let our hens range during the day and I shut them in at night in our chicken tractor. This is what we did at our old place and it worked well for us. I was worried about dogs and them ranging too far and onto neighbors' property so I had them a run attached to the tractor and I moved the whole setup periodically. But we went ahead and let them out over the weekend and they did well so I'm back to our old free-range setup, which we prefer.

    The problem is we have five hens and are getting one egg a day. It's coming from our one sex-link hen. When we got her we also got a RIR from the same guy and she was laying for him. I believe the first day we had her she layed one egg from the roost onto the ground and we haven't had one from her since.

    We got the other three birds together and they were supposedly laying or close, but I think two are too young just yet and one probably should be laying or really close. I'm not too terribly concerned about the younger birds, but feel like for certain the RIR hen that came when we got the sex link should be laying and possibly the oldest of the other three. Sorry for the long story, but hoped the info would help explain our situation.

    At our other place we had different birds and did well with the birds and with egg production, thought we would with our new setup as well, but.....????

    The birds are now free range as I mentioned and before that they had a run that I moved routinely to new grass (so I know for sure that only one bird was/is laying). They have layer feed available and seem to like to mix it and foraging. The sex link lays nicely in the nest box and I've seen other birds in there at times.

    Thanks for any help, pics below. If I need to just wait, fine by me. If I'm doing something that I could do better, I'd love the advice. THANKS!!!

    The laying bird in front:
    [​IMG]

    One that I think should definitely be laying on the left with the other three younger birds next to her [​IMG]

    The 'flock':
    [​IMG]

    Our 'tractor':
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  2. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    If they have been moved in the last few weeks, it may be that they are not laying because they are settling in to their new home. It could take them a while to start again, I brought home a few hens from down the street and they stopped laying for four months. Then I got some others and they laid eggs the same day. It depends on the bird, I guess.

    Also, check to see if they are laying their eggs in hidden places in your yard.
     
  3. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    dido what Ariel said. If you are in a new place, they may not be used to the location of the nesting boxes and be laying elsewhere in the yard. They might not be going back to the tractor to lay.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  4. MTFarm

    MTFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions so far.

    The birds have been in their current location for several weeks now and they were in the tractor/run solely up until a few days ago. Unless more started laying in the last couple of days, hidden eggs aren't a/the problem.

    The hen that is laying is still using the next box reliably, hopefully if/when others start they will follow her lead. Hoping it's just a need for patience, seems odd though especially on that one hen in particular. Might just take longer than I think though.
     
  5. First, you don't seem to be doing anything wrong. Good for you!
    Second, neither do your pullets.
    After a move it is fairly common for some if not all of them to slack off laying the eggs. Also to note in your second picture, the three to the right, don't seem to quite have the devolped combs you typically see in layers. I think a couple may be laying soon though. Also it is very likely that they are laying in and around your property. Go treasure hunting and see what you come up with.
    Side note. Give them some added protein for a few days. Maybe mealworms, lasagna, scrambled eggs or the like.
     
  6. MTFarm

    MTFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2010
    Thank you for the encouragement. Since we did well with a similar setup in the past, I was thinking things should be ok. It keeps you wondering though.

    They seem to be enjoying ranging outside of the tractor/run, but still no eggs except from our sex-link.

    Watch and wait........
     

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