What am I doing wrong!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by loveacatahoula, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. loveacatahoula

    loveacatahoula Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2011
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    My husband and I got some golden comets that were about a week old at the end of March. It is now October and I haven't gotten a single egg. They seem to not care at all about the nest boxes. All they do is eat and eat and eat. I am feeding them a good quality laying pellets that I get from Tractor Supply. They have fresh water and plenty of nesting boxes. The only thing I have not done is put the nesting boxes on a shelf in the coop as my husband hasn't put the shelf up, so I just have them setting on the floor by the perches. There is no evidence that they have even attempted to sit in the nesting boxes as the straw is still fluffy in each of them. Am I using the wrong materal for the boxes? What do you recommend putting in the boxes? My husband says that he doesn't want to keep spending money on feed for them if they aren't going to produce eggs and that he would rather have them in the freezer so that we can at least get some nourishment, but I know he is all talk cause he likes them as much as I do, but I need them to lay eggs!!
     
  2. JeffOeuf

    JeffOeuf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they confined or do you let them out during the day? It is possible they're laying, but not where you want them to.

    Do they look healthy and fit? Shiny feathers? Bright comb and wattles? Bright, inquisitive eyes? If yes, then look for eggs around. If not, evaluate your feed and water regimen.
     
  3. loveacatahoula

    loveacatahoula Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2011
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    I can't let them free range because there are to many stray dogs, cats, foxes and other predators around. So we got them confined in a massive fenced in area with a huge coop. They have gorgous feathers that are extremely shiny, bright eyes, and good combs. I swear they are just defective!
     
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are only a little over 6 months old. They really aren't late yet. I know it is hard to wait and you want them to start ASAP but like all ladies, chicken ladies mature at their own pace. 6 months is an average not a rule. In my experience my hens have started laying between 5 and 8 months. This is all in a normal range. I believe you will have eggs soon.

    I would caution against feeding laying feed to non laying birds. Laying feed does not help birds start laying, it is for birds who ARE laying. It has calcium in it and over time calcium can build up in birds that have no way to expel it through egg production. This can lead to kidney problems and to egg shell production problems if they eat it too long.

    I would store your layer feed in a dry place for now and buy some non-medicated grower or flock raiser and a bag of calcium (oyster shell on the side). The chickens will not eat the calcium unless they need it if that is an option. This way as you birds start to lay they have the calcium they need but your non layers are not getting what they don't need.

    Once ALL of your birds are laying finish up the grower feed you have then pull out that layer you already bought.

    When they get ready to lay their combs should turn bright red. They will not be interested in the boxes until then. They may lay their first eggs randomly and they may look odd. That is all normal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    These birds are 27-28 weeks old, I think she can feed layer safely.
     
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's a personal preference. They will most likely start laying very soon and a little bit of layer before they start laying isn't that big of a deal. But, in my personal opinion why risk it? There are healthy, safe alternatives that, if you plan right, won't cost you anything extra. I had a late blooming silkie who was born on the 1st of the year and didn't start laying until this week. I would not have wanted her to be ingesting calcium this whole time on a guess. It really is not good for her.

    I wait until I see eggs before switching.
     
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Definitely is a personal choice. I have started layer at 16-20 weeks for the past 20 years & have had no problems. Just saying 27-28 weeks is not starting layer early IMHO.
     
  8. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 11 golden comets that I got days old the first of April. They started laying at 14 weeks. Not all of them! They are all laying now. I got 11 out of 11 today. At first I was getting 1-2 then the next week 3-4 and so on. I went through the soft eggs, and I even had one lay a no shell egg. I started my chickens out on laying mash, when I noticed them starting to squat. Do any of your girls squat yet? Have you checked them for worms or other parasites?I feed my girls laying mash mixed with pulverized eggs shell, in a feeder in their coop, give them clean water everyday, and every morning they get oatmeal with fruit or vegies in it. They love their oatmeal! I have even mixed yogurt with it. Stand back because that is very messy to watch them eat it! Meyer hatchery told me that the oatmeal promotes larger eggs, and I believe they are right because I don't get any more tiny eggs like in the beginning. How many do you have and how much space do they have? I would check for parasites and or make sure they aren't molting.
     
  9. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would check real close their run, I bet they have a hiding place. Or they are laying and something is eating their eggs before you get them!
     
  10. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you are not doing anything wrong. It is hard to wait when you know they should be laying or at least starting any day. I find that my hen like o lay under there boxes so having them on the floor is not bad. just have patience
     

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