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what are the biggest factors to make hens lay eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bonescrub, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. bonescrub

    bonescrub In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    South east texas
    I have had 5 hens (born around may/june 2008) and I finally got my first egg. Discovered it yesterday morning. So it was laid from monday morning to Wednesday morning.

    I feed them laying pellets and a little bit of oyster shell.

    What are the factors that would prevent them from laying? Seems they are over due from what i have read. I was about to give up on them laying at all. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  2. Eastins Eggs

    Eastins Eggs Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    Ceresco Nebraska
    They need at least 14 hours of light per day. One 60 watt bulb on a timer should work.
  3. Using artificial lightiNG to give hens a long day length no matter what the season will help your hens to lay .
    . The amount of artificial light needed will be less in summer and more in winter. Also, keep the disturbances to a minimum.
    If they dont get enough calcium in the layer ration they may not lay.
    Occasionally, a feed mixing error causes important nutrients like salt to be left out of the diet. Insufficient dietary salt will depress egg production.
    In some areas, your well water may have too much dissolved sodium, which also will stop egg production.
    Hope that helps some.
  4. jhc

    jhc In the Brooder

    May 25, 2007
    Follow the above instructions and they should be fine.
  5. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    If they are around 6 months old they seem right on time..... like the others said short days and cold weather will effect egg laying !!!

    Put a light on a timer and give them 14 hours a day (if your coop gets light inside during the day you will only have to add light in the morn and night) !!! I wouldnt leave the light on 24/7 doing so could cause problems in the flock !! It will take about 2 weeks for the extra light to start working !!

    Good luck, also remember that "new" layers might/will be slow at first so if you only get eggs off and on for a little while thats ok !!
  6. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Light light light! Good info here.
  7. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I would also add that with heavier breeds it takes longer to lay. Some of my BBS Orps took up to 8 months. I've heard silkies take about that long too. My lone sinkie hen that is laying now did.
  8. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Songster

    Sep 30, 2008
    Quote:Is there a simple test for this? Our well water is kinda hard and we dont use a softener.

    Mike D
  9. Quote:From what I have learned and experienced with my own flock...here's what affects laying both positively and negatively...in a nutshell...

    Sex (duh)

    Sex is pretty much a no-brainer. You aren't gonna get eggs from a roo no matter if the rest is in line. But some roos are cleverly disguised. Mine had small, barely distinct saddle feathers. A small pale comb and a very weak, almost strangled crow. Could have easily been mistaken for grumble of an upset hen. He did though have two long saddle feathers that grew in on either side eventually. Well, to be clear, three of my four were obviously male. The one I am talking about is the fourth questionable one. They are all living happy lives in new homes now.

    Environment...are their physical needs met? Do they have someplace safe and secure to nest down to lay their eggs? My nesting area was somewhat open inside their coop. Once I evaluated the nest box I'd built for my convenience and sense of aesthetics and looked at their needs instead, eventually replacing with an extra long milk crate on it's side, I began getting rewarded with eggs. They have trained me well. Are they protected from the elements? Are they neither too hot nor too cold? Are they blocked from the worst of the wind? Are they given enough warmth and light? Do they have room to stretch their wings and legs?

    Health...another no-brainer to me. Happy healthy chickens equals happy healthy eggs. Look them over. Make sure they aren't fighting off a disease or infection. Easier said than done I have found. It's not as if Hennrietta will say to me "Mom, I don't feel so good...." But by watching them and knowing what is normal from them, I feel secure knowing when they are in best health and when they are not. Is she mentally stressed or physically stressed? Is she in a molt?

    Feed...are they getting a well balanced amount of nutrients and such? A steady diet of one single food may not be the best for them, at least as I have found for my girls. Mine seem to do best with their layer crumbles, augmented by greens, and misc vegetable treats. They also get to pick clean the shells of my hubby's seafood dinners, they get to share the left overs of his tuna steaks as well. I grind their shells back to them as free choice in a seperate container. They also might get a little left over rice or pasta as well now and again. Having access to clean water is very important too.

    Some breeds seem to lay later than others. And individuals within a breed also seem to lay on their own schedules. Siblings from the same clutch can vary wildly in their laying ability too. One may be a laying machine, and the other might not lay but one or two sporadically.

    And lastly age...are they old enough to lay? Are they...er...advanced in years? Nothing but time itself can control that.

    Anyway, it's what I have observed with my own girls. I may or may not be at all accurate. And that's the answer I have for the question I saw asked. I can't be sure this will be helpful to you, i don't know the specifics of your area, your water supply, etc etc etc. Just sharing what I have found.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
    1 person likes this.
  10. sandypaws

    sandypaws Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    mrs... pretty much summed it up.. yes you never said what BREED you have... i got my chicks in june,, and none of my OEG or andelusians are laying.. only 1/2 of my EEs.. and my marans, minorca JUST started to lay..

    i feed "lay pellet".. scratch.. kitten food (when moulting or cold) and ALL the table scraps out of the house ALL of it... (except avaocado, onions, cocoa)

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