What's up with my girls?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mderose21, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. mderose21

    mderose21 New Egg

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    This is the first time I've ever had chickens. I got 2 if them last April at one day old and the other 4 June 4th at 1 day old. None of them have started laying. They are all on layer feed. Fresh water, a coop with a window. The light comes on at 4 am and goes off at 9pm. What else should I do?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Maybe show them a Popeye’s or Kentucky Fried poster? :confused: But no, you really shouldn’t threaten unless you are willing to back it up. :oops:

    From what you posted I don’t know anything else you can do. They don’t really need Layer. The main difference with Layer and most other feeds is the percent calcium. They don’t really need that calcium until they start to lay. There is nothing in the Layer, calcium or anything else, that will start them laying. The calcium just supports the egg shells once they start.

    How long ago did you start that extra light? It can take a full month from when you add lights until you see eggs. It depends on what stage their internal egg laying factory was in when you started the lights. I butcher a lot of pullets and hens. There is a world of difference in the internal plumbing between a hen that is laying and one that is not even thinking about it. It takes time to change.

    They need a certain amount of protein each day to get them to lay. It’s not what is in one bite, it’s total grams of protein eaten in a day over a time period. If most of what they are eating is that Layer, they are getting plenty of protein but if you are feeding a lot of low protein treats, well you might want to cut back on that a bit.

    I’ve had pullets start laying at 16 weeks. I’ve had pullets that didn’t start until they were a full year old. I’ve had some that laid their first egg at 9 months, in early December without lights on the shortest days of the year in cold weather. They are going to lay when they lay. I understand your frustration but I really don’t see anything else you can do.
     
  3. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! We understand your frustration. We have 50 P RIR pullet/ hens that were purchased this past March 31, as one day olds also (nearly the same age as yours.) and guess what? Out of those 10 who are currently laying, only 5 of them are large egg layers on a somewhat regular basis. Now, our very tiny Old English Game Bantam hen (RBB) lays small eggs every other day! She's our most consistent layer right now- go figure!

    Our girls get layer feed/ daily sunflower seeds and meal worms/ free oystershell/ freerange daily/ garden goodies/ meal scraps and treats- and their coop has a "sunroof." What more could a hen want? However, we are noticing that more have come into lay these last few weeks. Only one of the cockerels of the same age has even started crowing (if you could call what he does crowing) and attempted clumsy mating with the pullets and hens. One hen we saw learned to somersault him off, headfirst into the dirt- pretty funny. lol We're thinking the serious laying might start anytime or wait until spring.

    Start watching for secret hidden nests around your place!
     
  4. mderose21

    mderose21 New Egg

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    Thank you both! I'm getting frustrated but I can't do anything more than I'm doing now... so I'll just wait. Oh.. btw.. my girls are out there right now in the run- which is dark and the light in their coop is on.. wth I don't get these girls... lol
     
  5. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are their combs bright red?? This usually indicates they will be laying soon.
     
  6. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to mention this, but another way to tell if your pullet is becoming to ready to lay is to check the bird's bone spacing near the vent. A one thumb's bone spacing width is close to laying, but two is definitely at the lay point- it would be either laying already or ready.
     
  7. mderose21

    mderose21 New Egg

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    Well I woke up this morning and there were 4 eggs in the nesting boxes!! So 4 out of my 6 have started laying! I'm so fricken excited that I'm dancing! 3 large brown eggs and 1 small light brown egg!! Woohoo!!!


    Thanks everyone!
    Michelle
     

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