When oh WHEN will these silly hens start laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chotii, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. Chotii

    Chotii Songster

    I have pullets who are now 5 1/2 and 7 months old. No eggs.

    The oldest, a Cuckoo Maran, has the full tall - indeed, so tall it flops over - comb, bright red face and wattles, and the deep body of a mature hen.

    The white leghorn has a well grown, 'cherry' comb.

    No eggs.

    For mercy's sake, when will these girls start to pay their own way? [​IMG]

    I've taken to asking them, every morning, when they plan on beginning to justify their existence. They don't answer, cheeky things.
     
  2. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Can you post some pictures of your birds?
     
  3. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Wisconsin
    I'm in the same boat as you. Wait. Wait. Wait. That's all I do. [​IMG]
     
  4. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    The waiting is the hardest part, I've been there. Not to worry, it should'nt be too long now. [​IMG]
     
  5. nicalandia

    nicalandia Crowing

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    without artificial lighting the hens will start laying at latter age, expect yours about 8 months..
     
  6. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    IS their protein good, they're all on laying mash with few grains, and all have oyster shell free choice?
     
  7. Chotii

    Chotii Songster

    They're on commercial layer crumbles mixed with developer crumbles. No, no oyster shell, but the guys at the feed store informed me it's not needed (?) as it's added in the crumble. The protein should be good, certainly. I'm giving them a damp mash of crumbles in the morning ( 1 1/2 cups of dry, with water mixed in) between the 3 of them, plus free-choice dry all day.

    You can see the Golden Sex Link still is looking thin, but I can see her comb is starting to 'cherry' I think you called it? The other two really only grew their combs, really GREW them, in the last 2 weeks. Neither of them do the 'good girl squat' yet, they just zip away from me if I reach toward them.

    Just TRY to get posed pictures. [​IMG] I erased more action-blurred shots off my digital camera, trying to get a good still shot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  8. The Zoo

    The Zoo Songster

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    I'm waiting for my EE to lay too - she's only 20 weeks but I'm dying to see her first egg!!!
     
  9. Preservation Acres

    Preservation Acres Songster

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    I have four that have that bright red color now, they're right at laying age, and now they're all molting. Who knows when they'll lay now. Winter's around the corner.
     
  10. threehorses

    threehorses Songster

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    Quote:I used to believe the guys at the feedstores, too. They say the calcium is built into the layer. but the calcium that is built into the layer is about 6-8:1. Some layers need as much as 15:1 but the feed manufacturers can't force that amount on the scientifically average hen. So they give a good safe average and leave it to us to supply the rest. that's why oyster shell should be given free choice from a month before laying until the death of a hen. It's a bioavailable and easily dissolved source of calcium and hens will pick it up instinctively if they know they need more towards the higher range of calcium than the lower range.

    I've learned this both from experience and thereafte from reading up on 'why'. My hens would be on the premium layer, straight - no grains to throw off the balance, all the best foods and sometimes still have a leather egg. Whenever I provided calcium, they all had perfect eggs. The ones that don't need it won't eat it. The ones that do need it no longer retain eggs. I have 0% issues with laying and have for the last 10 years as long as I stuck with the oyster shell. So I'd highly recommend it, from my flock to yours.

    I see that lovely "cherry" comb. Boy I love that stage in a hen. It's so full of promise! Her comb is still a bit small, should be more like your white before she starts. Your barred bird looks fabulous. I'm surprised she's not laying yet. Maybe the shell will help.

    They look happy and lovely and clean. [​IMG]
     

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