Why aren't my Araucanas laying (or are they eating their eggs)?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mainevic, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. mainevic

    mainevic New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2012
    Freeport, Maine
    We have 8 laying hens - 2 RI reds, 2 barred rocks, 2 golden laced wyandottes, and two Araucanas. We've had chickens for four years now, so we weren't suprised when the brown eggs began appearing about 4 1/2 months after we got our chicks. The girls figured out how to use the nesting boxes (we have three), and all was well. But the now 6 1/2 month-old big, beautiful Araucanas are laying nothing! We've found one blue egg in the coop, which was cracked. I've raked the pen. I've checked the boxes multiple times a day... I'm just confused. My only guess is that they're eating them immediately. But I don't know how to curb that if I never see them at it. Is it possible they're barely laying? thanks for any advice...
     
  2. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am wondering if they were just a little later to come into egg laying. Breeds vary on how long it takes to begin laying eggs regular. Now we are into winter. Most chickens stop or drastically reduce laying in the winter. If you have a light in your coop you might want to try leaving it on from 5pm- 9pm to get them some extra light, it might get them laying. I don't know about them eating their eggs. I have heard some chickens do this. Also this "egg eating" behavior is learned so if they are , you are danger of the rest of your flock beginning this horrible habit. If they are eating eggs I have no idea how you would get them stop...other than butchering them. But I would think they would eat all the eggs not just their own. I think it is a maturity or a light problem.Let us know how it goes.
     
  3. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2011
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    My POV is, it is the time of year.

    I think they are waiting for the days to lengthen.

    If they were eating the eggs, you would still get an egg song and the crouching behaviour when you approach them. If you are getting neither of these, then its just a matter of wait and see what the Spring/longer daylight hours brings. Which could mean, February ;)

    Also, pure breeds can take longer to reach POL depending on when they are born. The pay off to this is, they live longer (thus lay for longer) than hybrids.

    I only have pure breeds and I am almost *desperate* for them to lay an egg (all under one year; except one who is over 1yr but has been in moult and has not resumed laying - YET!). By that same token, I introduced 4 x 1yr old bantams to my garden last weekend and two are in regular lay!

    Chickens are delicate creatures and much depends on age, breed, amount of sunlight, lack of disturbance, when they were first hatched, how well they feel in themselves, what messages they get from the rest of the flock, how receptive they are to mating, sunlight hours, feed regulation, water consumption, mites, lice, disturbance, routine, flock dynamics and a whole host of other factors.

    What have I learned? I've learned they have prolific times and down times. I've learned I have to go with the flow; when eggs are in abundance, store them well to see you through the "drought" times. I have learned chickens are delicate creatures who dance to their own, biological, tune. I have learned that egg-laying isn't anything like a KFC drive thru! Just because you want it/desire it/feel you *need* it, doesn't mean it will happen at your whim and fancy. I have learned to respect the chook and their cycle of life ;)

    Just my thoughts; hope I haven't caused any offense. x
     
  4. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    not to change the thread i was just curious how long you can store eggs?
     
  5. mainevic

    mainevic New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2012
    Freeport, Maine
    Thanks so much for your thoughful response! Two questions: I have a light on the girls in the early morning hours, so I'm thinking that darkness isn't an issue. But my main confusion (and I forgot to mention this) comes from the fact that we have seen ONE lonely blue egg in the coop - about three weeks ago. But I haven't seen another since. It was cracked (from the cold) and not in the nesting box. Is it possible a hen could start laying and decide to stop due to the weather or her internal rhythm? thanks again. I really appreciate your advice!
     
  6. 2hot2chicken

    2hot2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a bantam Araucana pullet. Dont know how old she is as I have only had her for 3 months. Since Ive had her I got 2 green eggs and they were 2 weeks apart and more than 3 weeks ago. I am using a light on from 5-10pm. Its problyweather and maturity.
     
  7. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are being fed properly and look healthy and active I would continue what you are doing and let nature take its course. I have heard of putting a few golf balls or fake eggs in the nest to try to get the hens to lay there. I think when spring comes they will probably begin to lay regular.
     

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