Why Aren't My Chickens Laying? Here Are Your Answers!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by speckledhen, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. bmunson

    bmunson Hatching

    Aug 2, 2010
    I was experiencing a major drop off about 2 months ago (about the time the daylight really started to drop). I installed a 40w light in the coup and put it on a timer. It took a couple of weeks to tweak out the timing, but now I've got it set. I'm on the east coast, so I have it come on about 6am and off at 10am, then again at 4pm and off at 8pm. I have been getting 6eggs from 6 chickens every single day for over a month now. I have a red mix that I picked up from TSC. Hope this helps!
    AshleyMarie17 likes this.
  2. TNBarnQueen

    TNBarnQueen Songster

    Oct 28, 2010
    East Tennessee
    Ok...I am new here....where are the "stickies"? I just love this site and the people here. [​IMG]
    Also....I am another one of those frustrated with my hens not starting to lay. There are 6 different breeds and are now 5 months old. I do have one Mutt hen...this hen has only missed 5 days in a full year in laying a Jumbo egg for me. Hope all my others will take note of this and follow her lead!!![​IMG]
  3. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Quote:Go to the index page and then pick a forum. The stickies should be at the top of the forum. They are "stuck" there.

    Welcome to BYC.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
    AshleyMarie17 likes this.
  4. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Quote:I agree, a good post for a sticky!

    Got the coop light thing going for several weeks now (they have 14 hours a day of daylight as recommended by numerous sources). Got them on the right food. Yes, they free range, but our backyard isn't very big and we do daily checks in every nook and cranny of our yard, under this, over that, behind the other... literally every inch of our yard is checked daily. I have a friend who also has hatchery chicks she acquired this year whose birds are the same age as mine, and she has no eggs, either. Her birds have at least had wattles and combs for several months now, but still no eggs. My RIR is just barely starting to show signs of developing teeny tiny wattles but no real comb. The BR is showing some teeny tiny comb but no wattles. Both are moderately pink in the face but nothing like the red in the face that my EE got or that our leghorn had when she started laying or like I have seen in photographs of other people's chickens. (Our leghorn has since gotten eggbound and passed away.)

    We have made jokes about eating the RIR and BR if they don't produce come first of the year, as they will be over 9 months old at that point. I love my birds and they are primarily pets, but we got into this for the eggs. If I'm not going to get eggs from this flock, I'm going to get other chickens. I will definitely get my next birds from a better source... the guy I got these birds from is out of business now... presented himself as a breeder, turned out he just bought hatchery chicks from the feed store, raised them and sold them and lied about their ages. 0-2 month old chicks were supposed to be $3, 2-4 month old chicks $5, 4-6 month old pullets $8. We paid $8 apiece for them and were told they were not quite four months old, about 3-1/2 months except for the EE who was supposedly 4-1/2 months (and supposedly was a purebred Ameraucana, supposedly hatched from a bright blue egg... yah, I don't bloody think so). At any rate, the chickens were actually 6 weeks old at the time, except for the EE who was about a month older and double the size of everybody else (they're all the same now, though). Here we are six full months later, thinking we would have eggs within a couple of months, and our chooks aren't even maturing.

    I don't know ANYONE who wouldn't be disappointed and a little ticked off at this point. I think this guy sold me duds. So far, only 2 of the 6 chickens he sold me have laid anything, and one of those got eggbound 6 weeks into laying and died. I ran into him at a poultry auction a couple of months ago and gave him the ol' stinkeye, tho. LOL.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Some folks here seem to forget that.
  6. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Some folks here seem to forget that.

    I seriously doubt anybody forgets that. I think that's why we get concerned... we know they're not machines. We know they're living, breathing creatures with certain anatomical and physical expectations, just like humans. If a human was unable to produce children, she would be considered barren & a health screening would ensue. I am very concerned over the health of my chickens, which is why I am concerned that they are not laying when they should be. They were old enough to lay 2-3 months ago.

    BTW, what does "sigged" mean?
    1 person likes this.
  7. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Odd that article says pullets should lay at 18-20 weeks old.. I have a few 7 month olds who are holding out for spring I think lol and it's pretty stressed here that they usually lay around 22-26 weeks which seems more "norm" when you read first egg posts.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Naturally, birds are individuals. Age of the first egg is a general rule; most of my birds have started laying between 18-22 weeks old, but I have some who did not lay till around 40 weeks old. Some of it may depend on the time of year they hatch as well. And of course, the point is that, though they generally begin to lay within a certain age range, they are subject to all sorts of influences, external and internal. It also may depend on the breed, the nutrition, the season they approach maturity, the external stressors, etc., which is mainly the point of this thread-- to reiterate that there are many reasons that a hen may not be laying and, barring a reproductive malfunction such as internal laying/egg peritonitis, they lay when they lay and there isn't much to be done to change it. Just maintain their nutritional levels and wait.
    1 person likes this.
  9. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Hey, guess what? Lola, our new EE who joined us 3 weeks ago, laid her first egg here today! [​IMG] And it's bluuuue~!!

    [​IMG] Yep, I am doing the happy dance!

    She was laying at her old home for about a month. I am told she was hatched March 1 of this year. She's been squatting for us for about two weeks, and this morning she made herself a lovely little nest in the bottom left corner of the "Playhouse Coop" (we have multiple coops joined together like a hamster habitrail but for chickens), sat down, started singing her song, and about an hour and a half later, came out, made an announcement, and headed straight for the feeder!! I ran out and plucked a lovely little blue egg from betwixt the mini-bundlets of hay!

    Here is her egg on the right, next to Bertha's egg (the other EE) from yesterday. Gotta greenie and a bluie. Wheee!!


    Here's hoping the rest of the flock gets the message. You should have seen them strutting around and sticking their curious little heads into the door of the Playhouse Coop when she was singing the egg song. They started making noises like they were trying to imitate her, which was pretty cool. Hopefully soon.
  10. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    good post! [​IMG]

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