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Why Aren't My Girls Laying?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FreedomFarm13, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. FreedomFarm13

    FreedomFarm13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 pullets that are 9.5 months old. Two SLWs, and two blue Ameraucanas. One of the SLWs started laying at 8 months, and one of the blue girls started a couple weeks later. Both of the others have bright red combs, squat, and their pelvic bones are more than two fingers apart. WHY aren't they laying? I understand that different breeds and individual birds mature at different rates, but this is getting ridiculous!! I feel like I'm going crazy! I check the nesting boxes like 10x a day, and I don't understand why they wouldn't be laying. We've had a very warm week here, too, with temps in the high 60s, so they should be warm enough and be getting enough sunlight since its also been sunny all week. What's the problem? I've been waiting since August for these girls to lay, and I don't think I can take it much longer...I'm really starting to get worried about them. I've heard stories of hens not laying till they're over a year, but I swear, if that happens, I'll bawl my eyes out and be sooooo depressed. I thought about adding supplemental light in the coop, but it's kinda against everything I believe in because I feel chickens (and all animals, for that matter) should be allowed to do what they naturally do when they're ready to do it, but I'm so desperate I'm seriously considering doing it. What do you think? Do you think it'll help? I don't know what to do!
    Also, just as some background, they were molting in August when they were supposed to start, then we moved in September before they were done molting, and then, by the time they WERE done molting, the days were getting shorter and it was getting colder, so I understand why they didn't start then, I'm just wondering why the two have started now and the others haven't. How much of a difference can there be between when one pullet lays and when a pullet of the same breed will lay?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  2. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    I know how you feel, waiting, and waiting for them to lay, and they don't.

    Okay,
    I'm guessing it's because they moved in-between all the changes in the year, it would be as if you moved a month before high-school graduation ( I'm not saying chickens have feelings, I'm really saying it is traumatizing or frustrating). Did they get moved a lot during the move, or was it a one and done thing? I also think it is because of the breeds you own, Ameraucana's and pullets usually start a little late, mine did. Also, do they free range?



    Here are all the factors I think are causing your problem

    -They were molting
    -They were moved
    -They are two slow laying breeds
    -They are experiencing their first winter

    I have a few more, but I need the questions above answered.



    Just to make you feel better, my EE's, which are part Ameraucana, didn't start laying until November, and they still don't lay as much because of the cold. My EE's layed an egg every day in Summer, and in winter, they lay about 3 a week. Hope your hens start laying soon!!
     
  3. FreedomFarm13

    FreedomFarm13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was a one and done move. And yes, they do free range, every day, all day, from sunup till sundown.
     
  4. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That may also be why they "aren't" laying. They may already be laying in your yard, try keeping them in a coop for a few days and see if an egg appears. Also, what does their diet consist of?
     
  5. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Time to go egg hunting! Chickens who free range will hide their eggs even if you provide nest boxes. Have fun!
     
  6. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.

    You're not alone.
    First winter I haven't used lights.
    Some of my molters are back laying.
    Some of my pullets are still laying.
    Some of my pullets are molting.
    Some of my pullets haven't started laying yet.
    I am getting just enough salable eggs to cover feed costs.

     
  8. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I forgot that, I am not a huge fan of heat lamps, because if the bulb goes out in the freezing cold you birds will be shocked. Plus they have feathers.
     
  9. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good advise
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Not a heat lamp, just a white light for 14 hours of 'daylight' to stimulate hormones.
     

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