Why won't my hens lay?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by balingmomma88, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. balingmomma88

    balingmomma88 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2015
    Lake villa, il
    I have five hens

    1 white leghorn - 25 weeks old
    1 red sex link - 25 weeks old
    1 Easter egged - 23 weeks old
    2 buff orbingtons - 22 weeks

    I have yet to get a single egg from anybody. The girls get fresh food and water daily. And they free range at least 5-6 hours a day except on the weekends. My two oldest girls came from a local farm and the other three came from a hatchery. Am I doing something wrong? The roosting bars are right next to the nesting boxes ... Is that bad? Or should I put a few fake eggs in the nesting boxes? This is my first time and I'm getting really discouraged!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They won't lay because they're from 22-25 weeks in October when day length is getting shorter. The length of daylight getting to the pineal gland, when decreasing, tells them it's not time to lay. Lengthening days means to lay. Acturllay more accurately, lengthening days stimulates hormones to promote sexual maturity.

    Have your seen a change in their combs? Darker, larger?
    Pick the pullets up and check the space between the pelvic bones. When the space widens, they're at point of lay (POL).
     
  3. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    It could be that they just aren't ready yet - have you noticed their combs growing a bit and turning red? That is an early sign that they are getting ready to lay.

    It could also be that they might not start until spring, since the days are waning now and chickens need about 12 to 14 hours of daylight a day to stimulate them to lay eggs. A lot of chickens stop laying in the fall and winter, and if they are just reaching laying age at that time, they might not lay until the next spring unless supplemental lighting is provided.

    A third option is that they are laying while they are out free ranging and have a hidden nest somewhere.
     
  4. balingmomma88

    balingmomma88 Out Of The Brooder

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    The two that are 25 weeks have large red combs. The other three don't. And the two older ones squat when I pet them. I look around the yard after I put them to bed and don't see any eggs anywhere. I might try to put a light up in the coop tonight.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A couple hours of added light will likely do the trick with those birds.
     
  6. balingmomma88

    balingmomma88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay thank you! How long will it take for them to start producing once I add extra light?
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A week or so.
     
  8. balingmomma88

    balingmomma88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry I have one more question. Here is what my coop and run looks like. I put a light up at the very far right to light the whole run and coop. Or should I just light up the coop only?[​IMG]
     
  9. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    I just do mine in the coop. Make sure it's on a timer, you don't want it on all night or it will affect their sleep. Set it so that they are getting 12-14 hours of light a day. Most people will recommend to have it come on and add the hours in the morning, not at night so it doesn't suddenly shut off on them at night and plunge them into darkness. I split the difference - mine all get up on the roost before the light goes off anyway.
     
  10. balingmomma88

    balingmomma88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Man I bought a timer that turns on at dusk [​IMG] Well I'll see how they do for a few days and if it's not good I'll buy a new one. Thanks for all your help everyone! Hopefully I'll see eggs soon. My whole family thinks I'm insane.
     

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