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why won't they lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nobbychick, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. nobbychick

    nobbychick New Egg

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    Nov 3, 2008
    East Texas coast
    I'm a new chicken farmer. We have seven young Australorps and five older Production Reds (plus cocky rooster) that were allegedly laying every day. Well, two weeks later and we've had a total of three eggs! What's going on?

    Also, how does one train the chickens to poop on the roost instead of in the nests? Or am I expecting too much from chickens?
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    First of all: [​IMG]

    As the daylight hours become shorter & shorter, chickens go into "recuperation mode" and start to lay much less. At least most of them do. It's nature's way of giving them some time to recuperate and get ready for the next egg-laying season. If you put a light on them in the morning to extend their daylight hours, they may begin to lay for you. It's up to you regarding doing this; I choose not to, as I like my girls to get a break.

    It could be that's all that's going on.

    As far as them roosting in the nest boxes...what I did was put shoe boxes in the nest boxes at night, and removed them in the morning so they could use the nests for laying. It took several weeks of this, but they finally were broken of the habit.

    Good luck!! [​IMG]
     
  3. Dottie Pratt

    Dottie Pratt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 4, 2008
    Arkansas
    Just wanted to say Hello and welcome.
    Ther is so much good info. on BYC.
    I'm new to chickens and don't feel like my answers would be helpful. Still learning.

    I'm sure you will get good answers.

    [​IMG]

    Dottie
     
  4. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Their lack of eggs could also be because they've recently been moved. I assume you just got them? Moving causes stress and will put them off laying for a couple of weeks.

    Chickens don't have sphincter muscles, and thus can't be trained to poop anywhere. You can keep them from roosting in the nesting boxes by covering them up until you know they're laying, then uncover the nests. By then they should be used to sleeping on their roost, and won't poop in the nest boxes all night long.

    Good luck. You're going to love being a chicken farmer!
     
  5. Grindlefamily

    Grindlefamily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Fairfield, ME
    Good luck with your new hens - I got a 1 year old hen this summer ( early July) and she has yet to lay - but she did go through molt the end of the summer, so I am patiently waiting to see if she starts laying sometime .....
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    If your nest boxes are higher or as high as your roosts you are going to have a hard time convincing them not to roost (and poop) on the nest boxes. The simplest solution is to either raise your roosts or lower your nest boxes. Chickens will naturally get as high as they can to roost.
     
  7. nobbychick

    nobbychick New Egg

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    Nov 3, 2008
    East Texas coast
    I already see the error of my ways. The nest boxes are rather high (and they do poop in the upper row more than the lower row). I will try the shoebox-in-the-nest-at-night trick. Y'all are so clever!

    The 1-yr Production Reds are molting, too--so does that mean they won't be laying while molting? What rotten timing.

    We got the chickens two weeks ago and I had hoped they would settle down by now.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    The shoebox in the nest box trick would never work for me as we are day sleepers. I'd have eggs all over the coop before I even wake up.
    I had two hens that decided the nest boxes were put there especially for them to have nice cozy little beds to sleep in at night. It took two weeks but I finally broke them. I'd wait until it was good and dark and go out there with a penlight - just enough for me to see, but not enough for them to feel safe enough to move around. I removed the two hens and put them on roosts. Like I said, it took two weeks but I will not be outsmarted by a chicken!
     

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