Why won't they lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cornball, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. cornball

    cornball Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    I picked up 14 production reds last week Monday. The guy I Bought them from said that they had all come into their eggs and they were between 8 and 11 months old. They were also beginning to molt. He had 100+ running around his yard, and I got the last full feathered ones. (maybe a mistake, as they had not begun to molt yet).

    I have had chickens in the past, about 2 years ago, and they started laying the day after I brought them home. Granted, they were older, and I did not haul them nearly as far. I hauled these latest ones in the back of my pickup in pet carriers for around an hour on the highway. I put them in the same coop, and laid down straw and gave them plenty of food and water.

    The last time I had chickens, I didn't have much money to buy chicken feed, so I fed them some calf feed that we had ground up. It consisted of about 60% ground oats, 35% corn and 5% protein. They did just great on that feed, and it was some we already had laying around. Since it worked so well last time, I decided to try it again.

    The guy I bought the chickens from this time told me he had been feeding them purina layena, but I switched them to calf feed (the same, but with alfalfa hay mixed in, and no protein.) They ate it up like candy, but I wondered if there was too little protein. I decided to mix in some purina layena to add some protein, and they seem to like it the same.
    It has been a week since I got these and I'm starting to get discouraged. They are just starting to molt now, but are not looking too bad yet. I was wondering why they still aren't laying yet, so I put some boughten eggs in their nesting boxes like I've read about on here. Much to my dismay, when I returned home tonight, I only found a little tiny bit of 2 of the eggs, the rest had been pecked and eaten. Please help, I could really use any ideas you guys have!
     
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Maybe this guy dumped you his eggeaters, but really that's a lot of change all at once and if they are coming into moult they may not till they pass into true adult feathers.

    Oh when we put eggs in the nest its plastic ceramic or wooden eggs-
     
  3. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I'm thinking they are low in protein and calcium and are thus eating their own eggs. Why not feed them straight layena, not mixed with anything?
     
  4. cornball

    cornball Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Thanks for the replies. When I got these chickens, I handpicked each one of them, with no input from the seller, so I don't think I got any even from the same group, most likely. I knew that this was a lot of change, but I was nearly sure that they would have started laying for me by now. I may have to try golf balls next time.


    I am also thinking they were low in protein. I called the seller this am to ask about it, and that's what he thought as well, which is why I went to layena. I am mixing the layena with the calf feed currently just to ease the transition, they will eventually be on only layena. My fear is that since they ate these eggs that they will eat later eggs also. Is that a justified fear, and what can I do to prevent it? I seriously doubt that they have been laying and eating eggs already, because in a week with multiple checks per day, this is the first time I have found any amount of broken shell.
     
  5. Snack Giver

    Snack Giver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    give it some time. make sure they are getting protein. we give our birds shredded mozarella for calcium and cat food for protein. poor little birds are going thru a lot of changes.
     
  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Just got some rescues in QT right now not laying either.
     
  7. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Illinois
    I also agree with the low protein, and if they are in a moult they need extra protein. [​IMG] but really a week or two isn't really that long considering all the changes they've gone through. Just give them extra TLC and Protein and time to re adjust to there new home. Sandy
     
  8. cornball

    cornball Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Okay, they are currently on full free access to Purina Layena, oyster shells, grit, and grass, with the occasional ear of corn to pick on. Should they have anything else? I have golf balls in the nesting boxes, and still no eggs [​IMG] My grandpa wants me to butcher these and buy some hens that actually lay [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  9. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    How long total?

    I'd stop giving non food extra items (corn), they like them but like a person likes candy they might eat it instead of the good food.
     
  10. cornball

    cornball Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    They have been on layena since Monday. I figured it might take some time to get them switched over, but I am a bit surprised that I haven't gotten any eggs yet out of 14 birds. I have been giving them the corn mainly as scratch out in the run, something to keep them occupied. I never really thought of it being a distraction (or basically just filler).
     

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