Will my chickens ever lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicnewbie6, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. chicnewbie6

    chicnewbie6 New Egg

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    Dec 1, 2014
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    So I am new to having chickens ( My husband is not but I want this to be mainly my thing..lol)

    My sister ( who never wants anything to do with the outdoors) got 6 chics the beginning of last spring. I think she thought it would be fun for my younger niece and nephew. But as the chicken grew bigger the fun went away and when they got no eggs she realized she didnt want them anymore. She nor my brother in law never really cared for the chickens, they would go several days without feed or water. and slept in a VERY small cage all crampped together. There was maybe 2 square feet of run for them.


    So I convienced her to sell me her 6 hens. My husband and I spent all weekend building a very nice coop and a really big run. There are 6 nesting boxes, 2 perches and plently of laying feed and water for them.

    So my question is, Any idea when I can expect them to start laying? Is there any feed better than the other that I can feed them? Right now I cam feeding them Dumor chicken laying crumble.

    Any advice will be greatly appericated.

    Thanks
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If they were starving, then they're malnourished, and they won't lay until they become healthy again. Also, they are going through an adjustment period getting used to new living quarters. That delays laying. And last, but not least, if you're in the northern hemisphere, daylight is in short supply so they won't lay until the days get longer again.

    How old are they? Have they ever laid eggs? If they have never laid eggs, don't feed them layer crumbles until they start. They do not need the extra calcium until they do.

    I'm so glad you rescued these chickens. They will hopefully reward you with eggs ans well as affection.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Give them time and they should start laying, as said above when you combine, lack of proper care and nutrition, a move, shorter light hours and cooler weather the chickens will naturally slow down or stop laying and/or in your case delay the onset of laying... You also might want to consider putting the layer feed aside and putting them back on a starter/grower feed, as they don't need the calcium supplements in layer feed until they are actually laying... Even if you are feeding them calcium fortified layer feed once they start laying, offer a side of oyster shells so they can choose if they need more calcium on an individual basis...
     
  4. chicnewbie6

    chicnewbie6 New Egg

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    They are about 6 months old. They have no laid eggs before, what should I be feeding them? I am in the north, ( Virginia) So it gets dark about 5pm. Should I put a light in the coop?
     
  5. daddyman

    daddyman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My oldest two are 23 weeks old today and have not yet laid. I am in Maryland, so my daylight is pretty similar to yours. As it is moving into winter, if I get any eggs, I will be pleased, but I am not expecting things to get rolling until spring.

    I think the advice given is sound. Feed them well and make them comfortable, and they will eventually do what they were born to do.

    Happy trails!
     
    3 people like this.
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    The layer feed won't necessary 'hurt' them in the short, but just the same I recommend a non-calcium fortified feed like chick starter/grower or an all flock feed until they actually start laying... I actually don't use a layer feed at all since I have a mixed flock and the calcium can cause health issues to the males....

    As for a light if you want that won't hurt, but do it safe... I recommend an under the cabinet fully enclosed florescent light on a timer... Have it come on about 14.5 hours before sunset in your area (so 2:30am) and go off whenever you open the coop for the day or at say noon if you know you will always let them out before noon, adjust the timer every 2-4 weeks as the sunset changes... Doing it this way they will return to roost with the natural sunset...

    Also it's best to only increase light about about 20-30 minutes a day, but since you birds are not laying anyway it won't really hurt much to bump them up faster...

    http://lightsofamerica.com/Products/7000.aspx
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Good-Choice-24-Hour-Lighting-Timer/17279123
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are at very good age. for now feed them growers pellets. I am optimistic they will start laying in a few weeks. when they do put them on layers pellets. it wouldn't be a bad idea to warm them now. If you put light they well lay sooner but if you wait they will lay anyway.
    What breed are they ?. some breeds lay better than others.
     
  8. chicnewbie6

    chicnewbie6 New Egg

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    Dec 1, 2014
    Stafford, Virginia
    All 6 are RIR's
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You have six pullets that will, no doubt, be starting to give you eggs sometime in the next four to six weeks. All you really need to do now is restore their health as quickly as you can. If it were me, I would treat them as chicks and buy a small sack of NONE MEDICATED chick starter. None medicated because you do not want these drugs to show up in their eggs and they're very close to point of lay. The chick starter has all the nutrients they need to get in shape to start laying. Make sure you supply them with some oyster shell on the side. The closer they get to laying, you'll see them begin to hit that oyster shell like it was sardines on the hoof.

    If they begin to lay before the chick starter is gone, mix in some layer feed with it and it'll help them make the transition to the new feed. It won't taste as rich to them as the chick starter, but they'll get used to it.

    MeepBeep has a very good suggestion on the lighting. I'd go with that, and perhaps you'll have eggs by the New Year! Be aware, though, you'll probably see small eggs to begin with, and each day they get a little bigger, until after a couple of weeks, they'll be full size. I like to call them "starter eggs"!
     
  10. CHICKLOVER69

    CHICKLOVER69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are about 18 weeks and got my first eggs today. 5 to be exact. I have 9 pullets
     

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