Chickens not laying

Posted by: Anonymous

Chickens not laying - 10/12/09 02:46 PM

I am new to chickens. I purchased my first chickens from a local farm. He had several chickens and I told him I wanted young layers. Four of the chickens I believe are Scott Greys and were said to be about 16 months old. Although I don't really know how to tell, they look old. I've had them for about 3 months and not 1 egg. I expected an adjustment period but not 3 months. Also, how old before most chickens start laying?
Posted by: Rhea Dean Carter

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/12/09 02:02 PM

The age of lay depends on a number of factors, one of which is breed. Some breeds start laying as early as 4 months old, while others may be 7-8 months old before they begin laying. If yours are 16 months old, they should have been laying for almost a year by now.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/12/09 03:28 PM

Thanks, Rhea Dean. I've learned not to buy from that farm. I don't think he knows anymore than I do.
Posted by: Foehn

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/12/09 11:42 PM

If you don't know for sure how old a hen is, you can get a reasonable idea, by looking at their legs and toenails. Older hens tend to have drier, scalier looking legs whereas pullets will have clean shiny legs. Toenails may be longer and the tip of the beak may also be longer and more curved down on the tip, than younger birds. This is not accurate for age, but is an indication of old versus young. Hens like leghorns that have a taller comb, in older hens it may be well bent over and longer, and lastly, hens that have laid well and for some years, may have dropsy of the tissue at the rear of their abdomen.

I just hope the local did not pass off spent hens to you.
Posted by: Jocelyn

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/13/09 04:03 AM

Perhaps they need a rest and a molt. They have probably laid all year and need good feed ( at least 18 percent protein ) and a light on a timer so they get more than 14 hours of light. This should trigger new feathers and eggs, if they are not already old.
Posted by: Chicken Whisperer

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/19/09 10:37 AM

What is 'dad's home-made check brew'? Some secret formula?
Posted by: Chicken Whisperer

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/20/09 10:34 AM

I like the idea of fish meal, pigeon grit, lamb replacer, powdered milk - anyway will have to check into them. I'm with you on most of the other items except no to peanut butter (good stuff expensive)and yes to leftover meat - why no meat for you? With the whole grains (not ground corn) I keep them moist for three days approximately to plump them up. I also sprout mostly mung beans. The layer mash is organic. Your rice is likely cooked but not the other grains, right? I'm mentioning all this cause I have five year-old buff orpingtons and I'm lucky if I get two eggs a day. It's not like they suffer any with a big secure house and pen and at least an hour's freedom each day.
Posted by: Chicken Whisperer

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/20/09 10:37 AM

Oh, and I also grow meal worms so they get a couple of bowls of worms and week.
Posted by: Chicken Whisperer

Re: Chickens not laying - 10/21/09 10:49 AM

The number of eggs is fine for just my husband and I which is all we need and want - I'm only one year into this chicken raising. So sounds like they are performing as they should - that's good to know. Then I'm probably feeding them okay. Yea! I'm looking forward to one going broody, then I'd move her into the greenhouse to raise the chicks - long range plan which includes my husband 'processing' extras. Sounds like you have a really good networking system going. I know a restaurant owner . . . .
Posted by: Geezer

Re: Chickens not laying - 11/13/09 05:32 AM

while on the subject of home made chicken chow.. What about scraps from an Italian resturant?? I am good friends with one. Lots of pasta and some meat also some left over salad stuff.. tomato sauce too..
Posted by: Foehn

Re: Chickens not laying - 11/13/09 01:21 PM

Should be alright if it's cheap or free, but try to balance the carbohydrate quantity as too much carbohydrates will make your chook fat and then they wont lay as well. (not to mention you wont understand them talking Italian laugh )