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#98943 - 09/12/11 01:11 PM Going MAD! 23 week old chickens still not laying!
CallieP Offline
New Egg

Registered: 07/31/11
Posts: 2
Loc: United Kingdom
I have four chickens - a Light Sussex and Belgian Millefleur bantam, and a Rhode Island Red and a Norfolk Grey. I have had them since they were 10 weeks and bought them from a respected dealer.

They are on layers pellets (for the last week or so), they have clean water every other day. I keep them in a very large run with a load of perching space and I let them into the garden whenever I come back from work. They get mixed corn treats and have oystershell grit available.

I found red mite in the nesting box yesterday, so I'm hoping that having treated the entire coop, the chooks will be less agitated? (although they really haven't appeared to be upset - the mites were only in a very specific location and I think I caught them in good time.

So they haven't laid a single egg. Not one. Is it too early for them? Am I doing something wrong? Is there an issue with the breeds? The RIR should have laid by now surely?

Any help most welcome!!!!

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#98946 - 09/12/11 03:00 PM Re: Going MAD! 23 week old chickens still not laying! [Re: CallieP]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3769
Loc: Denmark
23 weeks is 161 days, which is 5 months and a week. There is no reason to panic. And the later in the year they are hatched, the longer can it take to start laying, unless stimulated with artificial light. When I hatch my Leghorns in March, they can start laying at 4,5 months. When I hatch them in June, they will start laying only around Christmas. 6 months is average for many breeds, I do not know what is normal for your breeds.

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#98947 - 09/12/11 03:18 PM Re: Going MAD! 23 week old chickens still not laying! [Re: Wieslaw]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Being different breeds, they will not start laying at the same time, regardless of age. I NEVER feed Layer Ration until the pullets start laying--a good Starter Ration will keep them developing and maturing naturally, with no attempt to force layer feed, that may, in fact, cause more "first egg" variations, instead of normal reproductive development. You cannot MAKE them lay-=-it is natural and should be allowed to develop naturally. Red mites do not live on the birds in the daytime, but do their vile bloodsucking at night. So you need to kill them while they are in the coop! Guess you are doing this.

Your bantam may be the first to lay? The dealer, respected or not, has nothing to do with their development since you have had them. Just be patient--talk to them, if you like and tell them how lovely they are, and you can put a false egg (wood, glass, plastic) in their nest box to show them where to drop their first "pearls", but won't MAKE them lay sooner. Good luck, it will be worth the suspense and wait! Enjoy every egg, from the first one.........CJR

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#98955 - 09/12/11 11:47 PM Re: Going MAD! 23 week old chickens still not laying! [Re: CJR]
CallieP Offline
New Egg

Registered: 07/31/11
Posts: 2
Loc: United Kingdom
Thanks both - is it worthwhile cancelling the layers rations then? I think they are all well developed, so I thought it would be a sensible move. Although the Barbu d'Uccle and the Norfolk Grey have hardly any comb or wattles at all...

I have had two dummy eggs in for ages - I appreciate that chickens can't be made to lay though!

One other question - Is it conceivable that as the days have started getting shorter, none of the birds will lay now until the days start getting longer? I read this somewhere, and that would mean that the chickens wouldn't start laying till sometime early next year..

Thanks again

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#98956 - 09/13/11 01:06 AM Re: Going MAD! 23 week old chickens still not laying! [Re: CallieP]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
If they are not laying, their reproductive system is not mature. If they were mine, I would hold the layer ration until they are laying. I have 23 week old bantam pullets that have laid their first tiny eggs, but the 7 bantam pullets that are 18 weeks old, have not started "singing" (voice change), and it will be several weeks after they "sing", that their first eggs will appear. Listen for their hen voices. You will hear the difference from their baby voices. Patience--you will likely have eggs as surprises before another month! Good luck, CJR

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