tips/tricks to get my chickens to lay?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by theemon, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. theemon

    theemon Well-Known Member

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    they were born sept 11th. and haven't started laying yet? whats the tips/tricks to make them lay? I plan to put real store bought eggs or plastic Easter eggs in the coop, just wanted other ideas first too
     
  2. IMFoghorn

    IMFoghorn Well-Known Member

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    What breed are they? Some breeds are better layers than others.
     

  3. mammabooh

    mammabooh Metal melter Supporter

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    What are you feeding them? Do they get plenty of sunlight?
     
  4. froebeli

    froebeli Lovin' the Country Life

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    Are they confined to an area you can check for eggs or do they free range? Are you sure they are hens? (never assume the obvious)
     
  5. mzgarden

    mzgarden Well-Known Member

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    Theemon, perhaps you could provide some additional details around the breed of birds, how they are housed, are they free-ranged/pastured, what are you feeding, where did you get them? There might be a clue buried in some additional details that will ignite an idea.
     
  6. larryfoster

    larryfoster Well-Known Member

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    Show them the hatchet and threaten them
     
    Ruralnurse and Steve in PA like this.
  7. irregardless

    irregardless Well-Known Member

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    This.

    breakfast or dinner... their choice.
     
  8. Raymond James

    Raymond James Well-Known Member

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    Are they getting plenty of daylight? Good Feed? Plenty of water?

    Put a light in the pen/roost, use a timer to turn it on early in the morning before first light have it go off once sun is up. Keep fresh water and good feed in front of them. If you are not organic try some Quality Egg 16 from MFA or something like it. If commercial bought feed switch from a grower ration to a layer ration. Feed oyster shells or better yet cook up a couple of pots of shrimp, lobster, crab. Enjoy and feed shells to the flock.
     
  9. theemon

    theemon Well-Known Member

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    they are rir purchased from ideal poulty.

    well, until two weeks ago they were free ranged, I keep them locked in the coop now because I thought maybe they were laying eggs in the yard/woods/hill.

    I feed them 50% layer feed and 50% house scraps, + scraps from work, so some days they get a lot less layer feed.

    im not 100% sure they are hens, but they look hens :) in all seriousness I have 9, 2m 7f

    light, well there is some ambient light in the coop as long as its daylight- no real direct sunlight. + I intend to let them free range again once they give me eggs.


    on a side note to the person that mentioned the axe.... when I butcher them I take the victim off away from the others so they don't see.... maybe if I showed them whatll happen to them if they don't lay..... JK
     
  10. farmerstac

    farmerstac Well-Known Member

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    If you have any roosters they should be crowing like crazy at this age. To find out if they are laying you can check the vent . Hold the chicken by the back legs take your open hand
    if they are laying you should be able to get three fingers possible four if your fingers are small between the hip bones. Two or less they aren't laying. But with a hatch date of September you should have eggs running out your ears.
     
  11. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think the "feed" you feed them has alot to do with how soon they will lay.

    I was mixing my own feed and I was told how to mix it, which was wrong. I was only mixing it at 12 to 13 percent. This is what I was feeding my young chicks. I did not get my first egg till week 28, the rest started laying at week 30+. At around week 26 is when I figured I was mixing it wrong and started mixing it right. They are about 40 weeks now and I got 23 eggs today from 24 RIR hens.

    How big is your coop? If you are keeping them closed in a coop all day----you might need to run a light all day if the light is low. Do you not have a chicken yard? If not I would build one or build a tractor for other times you might need to close them up. You can still let them out for a couple hours late in the evening.
     
  12. theemon

    theemon Well-Known Member

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    you really think its there feed? what do you think is wrong with it?

    the coops huge, I think a footprint of 128ft.
     
  13. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am no Pro but I do have personal experience. I found out that that if you start a chick on about 24% for a few weeks then switch them to 20% for some time then to 16% layer when it gets close time for them to start laying they will start laying sooner than a chick that does not get any where near this kind of protien in its "chick" days. The lower protien will cause them to develop slower. This is MY personal "Findings". Yours can vary.
     
  14. jjstephens

    jjstephens Active Member

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    I got back into layers last fall (after about 30 years off). I have about 20 birds: RIR, Barred Rocks and some white hybrids. They were advertised as 6-8 month old started pullets. They all started laying about 4-5 weeks after I got them. They might have been delayed by the stress of the move and they definitely were delayed by the fact that they started their fall molt within a week or so after they arrived.

    From what I can figure, they need 13+ hours of light each day (use a light on a timer if necessary to get to that amount).

    They need lots of fresh water and they need a laying mash. I use a 15% mash (my feed store also carries 18% but my birds do just fine on 15%).

    They also need someplace convenient to lay. I've had a couple birds just drop an egg on bare ground but they much prefer the laying bins I made for them.

    As I said earlier, they also don't lay if they're molting (discarding old feathers and growing new ones. They'll usually molt late in the year but some birds (especially young ones) sometimes also molt in the spring. A molt typically lasts 2-3 weeks (in some cases, a little longer)

    And finally, they need to be as free of stress as possible. Stress (be it inclement weather, heat, extreme cold, health, dogs/cats or predators) will inhibit them from laying.
     
  15. Millroad

    Millroad Well-Known Member

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    What does your 50 percent house scraps consist of?

    I can tell you that my husband somehow got the idea that he was supposed to be giving the hens a ton of scratch, basically cracked corn. Their egg count, which was high, went to almost 0. They still had access to their lay mash, but chose to eat the candy corn instead. I presume the lower protein caused the laying problems.
     
  16. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Plotting My Escape

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    I'd guess feed as well. I was buying feed @ tsc when mine were chicks. When I switched to layer from local feed mill they started laying. In fall Oct or Nov I ran out of feed and picked up a bag of Blue Seal layer. Production crashed from 6 to 4 then 2 out of my 6 girls.

    When that bag was used up I bought 80lb at local mill and within a week or so was back to 5 or 6 from my girls...in January. Since the I just make sure I have the local stuff. I prefer that anyway as I want to spend and keep my money local as much as possible.
     
  17. theemon

    theemon Well-Known Member

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    50% of house scraps = ALOT of pizza toppings, ALOT of corn meal, and whatever's left from two days ago dinner
     
  18. aart

    aart HOW do they DO that?

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    Sorry...this old saying just struck me...'garbage in, garbage out'.
     
  19. Crabbyacres

    Crabbyacres Member

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    My red sex link layers only get layer mash from the local feed mill. Once a week I give them some scratch. They lay every day and even into the winter.
     
  20. froebeli

    froebeli Lovin' the Country Life

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    My vote goes for the feed too. I thought it would be great to give my chickens lots of veggies from the neighbors garden. The chickens loved it and cleaned up however much I tossed in everyday. Egg production dropped (a lot) slowed up on the veggies and added more protein and egg production was up again.

    This was with 6 barred rock hens that had just started laying.