My chickens are 6 months old now and I still have no eggs. I have nesting boxes filled with straw in the coop. I have put about a 1/2 a dozen guinea eggs in the boxes to show where to lay. I have taken them out when I found one on the ground. I have seen my two rooster mate with a few but still no eggs. I free range my chickens. Is it possible they are laying somewhere else? I've added chickens to my flock at different times those are younger about 2 months old. Would that affect them from laying? Discouraged.
Don't get discouraged. Some of my hens didn't lay an egg till they were 8 months old. I free range mine also but they always go back to their coop and lay the eggs in their nesting boxes. I don't know what kind of coop you have but if you think they might be laying eggs out in the yard maybe confine them a day see if there is any eggs yet. Good luck.
i usually let them out of the coop when i get home from work at 6:30 am. I have a couple of times kept them shut up in the coop till about 11 am to see if i could get them to lay but no success.
The chicken breeds that I feel should be laying by now are my new hampshire, cherry eggers, orpingtons, barred rock and easter eggers. no eggs. I have checked the vents and they look ready according to the book i read it in. also there wattles are bright red like read on someone elses discussion. I thought the cherry eggers were suppose to be early layers around 4 1/2 months. Starting to wonder if I will get any before it gets cold.
I have never heard of the cherry eggers but most hens start laying anywhere between 5 and 8 1/2 months of age. Their diet has a lot to do with egg production. Are they on a good layer feed and have calcium supplement (I use ground clam shells)?
Are these your first hens I am not sure what you already know about raising hens?
Calcium is key for egg laying- no calcium... thin eggs.. I always have fresh calcium availbale to my hens, in addition to free ranging them. Ducks and geese to need calcium to lay eggs. just wait, in time they will lay. they will lay small ones at first , and then they will become larger. don't be surprised if they lay double yolks or no yolk eggs when they do start up..
Everything on its own schedule. : ) Let us know when they do start !
Cindy... had a feeling you'd been posting something like this soon. :) Your pullets are just a few weeks behind mine, and mine have just started to lay eggs. Pretty soon yours will too, so keep a look out! :)
You only need one fake egg in each nesting box for hens to get the idea about where to lay. I do stress using a fake egg (even if you use a golf ball) because if you use real eggs then there's always a chance that a chicken, upon seeing it for the first time, will give the usual "curious peck" and inadvertently break it open. Last thing you need is an egg-eater on your hands. We keep a fake egg in each nesting box from the 5th month onward, and mark it with emoticons that (presumably) the hens won't understand since they're not allowed to have a computer.
As a side note, I totally agree with cheryl and Carrie Lee Schwartz about making sure your hens have a strong source of calcium. Aside from the obvious fact that they need calcium in order to make eggs, some hens turn into egg-eaters simply because they are actually suffering from a calcium deficiency. A commercial feed formulated for laying hens is an easy way to provide the necessary calcium along with other key nutrients. Otherwise, if you're feeding your hens veggie scraps from the dinner table then that just isn't enough. An old way of providing calcium is to rinse and dry used eggshells, grind them into a fine powder, and add it to the feed. Of course, nowadays calcium supplements are readily available at any supermarket which can also be ground into a powder.
I love this websight....mine arn't laying yet either but there only 4 moth old buff orpington's...they are like lab puppies with giant paws, "tallens," if they ever grow into them they will be the size of turkeys..Golf balls, that is genius.
My hens started laying eggs a day or two after I posted. Guess they decided they better do something. They must have got tired of me complaining to them. I am now very happy and grandpa and I are up to 47 chickens and over 50 guineas. Our hobby together. Its been some what of a challenge for us to figure out if its a chicken or guinea egg. They are the same size at least for now. The only way we can tell is buy cracking them.
I am new to this site and to chickens. I have 3 pullets (to buff orpingtons and a barred rock) for about a week now that are anywhere from 10-15 weeks old. They seem very happy and calm. No eggs yet, but I am not worried about that. I will add the "fake" egg this weekend for them. My question is their feed. They are not free range (due to my neighborhood) so I have a constant supply of organic egg layer feed in their feeder (the hatchery I got them from said they were already on organic egg layer feed). However I don't see them eating out of the feeder that much at all? I am concerned about that. I do give them some garden scraps and bugs I find around the yard and a couple of handfuls of scratch throughout the day to keep them occupied. Once a day or so I give them a few meal worms. Am I giving them too much scratch? Literally just a handful at a time maybe 2 or 3 times a day at most. They also have oyster shells and grit available at all times too. Any thoughts???
I think you are giving them to many goodies and they are full and not eating their feed. I would go a few days of no goodies and see if they are eating more feed. I didn't feed mine to many scraps or scratch until they were actually laying eggs.
Thanks!! That seems to be the consensus. It is just so fun to see how excited they get to get the goodies. Anyway, I will try not giving them anything extra for a few days and see what happens. I am assured they won't starve themselves (right?????) haha..