We got our first egg about a week and a half ago. It was a white egg, which was laid by our only Leghorn, and she's been consistent since. However, last Weds and Thurs we rec'd 2 brown eggs (1 each day), BUT, we haven't rec'd a single brown eggs since! There are 4 ladies that could possibly have laid them, but we don't know which hen(s) they were from. Is that fairly usual? How long does it take til they get in a reliable cycle? I just want to be sure everyone's healthy. THANKS!
That is the question of the day! To tell a laying hen from a non layer, first look at the comb and wattles. If they are large, red, waxy full looking, she is a layer. If small or pale, possibly scaly looking she is not. You can look at the vent to, if it is large and moist she is a layer. Next why not laying? Are you feeding a Layer mix? are all the birds eating? Do you have nest boxes with bedding (straw, hay, long grasses)? And are they getting about 14 hours of light per day? If yes all they way across, you could have several birds in an early molt (they won't lay then), or they could still bee just a little young. 5 months is about the standard age to start seeing regular production.
Last thought and it's just that, are they getting to hot? Shade, water, breezes, all help if they are out and about, if they are in a coop all day, they need light and fresh air to stay healthy.
Thank you! That answers my questions! They just turned 19 weeks yesterday, so I think maybe they're a little young yet perhaps. They are free ranging from 7:30A til around 9P, we do offer layer crumbles, too, but they don't bother with it much. We have pine shaving bedding in their coop. We're still working on putting the nesting boxes in, but I think maybe I'll have to find a substitute in the meantime (an old dishpan or something...). THANKS AGAIN!
They may also be laying outside. Try putting a golf ball in one of the nests. This will encourage them to lay in that spot (rather than out in the yard) because they like to lay where others have laid.
Keep the next boxes smaller, a shoe box is about the right size, but they do like low lips on the entry side.
My chickens don't like small boxes. When I got started, they used the ground over small boxes, and then I started using a laundry basket. They LOVED the laundry basket, but really, anything will do as long as they think someone else has laid there already! lol
Thanks for all the advice! Whoever it is already laying brown eggs seems to have started up again finally :) I expect the others to start up any day now. We built them 3 boxes, but they like the one on the right the best LOL THANKS!!!