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 Post subject: My chickens won't lay!!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:46 pm 
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Newbie
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Hi all,

I'm a new chicken owner with 3 bantam hens which we bought around 2 months ago. We were told by the breeder that they should be producing eggs about 3-4 weeks after we got them home but 2 months on...nothing. Could anyone give me some advice on why they aren't laying eggs or what I could do to encourage them?

Thanks!!
G I


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:16 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Do you have them on a good quality layer ration?

Have their combs reddened up? That's a sign that they're getting close.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:30 pm 
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Golden Swan
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How about posting a pic of them? People should be able to say if they are getting near laying then.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:17 pm 
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Can I ask what a good layer ration is? I'll take some pics and post them in the morning, thanks for the suggestion. I look forward to your comments once you've been able to see them.

Thanks again!!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:52 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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A layer ration is a feed blended with ingredients specifically balanced to support laying. The bag should list ingredients in order of percentage and will include additional vitamins and minerals. There should be a percentage analysis - Protein, Fat, Fibre, Calcium. There may be additional additives to enhance egg size or yolk colour.
Minimum protein listed should be 15% in order to support laying and feather maintenance as well as general body condition.
Pellets or mash are generally a better option than grain mixes as your chooks are not able to select and reject according to their preferences (thus not getting a full balance).
The layer feed should make up 90% of their diet with any thing else considered a treat. Scratch mix is an ideal treat. A small hand full at bed time will encourage them to go home and is slowly digested overnight.
Mash is generally smaller than pellets which may suit your small birds (my Silkies do manage large pellets very well) The Lauke Show bird breeder comes as a micro pellet which is ideal. Generally the more expensive products are a higher nutrient spec and are more economical to feed than the cheapest ones.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Thanks very much for taking the time to explain that. Yes, I am feeding them a laying mash which we bought from the breeders when we got them. I'll try to post a picture of one of my hens. Her comb has redenned up a lot lately, so maybe she is close to laying? I can't tell with my other 2, as their combs aren't visible (silkies).


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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My young Silkies, just old enough to be laying, they're not even thinking about it. Too hot, sensible birds. I expect a few eggs through Autumn from them, then a winter close down, and serious egg production (for Silkies) in spring. And that's leaving out any time-off to go broody, being Silkies.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:56 pm 
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That's good to know thanks. It has been ridiculously hot here for the past couple of months so I guess that could be affecting them?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:33 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Her comb is a good colour so she is probably not far off.
In standard sized breeds a 2 finger gap between the pelvic bones is another good indication. They open apart for laying and will close up when a hen goes off the lay.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Golden Cockatoo
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that lovely little mille fleur pekin looks quite close to laying.............is there anywhere she could be hiding eggs?

silkies can be a later laying breed, and yes your weather would be affecting them

if its any help to know, my silkies are very good winter layers!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:39 pm 
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This is my silky


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 10:14 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Both lovely looking birds. The milli is close to laying as the others have said. The silkie - who knows! They are hard to predict and often are later laying than many other breeds, but as Caladenia said they can be excellent at laying through winter. I didn't have to buy eggs once last winter and all down to my silkies. The other chooks all had a couple of months off!

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