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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Question

Does any one know how long it takes for Long Island Reds to start laying. My good neighbor and I have 6 month old birds, their combs are puffy and red, indicating that they should be laying, yet we haven't seen one egg. We are hoping for any moment now, but it seems longer then the other breeds we have.

Can any one ease our minds? We are ready to cull them shortly.

10 comments:

nt moore said...

Do you have a light on in the birds' coop? Although they may be old enough to start laying pullet eggs, perhaps there isn't enough daylight to stimulate a laying response.

A (5 Watt) compact flourescent bulb attached to a 14-hour timer (to simulate April) may do the trick.

Phelan said...

yes. As soon as the nights grow longer, our light come on. I am wondering if it is the breed. But I don't know enough about them. Thank you.

MommyMommy said...

I have heard that fall birds, won't start laying till the spring, even if they are old enough, and even with a light. So youy may have to wait it out.

Kelly said...

Our chickens are half Rhode Island Reds and it took them about six months before they started laying. They weren't affected by the cold, so I don't think that is it. However, we did notice two specific things that have directly impacted their egg production. One is that they are very sensitive to the food they eat. We accidentally fed them food meant for meat birds and their production stopped until we reverted back to an egg laying diet. The second thing is that last winter each of our birds was attacked by a hawk, all on separate occasions. Although it was unfortunate for them to go through this traumatic experience (we were able to rescue them all), they each started laying just days after the attack. So unless you know of a creative way to simulate a hawk attack, I would suggest double-checking what you're feeding them.

Phelan said...

mommymommy, I haven't had a problem with fall birds before. But they can be different with each breed. I rather not wait too long, as that ends up a waste of feed, and the meat will be tougher then I would like. But I guess we do like soup around here.

Kelly, they do get an egg layers mash, as we don't have any meat birds at the moment (reed Good Fences Makes Good Neighbors). hhmmm I wonder, we still have the feathers from the turkey, if we pin them to our youngest boy somehow and then send him running through the yard, could that simulate a hawk attack?

Thank you for the imput. It is appreciated.

TQ said...

Phelan-

We've got Rhode Island Reds that I had purchased in the spring who started laying eggs at about four months. Is there any chance that they are laying eggs and something is getting at them? Even now at two years old with miserable weather I am getting an egg every other day from my girls. They have been much more productive than my Dominiques.

Phelan said...

TQ, Normally I would have agreed. We have issued in the past with our dog, and snakes taking the eggs, we also think that the bad neighbors have stolen eggs as well (since I haven't had fresh eggs in a long while) but my good neighbor has the same problem. He is getting eggs from his other birds, and I get eggs from the bannies once in awhile. The Reds are from the same flock.

Natalie said...

The farmers that I work for here in South-Central Texas have RI Reds and their hens usually drop off their egg laying in late winter (Jan & Feb) but I'm pretty sure that they don't use lights. Their current flock has been decimated by their Christmas turkeys - the turkeys have killed almost the entire flock. They have new pullets in to replace the dead hens but they won't be ready to lay until late Feb or March.

rhonda jean said...

Hi Phelan. I have pure Rhode Island Reds here. They are physically able to lay an egg at 20 - 22 weeks, however external forces might delay this. Our chooks lay all year round,I have no knowledge of how light affects chicken behaviour but I do know a good easy fix. Chickens need a high protein diet to lay eggs. Give them some old bread soaked in milk, or powdered milk and a little water. They love it, it will build up their protein levels and hopefully start laying.

Celeste said...

They are old enough. Look at their feet. Are they still dark or bright yellow? They start turning white almost as soon as they start laying. I had one Rhode that was a real bad egg eater, left no traces.

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