I have 4 Jersey Black Giant chickens and i bought them around easter and they still arent laying eggs. I have heard many different idea's about them and when they SHOULD be laying but im just concerned if they arent laying by now they wont lay at all and that really, the only reason we bought them, was for eggs. Any help?
"Dogs arent our best friends...were their best friends...."
Hens should start laying around 6 months old, true, but every breed is different. Just like humans, some take more time sexually maturing. Weather, daylight hours, time of year and moulting all have factors. Usually first eggs are soft, or no shell, and or very small. In a few weeks they will change to a normal healthy size. Try feeding a good laying ration, cracked grains, and oyster shell for egg quality. Kitchen scraps a good for them too. Besides salad and vegtable scraps, meat scraps are good for them too. The fat content is good for their skin, feathers and vitamin deficiencies. Study up on the beed you have, heavy breeds, or colored egg layers take more time to begin than the white commercial egg producers. Provided that they aren't crowing, a little more patience will probably work and I bet you will have your eggs by holiday baking time.
every summer my chickens loose alot of thier feathers is this normal? I just got them about 2 summers ago I rescued them from a fighting ring they're beautiful but can be mean any help would be appreciated of any tips on raising chickens thanks
It is not abnormal for chickens not to lay eggs in the winter. Unless you have a heated hen house with artifical light to trick them into thinking it is spring/summer. The young hens should begin laying next spring.
Loosing feathers in the spring aka moulting is also normal.
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If you indeed "rescued" them from a fighting ring, then they would be roosters. Of course, roosters don't lay eggs. I've never heard of anyone fighting hens. It is normal for them to lose lots of their feathers at times. In late fall they will "molt". New feathers will replace the old.
At this time of year, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are so short, that the egg laying cuts way back. If you notice the price of eggs in the store, they are up to $1.89 a dozen right now.
We'll hit the shortest day of the year in a few weeks and then the days start getting longer, so have patience. Your girls will surprise you one of these days with eggs.
Are they kept indoors and do you use artificial lighting? Perhaps increase the length of time you are lighting their coop and that may bring them into the laying mode.