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Where are the eggs?
I do that but sometimes they hardly touch it and sometimes it is empty, so I ahve started filling the ad lib feeder up to the ytop and seeing how much they eat in a day and then only giving them that amount but I was giving mine extras in teh afternoon like veg and now they dont get that everyday, I think they are laying better.
That's good news Mandy. I only half fill mine, because it's too heavy for me to carry, if I fill it, and I think the handle might break off. I wouldn't restrict their layers ~ some days they will be more hungry than others, like when its a cold day. Mine always eat a lot more in the winter because there's not so much to pick up when they're out and about. They also eat to keep warm so need more food.
Our 3 chickens are now about 23 weeks old but still no sign of any eggs. We are feeding them on layers mash with a cup of corn in the afternoons (the kids love to come home from school and feed them). They also have a water drinker in the run.

My neighbour reckons they need more food and water and that I should replace the water drinker with a deep dish of water and provide food inside the hen house.

This is contrary to what I was told by the breeder, any ideas ??
Hi Clive Smile

Firstly what breed are they because different breeds start laying at different times. It sounds like they are getting too many goodies, I would half the corn intake, that sounds much too high. As long as their drinker doesn't run out then they will be fine with a drinker and there is no need to add a deep dish for them, so don't worry on that score. Do they have access to mash all day long, if not then you should make sure they do as that will give them what they need to lay eggs for you
[COLOR="SeaGreen"]I never put food and water in the girls' house. The food hopper always has the pellets in and the water drinker thing always has water in.

However, I would say maybe you're giving them too many treats. We had a post about this not so long ago and TBF wrote up the recommended amounts 10g for light large fowl, 15g for medium and 20g for the heavy large fowl of corn per day.

I checked out how much this was for my girls and I was actually giving them twice the recommended amount ~ it is surprising just how little the amount is. Try weighing it out and see.

If you give them too much corn they will gain weight and won't lay so well and will also get unhealthy. I was over feeding my first girls, as soon as I stopped within a week or so two of them came into lay.

What breeds have you got? As the pure breeds often come in later than the hybrids.[/COLOR]
I have an Orpington, Rhode Island Red and a Maran (the children chose them so they are an odd bunch). I am thinking of buying another chicken (already laying) to inspire them, would this help ?
Your RIR should be the first to lay but on orpingtons and marans you will have to wait a bit longer I'm afraid. You RIR should start laying any time now but I woudn't get another chicken now as you will upset them all and that will put them off laying. They can be very sensitive to 'outsiders' coming into their territory
[COLOR="SeaGreen"]I had a marans and she was a bit older than yours, maybe about 28 weeks when she came into lay and I also had an orpington and she was 34 weeks. The trouble now is that the nights are drawing in and we have less daylight for them. So if they don't come in soon, you may have to wait (along with my and mine) until next year. But honestly, it will be well worth the wait when you collect your first egg and then taste it.[/COLOR]
Zoe and Summayah, thanks for your advice. I will cut back on the corn and persevere with the layers mash. When the Rhode Island Red lays I will post a note to let you both know. From your responses it could be a while for the Orpington and the Maran, but you never know.
It will be interesting to see when your RIR start laying as I have 4 about the same age as yours and I'm getting quite impatient waiting for an egg from them as I want them to start before the winter comes and their combs are really red!
[COLOR="SeaGreen"]When would you expect the stopping laying date to be?

I'm almost certain I read something last year about ~ they close down around Nov 5 and reopen around February 14[/COLOR]
I've never heard anything about dates being set or anything, I think it's more to do with what the weather is doing along with the light levels, this year the autumn so far has been bright and mild and it's about 4 weeks until the clocks go back so I would have thought there was still plenty of time
From past experience I have found that my chickens come back into lay properly about 10th Feb which ties up with your dates Summayah! Can't remember when they stop laying, as I have always had one or two per day right through.
You've only got one life - live it!
[COLOR="SeaGreen"]The stopping might be wrong that was the one I was least sure of. It was some old tale and it was given dates that were easily remembered ~ but they are both about 6 weeks either side of the shortest day.[/COLOR]
[quote name='summayah'][COLOR="SeaGreen"]The stopping might be wrong that was the one I was least sure of. It was some old tale and it was given dates that were easily remembered ~ but they are both about 6 weeks either side of the shortest day.[/COLOR][/QUOTE]

6 weeks either side of the shortest day would make logical sense because it is the light in their eyes that prompts the laying

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