One of the great things about owning chickens are the amazing eggs they provide. Many backyard enthusiasts get chickens for that reason. There is nothing in the world like walking out to your coop and getting a freshly laid egg! But what happens if you’re nest box is empty? You might be asking “Why Aren’t My Chickens Laying?!?!”
If your new to owning chickens and bought chicks to start your flock, the first and most simple answer is, the pullets (what a female hen is called BEFORE she lays an egg) just aren’t old enough yet. Most, but not all breeds will begin to lay anywhere from 16-24 weeks of age.
As your pullets near the age of laying, you will want to switch them to a feed meant for laying hens. It takes a lot of calcium to produce an egg, so make sure you are providing a proper diet. You will want to feed a high quality layer feed and ensure each hen is getting enough to eat every day. Water is also very important and your layers need to have access to water at all times.
New layers tend to lay smaller eggs and are sporadic in their production at first. They also might not be using the nest box at all! Even my established layers like to go rough on me from time to time, so if you know your chickens are laying and you haven’t seen any in the nest box for a few days, it might be time to go looking for that secret nesting spot.