18 week old hens laying eggs. Early?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jamin Mayer, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Jamin Mayer

    Jamin Mayer In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2010
    So, I have 14 chickens total. I believe they were born April fools day. So, a few have been laying eggs this past week. We are getting about 4 eggs per day. My kids saw one of (the two) black austrilorps lay one, but we don't know who's laying the others...

    Question 1: is this early?

    Question 2: can we eat these rather small eggs? Any cautions? Or, are they fine to eat?

  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yes...EAT THEM!!! My girls started laying from 19 -21 weeks, so 18 weeks is certainly not unheard of. And it's funny that when one bird starts laying, it seems to trigger something in the others to start. [​IMG]
  3. Jamin Mayer

    Jamin Mayer In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2010
    Nice. We'll have some egg burritos for dinner tonight![​IMG]
  4. gummiepig

    gummiepig In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2010
    my chicks were born may5 2010 they are bardrocks (think this is right spelling) with the heat indexes of 110 and higher the last few weeks in texas [​IMG] can aonone tell me if this will slow them down from starting to lay ??? no eggs yet just waiting thanks
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    There are people who are insanely jealous of you right now, with eggs from 18 week old pullets. They're checking nests underneath 20, 21, 22 week old pullets without luck.

    I didn't anticipate - or worry about - when eggs would arrive with my girls. I was pleasantly surprised to get the first egg at 19 weeks. I think I cheated though; I bought two laying pullets and added them to my flock. I think their laying stimulated my girls.... because after the first one started, the others all followed suit fairly soon afterwards.

    And of course there's absolutely nothing wrong with those adorable, small eggs. (I usually blow out the first egg from any girl I can identify her eggs, to preserve the First Egg(s), but that's because I'm a sentimentalist.)
  6. deannd

    deannd In the Brooder

    May 21, 2010
    Marin County, California
    Leghorns are supposed to start laying between 19 and 23 weeks. Mine started exactly at 19 weeks to the day, and soon they others followed suit. The first few days of laying were a crack up. They were boisterous as if encouraging each other. On several occasions I would find two pullets in the same nest trying to lay eggs at the same time even though 9 other nests were vacant. And, as soon as they finished laying the would yell to the others to come look.

    Two weeks ago, (three weeks after they started laying) three of my girls got egg bound. I called a chicken expert and he thought they started laying eggs too early. He tries to postpone the onset of egg laying by cutting back on the food approx. 1 month prior to when they should start laying. From his experience chickens are more likely to become egg bound if they start laying too young and they eggs start getting too big too fast. Not sure if anyone else has heard this trick of the trade, but he has been raising chickens on a large scale for 70 years so I am inclined to believe him.

    I had left the lights in the back of the barn on for our chicks all night which in his opinion may be what caused the pullets to start laying so young. He said it is best not to leave light on in the coop unless it is absolutely necessary (freezing cold weather).
  7. MakNugget

    MakNugget Songster

    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR


    In due time... waiting to be surprised...
  8. rhodered10

    rhodered10 In the Brooder

    Aug 12, 2010
    yes!!!!!! u should definatly eat the eggs mine started laying at about 17 weeks old having chickens lay early is just a sign that u are taking very good care of them!!!![​IMG]
  9. dada

    dada In the Brooder

    Jun 4, 2013
    Bracey Va
    2 of my 18 week old little girls started laying today. They are little chocolate colored eggs [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  10. Mr Interesting

    Mr Interesting Hatching

    Aug 4, 2015
    My Silver Laced Wyandottes are the same age and started laying at the same time! Small eggs, don't know how many of our six are laying... At least three. Good eating yet small so far.

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