1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

21 week old buff orpingtons, no eggs yet! How much longer? Do I need lights?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenmama536, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. chickenmama536

    chickenmama536 Hatching

    Sep 27, 2016
    Rhode Island
    Hello world! I have 6 21-week-old Buff Orpington ladies. Theyre all very well developed, have large combs and wattles, squat all the time, and I've heard their egg songs loud and clear for about a month now! When should I expect to see an egg? I live in New England so days are shorter now. Someone told me I should use artificial lighting, but I'm wondering if its just still too soon? Will they lay their first eggs w/o artificial lighting in the coop now? I've read mixed opinions about this in general and some people swear by lights and some people claim to get eggs all winter w/o any lights. Any advice about what to expect from this breed is greatly appreciated!!

  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    21 weeks is not that old. Be patient. Some Buff Orpingtons will lay as late as 7 months! You'll definitely gets eggs sometime this fall or winter, artificial lighting might help bring it on sooner. Personally I do not use artificial lighting - I find it's harder on the hens since it extends their natural laying cycle even longer than it already is.
    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! That sure sounds like they are laying...or very, very close.

    Do you free range? They may be laying out in range area.

    Check vents and pelvic points, if this shows they are likely laying, keep them locked up for a week or so.
    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
  4. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Crowing

    Mar 16, 2016
    North Central IN
    My Coop
    Hi chickenmama536! I feel your frustration, I have a 24 week old BO that is waaaayyyy behind the other girls (different breeds) her age. Not even any sign of red comb or wattles! From the research I have done it seems like the Buff Orps are late bloomers as far as laying.

    @aart : VERY interesting information on pelvic bones and vent changes! Thank you for sharing!
  5. dtown2002

    dtown2002 In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2016
    My BO laid this morning at 22 weeks and 1 day. There is no set time that they will lay. Usually between 20 and 25 weeks. Any day now!!
  6. chickenmama536

    chickenmama536 Hatching

    Sep 27, 2016
    Rhode Island
    Thank you everyone!
    @aart my ladies have an outdoor fenced in area they roam in, but they're not free-range (too many bobcats and coyotes living close by!) So I've checked along the perimeter of the fence, but no eggs yet. Thank you for the tips on the vents and pelvic points, I didn't know that!

    @Trish1974 @dtown2002 I guess patience is a virtue! Hopefully sometime soon.
    When I was out there today, I noticed some of the hens going in and out of the coop and shuffling around the wood shavings. They never used to go in the coop during the day before, soooooo another good sign!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by