22 Weeks, Not Laying Yet, Days Shortening...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jennyf, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2016
    Missouri
    So much great advice here! I have flock of 6 22 week old pullets (hatched very close to 4/1). They are not laying yet. Happy, healthy, get along well, plenty of run space. My question is, in y'all's experience, are they likely to lay very little or none over the winter if they aren't laying by now? I wasn't planning on using light in winter (in this for the long haul with them and won't be eating them most likely) but saw another post that got me thinking. Would a couple of hours extra light now jump start them for the fall and keep them laying (at least a bit) over the winter? Or is it a toss up either way? Sure would be nice not to be feeding them for a year with zero eggs, ack. We are in Midwest, sunrise at 6:30, sunset at 7:30 now.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    What breeds? Many don't start until 5-7 months, especially dual purpose breeds. They should start yet in the next month or two and should lay through winter, though not at their best production, that will happen in early spring as daylight increases. Adding extra lights doesn't do much for first year layers, it is more effective in their second season and after.
     
  3. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2016
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    Thanks so much for the reply! All hatchery, NH Reds, PBR, GLW. That makes me feel better... I don't mind waiting and would prefer to let nature take its course on the lighting, but was thinking sheesh, if we go from waiting to be mature enough to to lay right into an eggless winter break, that's going to stink! [​IMG]
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    The only problem you will have is frozen eggs if you don't collect often enough, and some days it's so cold it doesn't matter, I swear they come out frozen.

    They do tend to halt laying every time there's a cold snap, but resume a week or two later. Keeping thawed water is important. I take out warm water twice a day. Not enough water or going without can cause less eggs.
     
  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like to use this chart for determining egg laying:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately, we are heading towards Winter Solstice in a few months. However, egg laying doesn't stop, it only slows. I would think you should be getting eggs at least by October.
     
  6. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have red sex-links, they are early layers, they started at 17 1/2 and all were laying before 19 weeks. Mine were born March 30. In your case I would turn a light on at 4am to 9am. No light in the evening, let them go to roost at sunset. If they're in the coop all day in the winter and it's dark, as in not enough light to comfortably read, leave the light on till sunset. A 40 watt equivalent led is all you need. I get mine at Wal-Mart for $2.00. Look for DAYLIGHT on the box. Estimated yearly cost, 3 hours a day .84ยข. Do not use compact florescent bulbs. The flickering disturbs chickens.
    My hens are supposed to lay through winter without light. But I leave for work at 5:15am, and I open the coop at that time. I turn on the light in the coop from 5am till 9am and I light the 500 square foot run till sunrise. My coop has 4 windows so plenty of light during the day. GC
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016

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