Well, the funny thing is, when they're real close to laying, they will do this very hard squat. Even if they're not real friendly, they'll do it. And you can touch them easily and even pick them right up. (It's like they're being submissive to the rooster so he can mate.) Some breeds to take longer.....I've had a Golden Buff (production hen) lay as early as 17 weeks, and some of the other, larger sized hens, like a Marans, might not start until 25 weeks. OH THE WAITING! LOL I was never good at waiting, but it'll seem like Christmas once you get those first eggs.