Are my hens of age to start laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Paislee, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. Paislee

    Paislee Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]I have 9 hens... French cooper marans (1 blue, 1 wheaton, 1 splash, 2 black) & 2 lemon cuckoo orphingtons all about 22 weeks old. 1golden sexlink ( more of a reddish color though) and last but not least an item number literally... was told she is a Plymouth rock mutt! (Really pretty though) & they are almost 21 weeks old. My problem is I don't know what age any of these breeds should start laying. I suspect the eggs will be fertil though because I also have 3 roosters at 22 weeks (I need to add on to my coope for the boys to separate them) can someone shed some light on the egg situation though, please.
     
  2. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    If they're indeed aroudn 21-22 weeks you're almost there. Some signs to look for are reddening of the comb and wattle, interest in the nest boxes, and squatting. They may even give you a preview of their egg song. I would think their egg laying is right around the corner.
     
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  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The earliest I’ve had a pullet lay her first egg is 16 weeks. The latest I’ve had was 9 months. It can be quite a bit different for the individuals. They lay when they lay.

    With your breeds at 21 weeks, you should be getting pretty close to your first egg. I’d expect about half will be laying within a month to 6 weeks. But each one is really an individual. With only 9 hens if just a couple are “not average” it can throw the whole thing off.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Paislee

    Paislee Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sitting out side now and most of my girls (usually perched at the top of the coope are inside the hen house) the past few days they have been searching around the yard continuously. So I made sure the hen house was accessible, added straw and placed golf balls in each box, and physically showed them the boxes and golf balls in hopes that would help them. I've been hearing a little extra noise from them but not sure of the egg song you speak of lol! And about the squating it's hard for me to tell I'm in Louisiana is rather hot out and they like the shade of this large saga Palm we have and lay on the cool ground when they are not trying to steal the cat food... lol[​IMG]
     
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  5. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    The wait for that first egg is the worst haha I started a daily egg hunt at 16 weeks...They waited until almost 23 before the first egg showed up.
     
  6. Wanex

    Wanex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are they?
     
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  7. Odelia

    Odelia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are at the age that they can start laying. If the photo of your pullet is current her face hasn't turned as red as it should yet. Most of your breeds are known to be slow growing so they will start laying a bit later. Also depending on how far north you live sometimes they won't start until spring if they don't start before the days get shorter. You should get eggs in September. They won't all start at once even if they are the same age. Once the first one starts it is usually only a couple of weeks until they all start but not always. My sisters Welsummer laid a few "snake" eggs last fall and then didn't lay anything all winter. As soon as spring came she started laying lovely large dark brown eggs. The other two pullets that were the same age both started laying in the fall. So it is hard to say as each bird is different.

    I would recommend putting a fake egg in the box if you don't have older laying hens. I like the ceramic ones. It tells the birds that your nesting box is a safe place for them to lay their eggs. If you don't have older birds then you have silly young girls trying to figure things out for themselves and they sometimes think the most inconvenient places would be a safe place to start a nest. I personally don't enjoy an Easter egg hunt when looking for my chickens eggs. Also the ceramic ones are sturdy so that they can peck it and step all over it and not break it. Often egg eating starts when they accidentally break an egg. Once they start this habit it is hard to break. Young pullets are the most likely to break their eggs as they often have weak shells. Also this is a perfect time to start offering oyster shell to them. Good luck with your girls and give them another 4-6 weeks before you start to despair. They are big girls and need a bit more time to mature. [​IMG]
     
  8. Paislee

    Paislee Out Of The Brooder

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    These pictures are a few weeks old I can post a few more after I take some I'm a little while
     
  9. Wanex

    Wanex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry i see it already. Yes they shold be ready to lay anytime. Mine are two buff orpingtons and they are about 23 weeks old and still no eggs yet. But they shouldlay any soom.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  10. Paislee

    Paislee Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok I snapped a few more photos of my flock... [​IMG][​IMG]
     

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