At what age range do hens begin to lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FarmerFaith81, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. FarmerFaith81

    FarmerFaith81 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am plaing with the idea of getting baby chicks, and I am curious a what age range do hens normally begin to lay eggs?
     
  2. Tressa27884

    Tressa27884 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it really depends on the type of bird. My Brahma took forever, and my EE was almost a year old. I think the average is between 7-9 months.
     
  3. FarmerFaith81

    FarmerFaith81 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you very much!!!
     
  4. GardenState38

    GardenState38 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 5 girls, of varied breeds (Easter egger bantam, Marans, Faverolles and Wyandotte), began laying between 5-5 1/2 months, which is usually the norm that I've heard and read about.
    At about 18 weeks, you can wean them off chick starter and put them on layer feed, and/or supplement with oyster shell so that they have the calcium they'll need for eggs.
    There are several telltale signs that they exhibit when nearing their first lay--reddening of the comb and wattles probably being the most obvious and universal. Some also begin to "squat", although my girls didn't really do that until after they began to lay.

    Good luck with your chicks! Enjoy the chick stage.
    They grow up before you know it!
     
  5. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The time of year (lighting) when they come of age can also influence their hormones and maturity. For example, if they mature in dead of winter they may well wait until spring to lay, while if they have matured and started laying in late summer/fall they may lay through the winter while mature hens stop. Some breeds are consistently fast maturing, like the sex links. Many people seem to be bitterly and vocally disappointed if their pullets aren't laying by 20 weeks but I think 6 months is more average, with individuals falling on either side like a bell curve. I hadn't even started thinking about mine laying but at 19-20 weeks they all started up together. Yep, it's eggciting! Have fun.
     
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  6. Maggie C

    Maggie C Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 2 light brahmas, 2 australorps and 1 bantam easter egger. The easter egger is one month older than the other 4 and they all started laying at the same time. The brahmas and australorps were 20 weeks and the bantam was 25 weeks. That is what I had heard was the average age. We live in south central Florida so cold weather wasn't a factor and I have kept a light on in the coop for about 30 mins at night so that they can see to get up on the perches and not sleep in the nesting boxes.
     
  7. FarmerFaith81

    FarmerFaith81 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have only been playing with the idea of getting chicks. I would love thatch my own, and I very well may get too, because I have banty hens and a banty roo. Thank you for all the insight. =)
     
  8. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Great advice, Allpeepedout....you covered all of the bases and hit the nail on the head!
     
  9. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    My commercial birds typically start at eighteen weeks (in the spring) and I have some Dark Cornish that I believe are now more than eight months old and still haven't started laying.

    Of course I've had a hen or two that never laid at all until they went past a year and I've shipped them out!
     

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