Barnevelder laying age

K0k0shka

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Jul 24, 2019
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I have a couple of Double Silver Laced Barnevelders that are 32 weeks old and not laying yet. I looked up the breed average for onset of lay and it says 28 weeks. I know individuals can vary, and that’s fine... What confuses me more is that their pelvic bones are still less than 1 finger apart, same as they’ve been pretty much forever, so they’re not even close. Should I be worried? Their combs have been red for months, much earlier than their Orpington hatch-mates (one of which just started laying yesterday). They eat flock raiser crumble and have eggshell on the side. They are much smaller than the Orpingtons, but I assumed that was a breed difference thing (especially because my Orps are English and look like basketballs 😄). All 5 chickens in the flock get along well, there’s no bullying, everybody gets enough to eat... What do you guys think?

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I know this thread is old, but I'm curious when your Barnies started laying? As you can guess I am patiently waiting on mine and I am dying to know :)
I completely forgot to come back and update this thread! Thanks for the reminder. They started laying at 37 weeks... Both of them, within 2 days of each other. They took their sweet time :lol: They are two and a half years old now and they've never been good layers. They started extremely late, they lay unreliably, their eggs are very small (always have been, not like fairy eggs but just consistently almost half the size of the Orp eggs), they are the first to stop laying for winter - in August!!!!!!!! - and the last to start up in the spring (March) and they lay absolutely nothing from August to March. One of the two is obsessed with being broody and will go broody every month in the warm season. I've let her hatch and raise chicks twice, and she's an excellent mom! It's just that between the broodiness (sitting/raising, or me trying to break her), and her late start and early wrap up in the year, I don't get a lot of eggs from her at all... But she's an absolute sweetheart and a lap chicken, so she's forgiven! I would say my Barnevelders are eye candy, I wouldn't get them for the eggs or expect a lot of eggs. Not sure if that's how all of them are, or because mine are DSL or something about the line...

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I completely forgot to come back and update this thread! Thanks for the reminder. They started laying at 37 weeks... Both of them, within 2 days of each other. They took their sweet time :lol: They are two and a half years old now and they've never been good layers. They started extremely late, they lay unreliably, their eggs are very small (always have been, not like fairy eggs but just consistently almost half the size of the Orp eggs), they are the first to stop laying for winter - in August!!!!!!!! - and the last to start up in the spring (March) and they lay absolutely nothing from August to March. One of the two is obsessed with being broody and will go broody every month in the warm season. I've let her hatch and raise chicks twice, and she's an excellent mom! It's just that between the broodiness (sitting/raising, or me trying to break her), and her late start and early wrap up in the year, I don't get a lot of eggs from her at all... But she's an absolute sweetheart and a lap chicken, so she's forgiven! I would say my Barnevelders are eye candy, I wouldn't get them for the eggs or expect a lot of eggs. Not sure if that's how all of them are, or because mine are DSL or something about the line...

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OMG! Luuuvvv the last pic, talk about giving the stink eye :lau
 
OMG! Luuuvvv the last pic, talk about giving the stink eye :lau
Oh there's a story behind that picture, and it makes it even better! The hen on the left - one of my Orps - was a first time mom this past spring. I was only planning on using her, since the Barnevelder had already had a turn the year before. So I gave her a bunch of eggs and she sat, but made all the mistakes and overall sucked. The Barnevelder went broody, too (of course) but I kept trying to break her, since I didn't want two broodies. But given how poorly the first one was doing, and how she messed up the hatch as well, I decided to stop trying to break the Barnevelder, and two days after the chicks hatched, I have her 2 of them. She was so happy! The two hens eventually decided to merge their broods and raise the chicks together, which was adorable. But the Orp kept messing up and slacking off. In this photo, the Orp had roosted for the night without giving a fluff about where the babies were. The Barnevelder had to round them up and bring them to the roost, and was covering ALL of them, while the Orp was playing oblivious. So she has very good reason to give her the stink eye here... "Ya slacker! I'm doing all the work around here!" :lol:
 
I completely forgot to come back and update this thread! Thanks for the reminder. They started laying at 37 weeks... Both of them, within 2 days of each other. They took their sweet time :lol: They are two and a half years old now and they've never been good layers. They started extremely late, they lay unreliably, their eggs are very small (always have been, not like fairy eggs but just consistently almost half the size of the Orp eggs), they are the first to stop laying for winter - in August!!!!!!!! - and the last to start up in the spring (March) and they lay absolutely nothing from August to March. One of the two is obsessed with being broody and will go broody every month in the warm season. I've let her hatch and raise chicks twice, and she's an excellent mom! It's just that between the broodiness (sitting/raising, or me trying to break her), and her late start and early wrap up in the year, I don't get a lot of eggs from her at all... But she's an absolute sweetheart and a lap chicken, so she's forgiven! I would say my Barnevelders are eye candy, I wouldn't get them for the eggs or expect a lot of eggs. Not sure if that's how all of them are, or because mine are DSL or something about the line...

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Oh wow! I guess I knew they weren't great layers, but I thought they laid great during winter months. I guess mine are considered just double laced? Yours are very beautiful, I had considered getting more into them, including the SDL, but honestly, even though they are beautiful and they have lots of grace, they're very snobbish LOL! They are not mean, but they do not like to be messed with or held at all. I am ok with that - like you say they are eye candy! Plus I have other great layers, so it is not needed and I just have the two.....
Thanks for the update! Maybe I will get eggs in the spring lol!
 
They are not mean, but they do not like to be messed with or held at all.
Definitely - mine won't even let me touch them! And that's considering that they were hatched and hand-raised in my house, held and snuggled every day by the whole family (including little kids) during COVID so we were with them like all day... They were socialized extensively, AND YET, they do not want to be touched. So that was a great disappointment. It is interesting though, that despite their touch aversion, both of them will happily come onto my lap all on their own, talk to me and hang out with me! By comparison, the Orpingtons are totally fine being handled and will settle down in my lap if I put them there, but they don't come up on their own. So I'd say, in my case at least, both breeds are friendly, just in very different ways. The mama Barnevelder in particular, will climb onto my lap every single time I go into the run and sit down, and will spend quite some time hanging out there and talking to me. I am really enjoying our bond, even if it's a hands-free one.


Maybe I will get eggs in the spring lol!
That's very possible, too. Last year's crop of Orpingtons that I hatched in April ended up waiting until springtime to lay their first egg...
 
Definitely - mine won't even let me touch them! And that's considering that they were hatched and hand-raised in my house, held and snuggled every day by the whole family (including little kids) during COVID so we were with them like all day... They were socialized extensively, AND YET, they do not want to be touched. So that was a great disappointment. It is interesting though, that despite their touch aversion, both of them will happily come onto my lap all on their own, talk to me and hang out with me! By comparison, the Orpingtons are totally fine being handled and will settle down in my lap if I put them there, but they don't come up on their own. So I'd say, in my case at least, both breeds are friendly, just in very different ways. The mama Barnevelder in particular, will climb onto my lap every single time I go into the run and sit down, and will spend quite some time hanging out there and talking to me. I am really enjoying our bond, even if it's a hands-free one.



That's very possible, too. Last year's crop of Orpingtons that I hatched in April ended up waiting until springtime to lay their first egg...
Mine won't get on my lap at all - and they were hand-raised as well. I worked from home a lot, so they also got a lot of extra attention. When they were little they were more lap chickens, but not now. In fact, when I pick them up they don't even like to be held up close, I have to let them perch on my upturned hands and then I can hold their bodies close to mine, otherwise they will flap about like I'm going to torture them. With all that said, there is a beauty about them and charm that I just love to pieces. They are definitely top of pecking order and the queens of my flock. They are not mean to the others, but the others know who the top hens are.
 

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