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Chicken laying to early? 17 weeks?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by karenuribe11, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. karenuribe11

    karenuribe11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Round Lake, IL
    Hello guys, I have a concern that hopefully you guys can help me out. I don't live in the country so I only have a 17 week pullet and two baby chicks. So around 16 weeks I ran out of feed for my pullet and since I only have one I didn't want to buy a 50lb grower/finisher bag because she wouldn't finish it so I just went ahead and got the layer pallets. A week after she had been eating the new feed she started to lay(2nd day today) she layed 3 eggs in 2 days but they are fairly small and they have all cracked because she lays them while she is roosting and today's egg was soft shelled. Do you think the feed made her lay early? And what can I do to help her lay good eggs? And train her to lay in nesting boxes? thanks for your help.
     
  2. wholehearted

    wholehearted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 26, 2011
    Ohio
    I don't think the feed made her lay earlier. They just start laying when their reproductive system matures to the right point and it coincidentally happened to be when you switched the feed. :) It is not unusual for some breeds to start laying at 17-18 weeks. What breed is she?

    Sometimes, it takes a while for the system to start working exactly right, so it's not uncommon to get soft-shelled or other unusual eggs at first. Just make sure she is getting calcium in her feed or separately (the layer feed probably has it)...this will help with the healthy harder egg shells. It is totally normal for eggs to be small at first. They will increase in size as she gets older.

    To encourage them to use the nesting boxes, I make them comfy but private and put a fake egg in there. This seems to help them understand. Sometimes it helps to keep them confined to the coop area where the nests are located during the time of day when they lay, even if you typically let them out to range. Otherwise, they may find other places they'd rather use.

    Congrats on getting your first eggs!
     
  3. karenuribe11

    karenuribe11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Round Lake, IL

    Thank you!This makes so much sence, and honestly I don't know what breed she is I got her at a farm flea market and he didn't know by any chance do you? [​IMG]
     
  4. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    She looks a bit like a Buff Orphington, but they don't normally lay that early. Are you sure she is 17 weeks old? She may also be a Golden Sex Link. They DO lay a bit earlier - my Black Sex Links were the first to lay and I got my first egg at 18 weeks. She will adjust to laying in a nesting box and the egg quality and size will improve. If you are feeding her layer feed (don't feed this to your chicks), she should be getting the calcium she needs. If you feel she needs more, you can add an oyster shell calcium supplement to her feed.
    Let us know how she does in a few weeks! BTW, it's not unusual to get double yolkers and yolkless eggs when they are new to laying as well!
     
  5. boyswillbeboys

    boyswillbeboys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2013
    looks a bit like my isa browns (sex links)

    17 weeks is a tad on the early side but not unheard of,for layer hybrids its oftyen 18 weeks
     
  6. crazyfeathers

    crazyfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Auburndale, Wi
    My TSC EE girls started laying at 17 weeks, not all of them but a few and they have been on chick starter (fleet farm) and grower feed from the feed mill.
     
  7. karenuribe11

    karenuribe11 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Round Lake, IL
    Thank you! And around there, like I mention the guy who sold it to me didn't even know much (he doesn't have a professional hatchery) but I have had her for 13 1/2 weeks and it look like she was 3-4 weeks old, so that's why im guessing she is around 16-18 weeks. And for calcium can they have regular egg shells too?
     
  8. karenuribe11

    karenuribe11 Out Of The Brooder

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    1
    26
    Jun 17, 2014
    Round Lake, IL
    Thank you! And around there, like I mention the guy who sold it to me didn't even know much (he doesn't have a professional hatchery) but I have had her for 13 1/2 weeks and it look like she was 3-4 weeks old, so that's why im guessing she is around 16-18 weeks. And for calcium can they have regular egg shells too?
     
  9. boyswillbeboys

    boyswillbeboys Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2013
    yes, if you want to feed back egg shells, go ahead, it's usually better if you crush them first
     
  10. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    Hi, Yes, you can feed them the crushed egg shells for calcium as well. They recycle it that way!
     

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