Delaware Hens - Latest Laying Schedule?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yummo, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. yummo

    yummo New Egg

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    Jun 1, 2008
    Earth
    We purchased 25 Delaware + some other chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc. from Cackle Hatchery and they were delivered as day old in April of '09 and we still do not seem to be getting much from them. We are seeing some small brown eggs but we would have figured by 24 weeks that they would be up to full size eggs by now. We also have another 30 assorted hens and our egg production has not gone up but by maybe 1 or 2 eggs day since the Delaware hens reached 20 weeks.

    We were somewhat disappointed as Cackle shipped 5 roosters in that batch of Delaware hens as well as shipping the wrong turkeys.

    Has anyone had this problem before with an entire batch laying so late? This is our 3rd mini-flock purchase from Cackle and the others have always done well. Granted we had some intense heat this summer but were careful to cool the hens down and supplementing with Durvet Vitamins & Electrolytes.

    On a side question we are looking for a breed that starts laying on or before 20 weeks and is a good dual purpose with large - x large brown eggs and is a good forager since we have acreage for them to roam for their food but we do provide oats and crumbles. We have had the following dual-purpose: Rhode Island (mean), Buff Orpington (nice but we keep ordering different breeds to find the 'just right' breed), Turken (don't ask what we were thinking), Ameraucana (nice but some customers had issues with 'colored' eggs). We do not mind ordering from a smaller hatchery and would even pick up from a place around DFW. We are considering Plymouth/Barred Rock from http://www.mthealthy.com/.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  2. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Delawares are a fairly large breed and take longer to mature. I started some this year and did not get their first eggs until 25 weeks. Pullet eggs are always smaller starting out. Their size will increase after the first month or so of laying.

    I've never ordered from Cackle or Mt Healthy. However, Barred Rocks are one of our favorite layers. I raise some very year. They usualy start laying by 20 weeks. They're very curious ad friendly as a breed. They forage well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    My newest batch of Delawares (from a serious breeder) began laying at 18 weeks and the last one laid her first egg at 21 weeks. At 34 weeks, I still get some medium sized eggs from a girl or two. That's natural, really.
     
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have two Dellies from Cackle (I believe... if not Cackle, then Vanessa got them from Ideal) hatched out March 20th. Neither has laid an egg yet.... but they look like they are getting close.

    Here is one of them.

    ETA: her legs are much more yellow in real life! The flash whitened them.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009

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