Do all young hens start off laying small eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Southernchickens, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Southernchickens

    Southernchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2010
    Mobile, Alabama
    I have 6 older hens in a run with 10 young hens that haven't starting laying yet (they have reached the laying age though). Back before winter I got two tiny eggs that I thought were fart eggs but they had yolks. One was brown and the other blue. I have young and old chickens that can lay blue and both that lay brown. Today I got (for the first time all winter) an egg and it was a large brown one. So, does a young hen always start laying small eggs?
  2. duckking

    duckking Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    Mine are still laying smallish eggs....around 50g - One of my RIR's gave us a 60g last week, but has since been laying small again. They are almost 25 weeks and started laying between 21-23 weeks.
  3. Louise's Country Closet

    Louise's Country Closet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Garrison, MN
    All of my girls have started off laying small eggs, if that helps any [​IMG]
  4. nanawendy

    nanawendy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    I LOVE those new little eggs [​IMG] I give them to kids and hard boil them for my DH co-workers. Which they love as well.
  5. Cass

    Cass Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    Albany, NY
    Quote:OH OH....I LOVE that idea [​IMG] Tiny hard boiled eggs will make even the most unwilling Sr Citizen eat. You may have just solved a huge problem for me.
  6. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You know, I used to think all pullets begin by laying those small "beginner" eggs. Then an interesting thing happened this go-round of chick raising.

    I raised two batches of pullets six weeks apart in age this past summer. It was getting well into fall and no eggs had yet to appear. I knew I could "juice" the action by putting up a light at the front part of the day, but I didn't want to stimulate the younger girls to lay too soon. So I waited until the younger ones were five months old and the older pullets were six and a half months old before turning on the supplemental light.

    Two surprises happened. The younger ones and the older ones all began to lay within days of each other. And while the three babies were producing the expected pullet-size eggs, the four older girls all laid full-size eggs right from the get-go!

    I can only conclude that by allowing them to wait that extra six weeks gave their bodies more time to mature fully, thus permitting their eggs to develop to a larger size.

    This was a first for me, and I can't say for sure that this was an absolute cause and effect. Maybe some veteran BYC'ers have noticed a correlation between age at onset of laying and egg size.
  7. alaskachick

    alaskachick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Wasilla, Alaska
    My chickens all started laying small eggs except for my two white leghorns. Those girls started laying med to large eggs from the get go.
  8. dmccann

    dmccann Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    darlington pa
    My Coop
    The first group of girls i raised gave normal size eggs when starting to lay,i raised another group nthe following year they gave me the tiny eggs when starting to lay.I never knew they gave little ones like thatuntil searching it out on this site.The eggs did get normal in size,i remember one had no yolk,diet eggs?lol
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Quote:Commercial operations delay egg laying by keeping the light periods short until the pullets are old enough to lay decent sized and decent quality eggs. They don't get enough money for those first small or weird eggs to make them worth their time fooling with them, they don't want their pullets to lay before their bodies have matured enough to lay (more likely to prolapse or get egg bound if the bodies are not physically ready), they eat more when they are laying so why feed them more when you can't use the eggs, and some of those early weird eggs, such as soft shelled, can teach some to be egg eaters. I don't want to freak anyone out by saying this. There is a big difference in the way we keep our flocks in the backyard and keeping 5,000 laying hens crowded in one coop.

    I don't mess with the light but let the sun and seasons take care of that. They lay when they lay.

    I think the way to answer the OP's question is that it is normal for their first eggs to be small and get larger as they get older. Are you sure that was not a double yolker?
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Very interesting, Ridgerunner --- I didn't realize commercials purposely delayed egg laying.

    For the OP, pullet = under one year, hen = over one year. Pullet eggs can mean both smaller eggs and eggs laid by young chickens. All mine started small, even the leghorns, though for them a pullet egg was as big as a Sussex's mature hen egg.

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