Does anyone have a clue when they should start laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by efudge94, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. efudge94

    efudge94 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    I am new to chickens, i have 8 right now. I got them the day they were born <3 [​IMG]. I have four hens ( 2 Rhode Island Red, 1 New Hampshire red, and 1 White leghorn. ) And they turned 17 weeks old two days ago. I know nothings ever exact but does anybody know if they SHOULD be about to start laying in the next few weeks? And my roosters or ducks wont try and eat the eggs will they? They think everything that goes in their pen is a treat and always take a nibble at it
     
  2. thepromise

    thepromise Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2010
    Orange County
    My Rhode Island Reds began laying earlier than the rest of my flock. Rosey laid at 18 weeks and Red laid at 21 weeks. I had a really skittish white leghorn hen, she laid at 16 weeks and 4 days. I remember that exactly cuz that was the first egg laid in our coops. [​IMG] Hopefully you'll get a yummy white egg from your leghorn. [​IMG] I dont think the roosters and ducks would eat it. UNLESS its a soft shell egg and they peck at it and it open. [​IMG] [​IMG] good luck!!!
     
  3. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    Quote:[​IMG]
    Usually they start laying anywhere from 18 weeks to 6 mo old, depending on the breed. You should notice the comb and wattles turning brighter red and they may lay some very small eggs at first until they get a bit older and used to laying.
    If they don't lay in the boxes some other chickens, roosters or ducks could very well eat the eggs if they just see them laying about but usually they don't.
    Make sure you are using either a layer feed, or Flock Raiser and and have oyster shell free choice available at all times along with their granite grit.
    Good luck and hope you get some eggs soon! [​IMG]
     
  4. efudge94

    efudge94 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    Thank you guys! Im really excited about the first egg! [​IMG] Right now they are still on the start to grow crumbles because the owner of the feed store says that until they start squating and stuff they shouldnt be put on the layer feed. But im pretty sure were about to start them on it anyway. Where can you get the oyster shells? I dont know if they have any where we get our feed. And would it be fine for the roosters and ducks( their all hens) to eat the laying feed or should we just get regular feed for them? SOrry for all the questions guys [​IMG]
     
  5. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    Always at 18 weeks I put them on Flock Raiser and start the oyster shell, this gets it into their system before they start laying and so they don't get any problems from not having what they need nutritionally.
    Because I do have roos in each coop I don't feed the layer feed with the calcium already added because this can give them problems. I feed the Flock Raiser year round for the extra protein and mine do better on it condition wise. I get the oyster shell at the feed store, they should carry it if they carry chicken feed. The oyster shells are ground up and look a lot like the grit, usually available in 5lb or 50lb bags. You can also use aragonite, it's powdered calcium. I put this out in baby pig feeders along with another feeder of grit and let them get it as they need it. The roosters do not eat the calcium.

    I don't have ducks, so maybe someone else can answer about them eating the layer feed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  6. stormylady

    stormylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    Illinois
    yes 18 to 22 weeks is what I was told for most breeds, some lay earilier and some a little later on just depends on the girl mostly I think. I just had my 16 week old SS lay her first egg. Then some of my girls didn't start laying til about week 28 or so. Soooo...... just depends but the average is 18 - 22 weeks.
     
  7. efudge94

    efudge94 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2011
    Thanks everybody! This helped a lot [​IMG]
     

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