Egg Laying Age???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Country Guy John, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Country Guy John

    Country Guy John Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have barred rocks that started laying at 20 weeks to the day.

    I now have some australorps and jersery giants that are 16 weeks old and was wondering if you can share with me the general age in which they will start laying?

    Thanks for your help!!
     
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Average is 26 weeks. My BO's started at 21, RIR's at 23.
     
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last Fall, my Barred Rocks began laying at 21 & 22 weeks. The Australorps started at 23 and 26 weeks. Your Jersey Giants, I would guess, will be the latest.

    I think it has a lot to do with the time of year and diet to a lesser extent.

    Steve
     
  4. mschickychick

    mschickychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think digitS is on to something here!

    I am reading Genetics of the Fowl and haven't gotten to this part yet, even though I wanted to jump ahead. But, reading your post I convinced myself that it was now OK to look ahead. Thanks.

    Anyway it says "there is a close relationship between date of hatch and age at first egg." It also says you can compensate for late hatching by providing artificial light for birds reaching somatic maturity when the days are short.

    Below is a chart from the book:

    [​IMG]

    There is also variation in relation to body weight. "Small breeds, strains, and birds tend to begin laying at earlier ages than do big ones."

    How do ya'll feel about this information? I just skimmed through and there is probably more I will find and/or understand once I read the whole book.

    Thanks much.
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Mschicky - I'm perplexed by that chart! I had a batch hatch in mid-December, and according to that chart, they would begin laying at 22 weeks! I was under the impression that since they hatched in late winter and had limited sunlight (until recently), they would mature slower. I hope the chart is correct! [​IMG]
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    Most of my birds started laying between 20 to 24 weeks. I have had a couple start at 17 weeks. One was 27 weeks.
     
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting chart but there in Nesbit, MS - it may not be as sad a scenario as up here near the 49th parallel. The failing hours of daylight drop like a stage curtain every year.

    Growing with decreasing hours of light suppresses development. I turned on a light in the coop when the hours of darkness totaled more than the hours of daylight last Fall. Then, slowly added a few hours. Without a light, by late December, the birds would have been spending about 16 hours on the roost in the dark and the cold.

    Still, I like to get my chicks as late as possible in the Spring. They aren't outdoors at first but cool, windy, wet weather certainly isn't as healthy for them as warm Summer days.

    The opposite of suppressed development is also the case with too many daylight hours, as I understand it. Controlling light is important for the commercial outfits and they will limit hours of light so that young birds aren't rushed to maturity.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  8. Country Guy John

    Country Guy John Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ms. Chicky Chick,

    Thanks for your response. This really helps!!

    Quote:
     

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