Feeding 16 week olds layer feed

Folly's place

Enabler
Sep 13, 2011
21,554
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southern Michigan
Those pullets will start laying eggs when they are ready, whenever that is! Some breed types start much earlier than others, so who do you have out there?
For best egg production over winter, a small light bulb on a times makes a big difference. Chickens lay eggs when there's at least fourteen, and best sixteen, hours of light each day.
Here we have a light in the coop on a timer, 3:30 or 4 AM to 8 AM every day from about mid September to mid March.
Some people do the morning lighting thing, and some are happy with few or no eggs all winter. It's a choice, and playing with intermittent lighting is a fail. It's either do it, or not.
Mary
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
So I have 9 16 week olds. Are you saying that it will be several months before all of them lay their first egg? None will lay before the first of the year?
Not necessarily. It depends on the breed and the individual birds.
Consider that most breeds begin laying at around 20 weeks or so. And let's say your latitude is similar to Jackson, Mississippi, by the end of September when your birds reach 20 weeks, your day length will be 55 minutes shorter than today making it less than 12 hours.
They may be laying by then but there is no way to know for sure.
When I have had birds reaching POL in September thru November and I was anxious to kick start laying, I would add a light to the coop to come on in the morning before dawn. Give an extra 20 minutes and increment that by another 20 minutes every few days. By the time you get to about 13 hours of day length, they'll probably all start.
Or, you can just let them commence in their own time.
To determine if laying is imminent, check the space between pelvic bones.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
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143
Mississippi
Not necessarily. It depends on the breed and the individual birds.
Consider that most breeds begin laying at around 20 weeks or so. And let's say your latitude is similar to Jackson, Mississippi, by the end of September when your birds reach 20 weeks, your day length will be 55 minutes shorter than today making it less than 12 hours.
They may be laying by then but there is no way to know for sure.
When I have had birds reaching POL in September thru November and I was anxious to kick start laying, I would add a light to the coop to come on in the morning before dawn. Give an extra 20 minutes and increment that by another 20 minutes every few days. By the time you get to about 13 hours of day length, they'll probably all start.
Or, you can just let them commence in their own time.
To determine if laying is imminent, check the space between pelvic bones.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
Thank you for all the information. I had already read some other information on BYC about the length between the pelvic bones increasing when they are closer to POL as well. I will check them out also. That will be interesting. Very eventful for sure. Thank you so much!
 

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
982
1,624
143
Mississippi
Not necessarily. It depends on the breed and the individual birds.
Consider that most breeds begin laying at around 20 weeks or so. And let's say your latitude is similar to Jackson, Mississippi, by the end of September when your birds reach 20 weeks, your day length will be 55 minutes shorter than today making it less than 12 hours.
They may be laying by then but there is no way to know for sure.
When I have had birds reaching POL in September thru November and I was anxious to kick start laying, I would add a light to the coop to come on in the morning before dawn. Give an extra 20 minutes and increment that by another 20 minutes every few days. By the time you get to about 13 hours of day length, they'll probably all start.
Or, you can just let them commence in their own time.
To determine if laying is imminent, check the space between pelvic bones.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/
I’m sorry ChickenCanoe. I believe I missed seeing your response to this in a timely fashion. Sorry for this and I appreciate your response also. I believe now that my girls are 20 weeks that three are very close to POL based on examination of their pelvic bones and the deep red coloring of their combs and waddles. My two out of three Swedish Flower hens have very red combs and have developed very long waddles which have thinned out also in the last few weeks while one who is actually the hen in charge I believe of my flock is not that developed. I have three Cream Legbars which all are very pink with one being very red indeed. Funny too she was the runt we called her when we got the group of nine and now she is the Cream of the crop so to speak and seems ready to go to work any moment. Funny how that works isn’t it? My three Orpingtons are of course the later laying breeds of the bunch and the largest of the three is the less red of the three with one of the three more red and I cannot get a good feel on these three because they are what I call little heifers. Indeed. They are hard to handle and nice to deal with from petting but they don’t like to be handled too much since they have been placed out in the coop. No problems as little ones in the brooder up until 11 weeks I caught them daily but I haven’t done that daily lately because I have a very bad back and I pet and will move them from the poop boards to the roost boards if they get caught too late getting on the roost at night and because they are big ones and then it gets dark and then they can’t see to get higher up on the roost board instead. Then I will do them a favor and save them getting pooped on over night when I go to lock them up for the night. They are very easy to handle after they have gone to sleepy town or at least part way in the dark. These big girls appreciate their chicken Mama moving them around to the top bunk since they can’t see. My Orpingtons are the watch dogs of the flock and they don’t go into the coop until last at night and I have one Legbar who is a piglet who always likes to get the last bits of food that she possibly can before going to bed at night so she is always the very last hen in the coop after them. It’s the same routine every night. I also don’t know if that’s because they are also low on the pecking order as well. The Orpingtons also wait- well a few of them not all - wait for the others to eat first in the morning then they take their share. The Legbar I am talking about always eats right off so I know she gets plenty and is not low. She also gets to sleep on her same favorite place on the roost after she gets on at night even though she is last in the coop. She can fly and see well. She sleeps on one of the back roost boards. I have a front and a back board and she faces the back wall of the coop and puts her head down between the boards and the Orpingtons stand up and over her and sleep standing up I think along with one of my Flower hens who is also one of the watch dogs of the flock who likes to sleep standing. This hen will patrol the run when my dogs are out and try to keep up with them and peck them if they get too close. She likes to get her cheap licks in or cheap shots in on anyone or anything whenever she can. Man, beast, or bird. Her name is Verbena. She used to be one of my favorites and would come right to me to be held all the time in the house. Now I call her Meana Beana. I have had the blood drawn by her several times now for no reason. She has since settled down thankfully because my lead pullet has settled her down in regard to her treatment of me and attacked her on my behalf and disciplined her on the spot twice for biting me. Queen Poppie is truly a diamond in my eyes and takes care of her chicken Mama. Lol!
 

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