Hen Wonders: How old do Hens have to be to lay Eggs?

Chicks & Chickens

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 13, 2011
111
17
91
I had a Hen and I would like to figure out when she is supposed to lay Eggs at her new home? She's already 15 weeks old, going on 16, and I think I should be expecting Eggs quite soon!

Anybody know?
 
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billiejo21

Chirping
8 Years
Oct 16, 2011
289
1
89
Iowa
Most of our girls started laying around 5-6 months...I think the 16 week time frame is more hopeful than realistic! I'm sure there are some breeds that lay early, but I have several different types of hens...earliest started around 22 weeks old! Good luck!
 

AlienChick

Crowing
Apr 9, 2010
2,917
125
251
Glasgow, KY
Most usually start around 22 weeks.

That being said, most of mine started at 18 weeks.

It also depends on the breed. Mine were Black Australorps and Barred Rocks and Easter Eggers (my EE began laying at 17 weeks and they're usually known to start laying much later).
 

bobbieschicks

Chicken Tender
8 Years
Jun 24, 2011
4,565
231
261
King George, VA
My Coop
My Coop
You can guess that the pullet will start laying when her comb is bright red. She may start to squat when you try to pet her or sit in the nest box for a time. The time when she starts to lay can vary even within the same breed. My White Leghorn started laying at 19 weeks - but another poster has a WL and she's still not laying at 24 weeks. So, it can really vary. My EEs started at 21 weeks old and would sit in the nest box for about 3 days off and on before they actually started to lay. If there's a rooster - the rooster will start mating her as she gets close to laying. Sorry, not much help. But the 16 week time frame is really less realistic then the 22 week that an earlier poster mentioned. I have one that's 22 weeks old and still hasn't started laying.
 

bluefeather2697

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 9, 2011
229
7
91
layer type hens like sex-links and comets usually lay on or before 23 weeks. but some chickens are late layers like polishes, EEs, araucanas...
i have a hen that laid her first egg at 26 weeks. :)
 

Chicks & Chickens

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 13, 2011
111
17
91
Thanks, everyone! And I do have two Cockerels.... So I wonder when my Pullet will lay? I'm trying to decide if I want her to lay soon or not. I think not. I'm just not ready for them to grow up! :(
 

suzeqf

Songster
8 Years
Mar 17, 2011
835
6
121
My girls started between 18-28 weeks old and I have a Ameracana hen who still hasn't laid and she's 9 months old. My red stars laid first followed by my turken then my cochin then my 3 OEGB and my seabright then my silkies and my little girls went broody when they laid their first eggs and one of my silkies went broody around Christmas which was about a month or so after she laid her first egg.
 

Chicks & Chickens

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 13, 2011
111
17
91
Hmm.... So I suppose that means not 16 weeks? Okay, well that expands the time I need to expect it! :) That's pretty good news for me. It seems like they were only Chicks yesterday :(
 

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