How do I get them to start laying

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gutshall, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. gutshall

    gutshall Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2008
    I have a group of girls that are 18 weeks today. They have plenty of water and feed available all the time. They get a little treat of scratch in the morning. They have been on layer for 1.5 weeks and I put a 40 watt white light out about 5 days ago to give them 13 hours of light. We run around 34 degrees for the high and 20's for the low. They seem happy enough. Is there anything else I can do to get them to start laying? [​IMG]
  2. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    All our chickens layed late this year because it was dry here and lacked protein. They grow faster with higher protein. Otherwise I use the chicken soup lecture it generally works!
  3. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    Round about the time our chooks were 20 weeks old, I started looking at them and thinking, "Maybe I can squeeze an egg out like a tube of toothpaste." Luckily, I didn't, and waited a few more weeks.
  4. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
  5. har

    har Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2009
    My black sex links have started to lay at 17 weeks. They have not had free range but chick starter from the start and a light on 24/7.My free range black sex links started to lay in 26 weeks. A big differance. I don't know if the extra cost of feed saved me any money or not.
  6. Granolamom

    Granolamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    I'm by no means an expert, but it seems like it just simply takes them a little longer, when it's winter, despite the extra feed, lights, etc.
    My BR hen started laying last year during the summer, right at 17 weeks. The other 5, who we got some weeks later, took all winter, and just started laying 2 weeks ago (at 24 weeks). I did not use any lights, because I wanted them to start "naturally", when they were ready (the idea being, that they'll lay longer, instead of being completely "spent" at 2 years of age).
    It'll happen, just consider them pets (with no fringe benefits), for a little while longer, and you'll be rewarded!
  7. peggyb43

    peggyb43 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 29, 2008
    I just ate my first two perfect brown eggs this morning and they were wonderful. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to eat them, but no problem. My gals are 23 weeks and just started. I don't use any light or heat source. I'm in Georgia and its warmed up lately.

    I don't think you are supposed to feed layer until they start to lay. Patience is its own reward. Good luck!
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    One risk to "pushing" them too fast with very high protein feed and long hours of light is that the pullets will become reproductively mature while they are still small birds. Their eggs may be small and continue to be small.

    Of course, there's not much value to the chicken-keeper if they just stop developing and spend their time sleeping late and eating bon bons on the couch.

  9. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    bon bons..... heh heh.

    3 of my 4 hens didn't lay until they were 26 - that's right - 26 weeks old. The 4th girl, my slow developer I guess, didn't lay until she was 32 weeks old. They all eat the same thing, do the same thing, whatever. Some are just slower than others. But now that they're all laying, I get 4 eggs nearly every day and at a minimum every other day, even with our subzero temperatures and short days. I do not use lights but I do provide heat.

    Patience my young padwan learner. Patience.
  10. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    7 of my 15 aren't laying yet. All of them are 38 weeks. I don't have a light on them so I'm hoping that's why. Freeloaders...

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