How long must I wait b4 these chicks get laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amiachicknorwat, Oct 22, 2015.

  1. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All, We got our chicks back in early June and I know now is the wrong time to have such expectations. As fall is falling so is our egg numbers from the shortening of days, the sunlight dimming, basically. So yeah, I'm gonna get a light, put it on a timer and slowly lengthen the time it's on in the morning. That's what I got from another thread. I'm just wondering cuz it's been about 5 months now and still no sign of the 3 pullets pulling thru yet. Yeah, only 3 of the 9 chicks are chicks, per se. 6 roosters. Was it just bad luck of the draw? The unsexed heritage chicks were cheaper and I do get to exchange roosters for pullets, which I've still yet to receive. But (should be another thread) cant sex be determined right from the start. One person said you can tell just by looking at the top of their heads. Could that be true? Much Thanks, Nick
     
  2. PerfectPlumage

    PerfectPlumage Chillin' With My Peeps

    Most chickens start laying around 20-25 weeks but depends on the breed. With sexing them, yes, usually after a few weeks the male's combs will be redder and bigger then the female's. The comb is the small fleshy part on the top of their heads. The males, once they have their adult feathers, will have pointy neck, back, and tail feathers and the hen's will be rounder.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Barred Plymouth Rocks are fairly accurate to sex with a combination of head spot and leg color right at hatch. Other than that vent sexing is the way to go.

    If these are truly a heritage or standard bred breed then you could easily be looking at 30 weeks until they lay. Standard bred Barred Plymouth Rock take that long and more.
     
  4. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I'm a little early to expect eggs, if 20 - 25 weeks. I have wondered if these "heritage breeds" I was sold are actually heritage or just a mixed blend beyond recognition of the standard prevailing breeds. Not that I think this store I got them from would do that. I only wonder if that's done in the business. So if 30 weeks I've got just over 10 to go.

    About determining sex I've noticed that in the mix of breeds of the 6 roosters all have at least a little green in the tail feathers. Is that luck of the draw or a constant in gender distinction? Thanks Again, Nick
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    If you got them from a store then they are likely hatchery birds. They are typical to lay around 24 weeks.

    The beetle green sheen is common on all black birds regardless of gender.
     
  6. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Spring-hatched pullets will usually begin laying in the fall (when they're around 6 months old), and will continue to lay eggs until the following fall (when they're around 18 months old) without any supplemental light. I've had a variety of breeds (RIR, barred rock, australorp, orpington, EE, wyandotte), and this has held true for all of them. This may not hold true for geographic locations where daylight hours are extremely curtailed during the winter (far north), but it has been my experience raising chickens in PA.
     
  7. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Even if the store adverted them as "heritage"? That's pretty dishonest. But then again, that's business. Honesty's only the best policy socially, has no place in "giving the business"
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    But very common, in the marketing of anything, especially chickens.
    If you read fine print, with your grains of salt intact, you'll may well see the differentiation(legal CYA).

    You've probably seen this, but:

    Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
    Squatting:
    If you touch their back they will hunker down on the ground, then shake their tail feathers when they get back up.
    This shows they are sexually mature and egg laying is close at hand.

    Combs and Wattles:
    Plump, shiny red - usually means laying.
    Shriveled, dryish looking and pale - usually means not laying.
    Tho I have found that the combs and wattles can look full and red one minute then pale back out the next due to exertion or excitement, can drive ya nuts when waiting for a pullet to lay!

    2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
     
  9. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Much thanks, Aart. Not fully nuts yet, still waiting. Uh, maybe just undiagnosed. Shsh, let's keep it that way. And no, I've never seen that. Looks useful. But legal CYA -- what's that? Will google, no prob. Thx2, Nick
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Cover Your @ss

    it won't let me type that word
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015

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