how old are hens before they lay eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by redhen, May 20, 2008.

  1. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    hi..i am new to chickens,(very new) was wondering at what age do hens start laying?...and does breed factor in?..i have RIR ,white rock and blk sex link...thanks
  2. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008

    They should start around 4-5 months old.
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Your Black SexLink will probably be first, then the other two.

    Hello and Welcome also.
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits...

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    hello..thanks very much!...these are my first chickens...(have always wanted some)..i'm in love with the things already!..cant wait to get some fresh eggs! thanks again. ,.p.s. i posted a question on the coop page...about nest boxes and clear roofing and laying eggs..guess i posted on the wrong page..could anyone help me out and try to find it....please and thanks..
  5. cnicho05

    cnicho05 Chirping

    Feb 22, 2014
    Owosso, MI

    Yes, breed can be a factor in when your hens will begin to lay. Honestly, a wide range of factors will impact the time when your chickens will first start to lay (e.g., weather, feed, sunlight, environment, etc.). The breeds you mentioned from your post, however, should start to lay around the same time...20-25 weeks or about 5-6.5 months.

    To promote healthy development and egg laying you will want to provide the correct types of feed (starter, grower, layer) and supplement with grit and oyster shell. This is an important element in chicken health. If you don't know what this is please respond back to this message for more information...

    Hope this helps...
  6. RandR

    RandR In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2012
    I've raised 2 batches of chickens and both took 8-10 months before they started laying! Once one started the others joined in within a couple weeks.
  7. farnorth

    farnorth Songster

    Jul 6, 2013
    Upper Michigan
    At the time that they turn 5 months old make sure they are getting enough light each day....less than 13 hours of sunlight and they won't lay.

    So say if you had pullets that reached 5 months old in the fall when days are getting shorter you might not see any eggs for several months unless you give them added light. If your pullets reach 5 months old in summer when the days are long they should start to lay.....unless they are kept inside a dim coop a lot.

    I would also start giving them access to calcium and switch over to "Layer" feed around 5 months old so their first eggs will have strong shells.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: