How old were your chickens when they stared laying and what breed?

PeckPeckChick

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
141
11
68
South Bay Area
Just curious, what age were your chickens when they laid their first egg and what breed where they? I have a Red Star, Barred Rock, Silkie, Ameraucana, buff Orpington, and a silver laced wyandotte. Maybe someone could help me out?
 
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Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,591
13,134
707
Southeast Louisiana
I’ve had pullets of various breeds begin laying as young as 16 weeks. I’ve had some pullets wait 9 months before they laid their first egg. It varies by the individual. Breed and time of year come into play too but mainly it varies by the individual. How you feed them plays a part too. If you feed a high protein feed, you can often push them into laying a bit early, but that is not always healthy.

You really don’t have enough for averages to mean a lot, it varies so much by the individual. If you had twice as many I’d kind of start looking for the first egg around 20 weeks, maybe 18 weeks if one is a bit early. It’s possible but unlikely before that. If you had twice as many, I’d think a few more would kick in about 23 to 24 weeks, with the majority laying by 7 months. But this is just a guess. It really can vary by individual pullet.
 

PeckPeckChick

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
141
11
68
South Bay Area
I’ve had pullets of various breeds begin laying as young as 16 weeks. I’ve had some pullets wait 9 months before they laid their first egg. It varies by the individual. Breed and time of year come into play too but mainly it varies by the individual. How you feed them plays a part too. If you feed a high protein feed, you can often push them into laying a bit early, but that is not always healthy.

You really don’t have enough for averages to mean a lot, it varies so much by the individual. If you had twice as many I’d kind of start looking for the first egg around 20 weeks, maybe 18 weeks if one is a bit early. It’s possible but unlikely before that. If you had twice as many, I’d think a few more would kick in about 23 to 24 weeks, with the majority laying by 7 months. But this is just a guess. It really can vary by individual pullet.
Just curious, which breeds started laying at 16 weeks?
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,591
13,134
707
Southeast Louisiana
The ones I had start at 16 weeks were mixed breed mutts I hatched myself from hatchery stock, not truly "breeds". Their ancestry was Speckled Sussex, Delaware, and Black Australorp. The earliest I've had hatchery chicks start was 18 weeks. Starting to lay early is not a trait I select for. It's been a few years since I had one start that young.

The ones I had wait until 9 months were "project Ameraucanas", where a group of breeders are trying to develop a new color/pattern to try to get it recognized. They were hatched in March and started laying in December. I did not provide winter lights. Once they started laying they lay really well, nice sized eggs practically every day. Interestingly when I crossed them with my mixed breed mutt rooster, the pullets normally started laying around 20 to 22 weeks and also lay really well.

They lay when they are ready. It is really hard to predict for the individual.
 

PeckPeckChick

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
141
11
68
South Bay Area
I'm not Ridgerunner, but I've had red sex links start at 16 weeks. Freaked me right out! None of my other birds have laid that young.
That gets me excited because I have a RSL and I would like to get my first egg before I have to got to a summer camp!
 

Farmer Viola

Songster
6 Years
May 23, 2013
2,201
239
211
Earth
(hatchery) RIR, Buff Orp, Black Australorp, Barred Rock - 23, 24 and 26 weeks

(non hatchery) Black Copper Marans - 18 weeks
(non hatchery) Welsummer - 20 weeks

the skin on their face around their eyes will get really red the week they're going to start, as well as their comb and wattles.
 

PeckPeckChick

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
141
11
68
South Bay Area
(hatchery) RIR, Buff Orp, Black Australorp, Barred Rock - 23, 24 and 26 weeks

(non hatchery) Black Copper Marans - 18 weeks
(non hatchery) Welsummer - 20 weeks

the skin on their face around their eyes will get really red the week they're going to start, as well as their comb and wattles.
Hmmmmm why do hatchery chicks start later?
 

USAmma

Songster
10 Years
Jul 26, 2009
187
21
128
I don't really belong on this thread, but I thought you all would find it interesting that my quail started laying daily at 8 weeks old. They were mature enough at 3 weeks to tell what sex they were.
 
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