How Old When Buttercups & Ameraucanas Start Laying?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by PookySue, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. PookySue

    PookySue Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone know, on average, when Sicilian Buttercups and Ameraucanas begin to lay? I have a 3 pullet backyard flock consisting of an Ameraucana/EE, an Australorp, and a Sicilian Buttercup, who will all be 8 months old at Christmas.
    The Australorp began laying on 30 October when she was about 6 months and 1 week old. She has been a consistent layer since.
    At about 5 months the Buttercup started exhibiting the "stop & squat" mating behavior on occasion and she sang her "egg song" a few times, but has not begun to lay.
    The Ameraucana/EE has displayed no mating behavior, no singing, nor any interest in the nesting boxes. (Except when we had that earthquake during the early morning hours back in late August and she used the box to hide in.)
    I live in the Napa Valley of Northern California where we have rather mild winters (occasionally it gets down to 27-29 degrees, rarely less than 25 degrees), no snow, but a good amount of winter sunshine compared to many other places around the country.
    Any insight would be appreciated! Thanx!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Generally they start laying from 20-24 weeks, occasionally a little earlier, on rare occasions a little later.
     
  3. PookySue

    PookySue Out Of The Brooder

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    I guess my 7 1/2 month old Ameraucana/EE and Buttercup are very late bloomers then, Michael! LOL
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    It happens sometime, particularly if they have experienced some kind of recent stress (ie. a move, being frightened by a dog or some other kind of predator, overcrowded, etc.). Also, you might want to look around and make sure they are not laying in a hidden nest somewhere. Sometimes members post complaining that their pullets are not laying only to find the eggs somewhere other than the nest boxes later (sometimes a considerable distance from the nest boxes). You might also check for shell fragments in the nest box just to make sure you don't have an egg eater among your trio of pullets. Good luck in getting those eggs.
     
  5. PookySue

    PookySue Out Of The Brooder

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    Nah, they're not laying anywhere else. And they haven't been stressed. In fact, they're 3 of the most mellow and friendly birds I've ever seen. They are in suburbia and basically confined to a fenced run that's +/- 1000sf where I have some fruit trees planted. (Though sometimes they do get free range time around the rest of the 1/4 acre property on good behavior.) There's also been zero evidence of any of them helping themselves to an egg treat.
    I realize that, from what I've studied, 20-24 weeks is about the average laying age when all laying breeds are considered as a whole. I guess I'm trying to find more breed specific start ages.
    But, I appreciate all the info you've posted.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I haven't personally had Buttercups, but that 20-24 weeks has been pretty much average for my EEs over the years. I suspect you'll start getting eggs very soon.
     
  7. PDPercherons

    PDPercherons Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Buttercups started laying at 23-24 weeks. I live in Michigan. One of my lovely crowned ladies is laying reasonably. The other hen I don't think has started laying and attribute my other two white eggs to my Hamburg hens that I know are both laying for me. It seems maybe she'll wait until warmer weather.
     
  8. PookySue

    PookySue Out Of The Brooder

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    Michael and PD, I think these two are just being ornery and don't want to grow up yet. [​IMG]
     
  9. PookySue

    PookySue Out Of The Brooder

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    The Buttercup laid her first pullet egg today at almost 8 months old! A wee 35 grams!
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Congratulations! It's always exciting to get that first egg. :eek:)
     

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