How soon can a chicken lay an egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ging3rhoffman, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. ging3rhoffman

    ging3rhoffman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    What is the earliest age that they can lay? Does it depend on the breed? I have 14 twelve week olds. I have a BO, SLW, EE's, RIR's, black aussies and a white rock. Who might lay first and at what age?
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    It really depends, and you really don't want them to lay TOO early, as it can cause laying problems later (such as egg bound or internal laying). 18 weeks is the very youngest they should lay, I prefer mine to start later, and I put mine on a different feed from 12 weeks on, until the first from that hatch lays, then I put them on layer feed.

    My guess would be your RIR or EE will lay first! Enjoy your girls!
     
  3. ging3rhoffman

    ging3rhoffman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    What different feed do you put them on until the layer? Right now mine are still on the chick starter and they also get bird seed each day and different kinds of snacks, like toast, raisins,hard boiled egg, noodles, oatmeal cooked and uncooked. Sometimes a flake of really good alfalfa hay.

    Do you give oyster shell before laying age or after?
     
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    NO - no oyster shell. Too much calcium as they're growing causes issues. No need for that until they begin to lay.

    I feed Buckeye Pullet Developer (I think that's what it's called). It's specifically formulated to delay sexual maturity, so the laying equipment has a chance to get caught up to the body, so to speak. I feed that from 12 weeks on. I've also switched them to Purina's Flock Raiser at 12 weeks, until they lay. That works for me, but you of course need ot have a goood sense of what YOU want to do.
     
  5. ging3rhoffman

    ging3rhoffman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Thanks. My main concern is healthy happy hens. [​IMG]
     
  6. davony's chicks

    davony's chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2009
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    Thanks to both of you. That was going to be my next question since I just got my chicks a few weeks ago.
     
  7. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    ging3r - I'm SO happy to hear this! It's frustrating as all get-out waiting for them to begin laying. But, if you exercise patience, you'll be much more apt to not have any issues later on! BEST of luck with your girls!
     

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