How to know when my hens are full grown

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by coolchange, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. coolchange

    coolchange In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2007
    I am new to raising chickens so please forgive my ignorance. I purchased 4 hens that were about 3-4 months old. I bought them about a month ago. My question is how do I know when they are full grown? I purchased them strictly for eggs so when should they start laying? I live in north Florida so the tempature has been mild, we have had a few cold snaps but looks like warmer weather coming. Thanks in advance for all your comments and suggestion.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  2. AZChick

    AZChick In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2007
    I would guess in the month you should see an egg, but it also depends on where you live. It has finally been sunny and warm here in Arizona after several weeks of really cold. If you live in the "Deep Freeze" you may be waiting until spring.
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    It kinda depends on what breed you girls are. Some lay around 5 months others not till later. Sounds to me, though, that they're nearly old enough to begin feeding layer pellets/crumble which also may help get them started. Just be patient, most likely it won't be long.
  4. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Heavy Breeds like Orps, Brahmas, Rocks and Cochins are late bloomers and it may take over 6 months before they lay their first egg.
    Light Breeds like Leghorns, Anconas, Andalusians, and some of the Game breeds are quicker and you should be getting eggs very soon.
    Hens need at least 14 hours of daylight to get their cycle going fully.
    I'm still waiting on one hen, but she'll be 4 and I'm really not expecting too many from her.
    My little Silkie mix pullet is going great guns and I already have over a dozen from her.
  5. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Well then- congratulations on your "new" flock!

    Keep an eye on their comb and wattle color. They'll turn BRIGHT bloody red just as they're starting to get ready to lay- and will only fade after that if they're sick OR if they go into molt and quit laying for a short while (which is normal).

    I'm one of those people completely UN-impressed with layena. I keep my girls on grower ration and give them oyster shell freechoice at all times. After talking to A LOT of people, it seems those that do this method have birds with better feather conditioning, and overall healthier birds. I have NO scientific data--just personal observation and discussions with long-timers. I completely freerange my girls, so feed is a minor component fo their diet.

    Should you choose to go with a laying ration.....I suggest putting out oyster shell anyways. IN the meantime- put the oyster shell out. They'll only eat it if they need it, and when they start going through it, you'll know they're just about ready (If you're switching to layer ration, then that would then tell you the most appropriate time to switch).

    Have fun!
  6. pegbo

    pegbo Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Peg here, the way I understand it is they are called pullets until one year old and then they are hens. They should start laying about four to five months old with their eggs increasing in size as they go. My girls won,t be hens until April 22 of this year but all are laying.
  7. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    In general they're full size by the time they lay!

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