Is it abnormal for chicks to start laying at 3 ½ months?


8 Years
Jun 8, 2011
I had three silkie pullets that started laying last night… one of them died from being egg bound. I was wondering how common it was for them to do this? My other silkies didn’t start until 7-8 mo. The chicks were not all from the same breeder either.
For most chickens it would be normal for them to begin layin at 19 to 20 weeks. It would not be unusual, depending on the breed for them to start at 18 weekls. 16 weeks is early for any chicken especially silkies and for all of them to start this early at the same time leads me to believe that they are older then you think. As far as being egg bound, it is common for that to happen when they first start laying and it is a good idea to watch them so you can spot a problem and attempt to resolve it before it is too late.
I got two of them when they still had their egg tooth on (plus they came shipped from a hatchery so they hadn’t even eaten yet) so I’m pretty sure about their age… the other one I got when it was still quite little… so the breeder that sold me the chick couldn’t have been that off about the age. The only thing I did differently with them (before all this happened) is give them tomatoes for the first time…

I feel so bad about the one that died because it never crossed my mind to check her for an egg until the other two laid theirs (it was too late by then). We were so busy getting my goats out of their field and into the barn so that they would be safe if the river (by my house) flooded during the hurricane. To be honest I wasn’t even sure of their genders until after the eggs were laid… I feel so stupid… I gave her electrolytes and separated her, but I never checked her for an egg until it was too late.

It’s the first time I’ve had an egg bound chicken… but I also have a bunch of parrots and some of them have gotten egg bound (when they start laying) so I do know what to do… I just somehow missed it until she was so weak she died.

PS: it was a hatchery chick from Cackle that died so i know how old she was... *sigh*

I just wish I knew if it was something I did that caused them to start laying? I don’t keep a light on my chickens…
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