IYE will my 18 week old pullets lay eggs this fall/winter?

TheCopperCoop

Chirping
Mar 9, 2021
54
76
86
Helena, Montana, USA
Set up: Our pullets turn eighteen weeks this weekend and none of them look anywhere close to getting ready to lay an egg. In the bunch there are Barnevelders, Mille Fleur D'uccles, Blue Fauvacanas, and Blue Copper Marans.

Context: Our chicks from earlier in the spring all started laying around 18 to 22 weeks, granted they're all different breeds. So with a little bit of research about my current pullets, it seems like they're all skewed more towards the latter ranger of egg laying (22 weeks to 9 months).

My question is: In your experiences, is it unreasonable to expect these younger pullets to start laying before next spring? I'm located in central Montana and our daylight length is already at about 12 hours and shrinking dramatically. By October 1, we'll be at 11 hours thirty minutes.
 

Solanacae

Songster
Mar 10, 2021
245
586
156
Cache Valley, UT
Chances are they won't lay until at least Winter Solstice when the days begin to lengthen again.
That’s interesting. I had a Speckled Sussex that didn’t start laying until she was 8 months, which was in January. I wasn’t expecting her to lay until we were closer to spring with 14 hour days so it was a pleasant surprise. I guess she just needed longer days to trigger her laying.
 

sqatkins

Chirping
Aug 24, 2019
37
41
64
Missoula, Montana
Set up: Our pullets turn eighteen weeks this weekend and none of them look anywhere close to getting ready to lay an egg. In the bunch there are Barnevelders, Mille Fleur D'uccles, Blue Fauvacanas, and Blue Copper Marans.

Context: Our chicks from earlier in the spring all started laying around 18 to 22 weeks, granted they're all different breeds. So with a little bit of research about my current pullets, it seems like they're all skewed more towards the latter ranger of egg laying (22 weeks to 9 months).

My question is: In your experiences, is it unreasonable to expect these younger pullets to start laying before next spring? I'm located in central Montana and our daylight length is already at about 12 hours and shrinking dramatically. By October 1, we'll be at 11 hours thirty minutes.
I am in the same boat, living in western Montana. Just about the time the pullets have matured enough to start laying eggs, (mine are now 30 weeks old) the daylight has gotten too short to stimulate egg-laying. I am debating with myself about adding artificial light to trick them into laying eggs through the winter. It sure seems like a LOOOONNNNNGGGG wait to get chicks in spring of 2021 and not see any eggs until spring of 2022. I'm thinking of gradually lengthening their daylight starting in January so that at least, when they do start laying eggs next year, I get more than just the few months in Montana when day length is over 12 hours a day, which doesn't happen until mid-April! By then they will be over a year old! What to do?
 

TheCopperCoop

Chirping
Mar 9, 2021
54
76
86
Helena, Montana, USA
I am in the same boat, living in western Montana. Just about the time the pullets have matured enough to start laying eggs, (mine are now 30 weeks old) the daylight has gotten too short to stimulate egg-laying. I am debating with myself about adding artificial light to trick them into laying eggs through the winter. It sure seems like a LOOOONNNNNGGGG wait to get chicks in spring of 2021 and not see any eggs until spring of 2022. I'm thinking of gradually lengthening their daylight starting in January so that at least, when they do start laying eggs next year, I get more than just the few months in Montana when day length is over 12 hours a day, which doesn't happen until mid-April! By then they will be over a year old! What to do?
We haven't done anything yet and at least 3 of our 8 young pullets did end up laying in the past couple weeks, much to my surprise. We intend to put up artificial lighting but just haven't gotten around to it yet 🙃 January sounds about right for when we'll get to it
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,663
7,195
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
We haven't done anything yet and at least 3 of our 8 young pullets did end up laying in the past couple weeks, much to my surprise. We intend to put up artificial lighting but just haven't gotten around to it yet 🙃 January sounds about right for when we'll get to it
Glad they started! I've hatched chicks in April & May usually, and they typically begin laying around 26-30 weeks of age, around Nov and Dec. I'm in zone 6b if that helps. Right now I have about 10.5 hrs of daylight.
 

Solanacae

Songster
Mar 10, 2021
245
586
156
Cache Valley, UT
Of my 7 pullets I got April 2020, all of them were laying by November except two holdouts. One started at 8 months (Speckled Sussex, which I heard take a long time to mature) and an EE, who took 9 months to lay. 🙄 I didn’t use artificial lighting, and most of my chickens were heritage breeds.
 

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