Lazy layers---When to Cull


7 Years
Jun 11, 2012
Pope County, Arkansas
Hi all. Wish I didn't have to be writing this thread, but I need to know. I have 24 girls of all different breeds (see my sig) and all but one are LF. I just got a 5 month old barred rock pullet in a trade yesterday so I'm not concerned about her, but the rest of my girls are between 30-33 weeks old and 6 are simply not laying. 3 more aren't but they are molting so that's fine. I have already decided to cull the RIR because she has cataracts and can't get around well. I'm pretty sure it's slowing her development too because her sister that I just traded for the BR looked much bigger and brighter. That leaves 3 EEs and 2 Welsummers at 33 weeks not laying, and one cochin bantam at 30 weeks not laying. Can anyone tell me how long is too long for these breeds? I know some breeds take longer to get started but is it just me or is this getting ridiculous?
I don't relish the thought of taking these girls to freezer camp but frankly they are getting expensive to feed and not living up to their end of the bargain. Help please!
By your post, your birds aren't even a year old yet. No where near time for culling them, I'd imagine. Typical culling age for hens is about once every three years, three years is the burn out stage most people go by but hen's will lay a long time after even this date. Egg factories (at least the ones here) replaced hens yearly if I recall correctly but that is because they wanted absolute amount of eggs when the truth is these hens probably could have produced well for at least another two or three years.

From my knowledge, Cochin's are not exactly egg layers and bantams will possibly harm this even more so as I've never seen a bantam produce as well as a large fowl; she might not lay until spring and then probably stop around fall I'd assume. EE's are crosses, so you could get ones that are excellent egg layers due to being from egg laying breeds or you'll find some from more ornamental heritage and they will take the same route. The Welsummers' might be the only exception in this.

Birds need at least 12-14 hours of daylight to lay well (though some breeds don't), you might try adding light to their coop for them to start laying earlier if you want.

God bless,
I know how expensive it gets to feed those girls and then no eggs! My RIR hens didn't start laying until now and they are 34wks old! I was about ready to give up and wait till spring and buy more, lol. Glad I didn't give up. i'd just give it time sometimes from what i've read hens are slower than other hens the 26wk plus could be 30wk plus. good luck and let us know if they start laying :)
ps. I did find they like laying best in dark places :)
Thank you for your replies! You're right, I don't own these chickens solely for egg production but I do sell my extra eggs so I am just ready for them to start I guess. I had just heard somewhere that if they don't start by about 35 weeks or so they won't be good layers anyway so I wondered if I needed to just get rid of the ones who didn't start by then. We are giving them extra light in the coop at night for a few hours after dark and that is helping the production of my girls that are already laying but no new ones have started yet. I will let you know if/when they do, thanks

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom