Leghorns pullets not laying, but links are

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lakeman, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. lakeman

    lakeman Out Of The Brooder

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    I have my hens strictly for eggs, not pets, and purchased strictly for production. I have sex links to get some brown eggs, and leghorns for high production. My sex links are al laying every day (started at 19 weeks) but my leghorns are not laying yet at 24 weeks.
    Thinking that as everyone knows, leghorns are the best layers of all breeds, they should be laying. Does anyone know, do leghorns just mature later than the sex links? I expected the leghorns to lay before the sex links.
     
  2. roverjohn

    roverjohn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Thinking that as everyone knows, leghorns are the best layers of all breeds"

    I think your sex links are proving this wrong. I looked around here before buying my girls and could find only nice things said about sex links. Well, except from folks who want their chickens to breed true even if they have no intention of breeding them.
     
  3. AKsmama

    AKsmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sex links are bred for production as well and it is not uncommon for them to lay before any other breed.
     
  4. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they White Leghorns or a different color variety? Brown Leghorns (and all of the other color varieties excluding White) are actually not all that good of layers.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Quote:I've had 3 brown Leghorns, and all laid 6 a week til they were lost or went into the 1.5 year molt. It's just 3 chickens, but that was my experience. Henderson's says 6 a week and "very early maturing." Can't remember how early mine were. I agree, though, I'd expect sex links to be earlier than anything purebred.

    Maybe soon.
     
  6. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The weather at this time of year might also be having an affect. Leghorns are a mediterranian breed, which are well suited to mediterranian-type climates but not as well suited to most N. American climates. Sex links on the other hand are usually a cross of heavy laying breeds bred for high egg production and as such are often better suited to climates with 4 seasons and usually more likely to lay better during winter. You also don't say if you are supplementing light or not. If not, it could just be that the sex links are better at producing eggs in the "off" season than your leghorns.
     
  7. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I've had 3 brown Leghorns, and all laid 6 a week til they were lost or went into the 1.5 year molt. It's just 3 chickens, but that was my experience. Henderson's says 6 a week and "very early maturing." Can't remember how early mine were. I agree, though, I'd expect sex links to be earlier than anything purebred.

    Maybe soon.

    Your birds were probably from a very good high production strain. It actually mentions on Henderson's chicken breed chart that "non-white feathered varieties are less prolific." Other websites have mentioned this as well. When I said "not all that good of layers," what I meant was compared to commercial sex-link hybrids. Non-White Leghorn's egg production usually rates real similar with Minorcas. Still a very good layer, but will be outdone by the commercial sex-links, especially in cold weather.
     
  8. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    We had a white leghorn that did not lay her first egg until 22 weeks. For the ensuing six weeks, she only missed 2 days of egg-laying. Six weeks after she started laying, she got eggbound and died within a few hours. I see very few messages on here lately whose chickens started laying on-time this year and have seen a number of messages wherein people who have always had success with chickens aren't getting much in the way of eggs this year, either. I know my girls are 8 months, and with the exception of an EE that started laying a month ago, nobody else even has combs or wattles or any signs whatsoever of egglaying maturity yet (they are a BR, RIR, and a wellie, though the wellie's been sick and we don't expect her to lay this year, if ever). We are thinking of eating them and starting with a new flock in the spring, as I think this flock is a bunch of duds.

    One thing's for sure... next time I acquire chickens, they're sure as heck not gonna be hatchery birds like these were. When we divide up the extremely small # of eggs we've gotten by the amount of money we've spent, our eggs are costing us roughly $12 apiece.
     
  9. lakeman

    lakeman Out Of The Brooder

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    Well I am really surprised now, I have three sex links, and three white leghorns, all pullets, and today I have gotten 5 brown eggs (and three yesterday).
     
  10. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bet those aren't Leghorns! Do they have white or red earlobes? Can you post pics? Sounds like they may be White Plymouth Rocks...
     

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