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light and squatting and red combs.....oh my

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kchron01, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. kchron01

    kchron01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2013
    South Central PA
    I have 5 hens that are almost 21 weeks old. Two Gold Comets (sex links) , 2 BO and 1 RIR. I thought for sure there would be eggs by now from the Comets. They've had red combs and wattles for a couple weeks now. Still no eggs. I know they could be laying outside but I've looked everywhere and nothing. Lately they stay inside the pen until late afternoon, still no eggs. I am going to install a light on a timer this weekend. I thought maybe the short days can make a difference. I know I'm impatient and have read many threads on the topic, but being my first flock, I have no concept of what is normal. Red? how red for how long. Squatting? Light important? Sorry for the rant. I feel like a first time parent.
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    They'll lay when they're ready. Squatting? They want to be mated.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    21 weeks is still on the early side. Sure some will lay as early as 18 weeks but the norm for me is typically 24 weeks. That they are squatting already it will be any day now. What day that will be exactly only the pullet knows.

    Lighting in winter does increase overall production but isn't necessary. With pullets you wont notice a huge difference as the first 4 months of laying is rather stellar. Hens over a year benefit greatly with lighting will. Keep in mind that if you provide lighting the egg laying years will be decreased. Like humans, chickens have a predetermined number of eggs they will ultimately yield so if you force them early with winter light they may not be economically viable the third winter. I use to use 12 hours lighting but have since made sure most of my flock are pullets each winter instead.
     
  4. kchron01

    kchron01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2013
    South Central PA
    Thanks, maybe I'll rethink the lighting. I know my husband would be happy if I said forget about it.
     
  5. kchron01

    kchron01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2013
    South Central PA
    Finally got my first egg this week! Not however from the girls I expected to be laying. I'm getting perfect little blue eggs from Mabel my Easter Egger. I got her as a pullet and wasn't sure of her age. Apparently now old enough to lay. My others are 24 weeks and still nothing. Trying to be patient and enjoying the egg I do get every day or so.
     
  6. Congrats on your 1st egg! Your other hens should start laying soon.
     

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