Might a 22 wk old lay first eggs even in Oct-Nov?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jmc, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Hi all:

    My RIR/NHR flock of 7 hits 'sexual maturity' age (22-24 wks.) toward end of Oct.

    I really don't expect much at all by way of eggs until next Spring because, even though the birds hit laying age Oct-Nov, the decreasing daylength is also telling their bodies, "No need to reproduce". So I don't think I should expect much more than a few 'pullet eggs' this fall, and maybe an odd regular egg over winter.

    What do you think of my 'theory'? This is my first flock ever.

    Thanks for any help!!!
  2. I have been asking people the same thing myself and getting varied answers.
    I have pullets that are 21 weeks and 17 weeks, and no one is laying yet, so I wondered if it would be spring before I see any eggs.
    Some people say that if you provide artificial light in the coop for 14 hours a day then they will lay.
    Others are against all artificial light saying that the hens need a rest during the winter.
    How the light issue pertains to the pullets who have never layed I am not sure.
    Maybe its okay if they are pullets and their bodies are reaching maturity and would normally be laying eggs if it were any other time of year.

    I would be interested in hearing some other people's opinions.
    As I said, I have asked this question to many people and never gotten the same answer twice.
  3. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Quote:Hi neighbor!

    Never same answer twice! Why am I not surprised!!??
    I also plan on sparing my birds winter lighting--always. I will want them to devote their strength to getting through the winter than produce eggs on top of that. Both are stressful, deep cold and laying eggs (as you know), and I hope to give mine a break for winters.

    Thank you, and let's see how many answers we get. Good luck with your flock! [​IMG]
  4. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    One of my silkies just hit laying age 3 days ago. She's laid everyday since... I figured it would already be too late with the short days to get anything this fall. I was wrong. [​IMG]

    I really think its up to the bird. I'm sure they will be random at best over the winter... but I'm sure they will supply you.
  5. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    When the bird is ready to lay, it will lay regardless of what month it is. Just because it is winter, doesnt mean a chicken will not lay. Usually they just lay less, sometimes much less, sometimes they are not affected, depends on the breed.

    Chickenmonk, I bet you see an egg in 2008!! Go chickies!!
  6. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:I agree 100%:
  7. SGM

    SGM Songster

    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    Well my RIRs are 21 weeks old and I have 2 out of 7 starting to lay now. So yes those are winter layers I think you should get eggs through the winter. You may not get daily eggs at first granted, but they'll produce pretty good for you.
  8. FreeRangeGirl

    FreeRangeGirl Hatching

    Sep 17, 2008
    Hello, I was too lazy to read all the responses.... but... I have 22 week olds that just started laying. I have 14 hens and we've gotten 5 eggs in 4 days. I'm sure there's more somewhere in the yard also, but we've found 4 that are actually in the nesting boxes. I'm obviously too lazy to correct spelling and grammar too!

  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    My girls that were hatched Oct 2, started laying I think it was Feb 9th. I did keep a red heat lamp on most of the time. I did have it on a timer initially set to turn a light on at 5am. [​IMG]
  10. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    My pullets were fairly young last winter. Someone gave them to me so he wouldn't have to keep feeding them, and though it was January, and he said they were 'late season hatches' they each laid every two or three days for me after being in their new coop only a few days. The rate picked up sharply as the light increased through the spring. Now I'm back to two or three eggs a day again--already! My pullets are going to be 21 weeks at Halloween, and I expect to get some eggs in November from them--just not too many. If their laying drops off too much the feed bill is going to kill me (I have over sixty birds right now and more in the bator).

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