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

jmc

Songster
11 Years
Jul 22, 2008
1,588
5
184
South Central MA
Hi all:

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

THEORY:
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.

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

Thanks for any help!!!
 

the simple life

Songster
11 Years
May 2, 2008
1,561
7
181
Weymouth, Massachusetts
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.
 

jmc

Songster
11 Years
Jul 22, 2008
1,588
5
184
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!
 

vfem

Yoga...The Chicken Pose
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
7,324
21
264
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.


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.
 

chickenlady

Songster
12 Years
Aug 28, 2007
1,214
10
171
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!!
 

SGM

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
919
5
139
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.
 

FreeRangeGirl

Hatching
11 Years
Sep 17, 2008
6
0
7
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!

-Kate
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
22,520
13,025
641
Florida
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.
 

Heather J

Songster
11 Years
May 29, 2008
955
1
141
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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