Minimum laying age?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Auscal, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Auscal

    Auscal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2010
    I'd like some opinions on the earliest age my chickens could possible start laying - and also the average age to expect them to start. The breeds are Delaware, Barred Rock ans red sex links (RIR X Delaware).

    TIA
     
  2. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    I would guess around 6 months they should start laying.
    Sometimes a bit earlier and sometimes a bit later, but 6 months is a good average.

    How old are your chickens?
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    RSL will likely lead the parade. They'll often begin at 17 weeks with little rubber eggs or pullet eggs. By week 19, they are often in full lay.

    The Barred Rocks ad Dels will follow, but typically not until week 20-24.
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I have a tractor full of ISA Browns (sex-links) that hatched February 14 of this year. I collected the first two pullet eggs from them last weekend. Call it four and a half months or eighteen weeks.

    Non-production breeds (which is most anything not a sex-link laying bird or a White Leghorn) can usually be expected to lay at about five months or twenty weeks. But there are circumstances that can impact this such as how they are fed and managed, time of year they hatched, weather, and so on. The later into the year a bird is hatched the later they are likely to lay due to shortening day lengths in the fall and winter.
     
  5. I have had two batches of BR's and both started to lay at 19 weeks. I have had 5 Red Sex Links start laying at 18 weeks. My RIR started laying at 19 weeks. I currently have a leghorn I am watching closely as she is now 16 weeks old and expect her to start laying in the next week or few.
     
  6. v.cyr

    v.cyr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    Greene, NY
    oldtime farmers always told me 21 was the rule... 21 days to hatch, 21 weeks till the hens start laying... never kept precise track of it, but IIRC, it was close to that figure for ours....
     
  7. Auscal

    Auscal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 29, 2010
    Thankyou for the replies.

    My RSL & Delawares are currentyl 14 weeks, the Barred Rock 8 weeks. I am still working on "integration".

    Currently the older girls are in a large (60' X 60') run from early morning (repurposed dog yard), in the early evening they are returned to their coop/smaller run. The younger two go in there during the day (with a covered area they can retreat to), but have a separate shelter for night.

    I wanted to get an idea on the earliest they may start laying, so I can start to leave the older girls in their coop/run till late morning. Also, I still have the nest boxes closed off (they were sleeping in there, but now appear to be roosting). I think I'll uncover the nest boxes now, and in two weeks or so keep them in the coop/run area longer in the morning. (The larger run is not attached to their coop/run - unfortunately.
     

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