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Question on Breeds that are laying now

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by janchilds, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. janchilds

    janchilds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 27, 2011
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    If I want my chickens to lay eggs this time of year would it be better to find hatching eggs from chickens that I know are laying now? Meaning... if I have a breed I am interested in and I contact two flocks of SQ breeders (same breed)... would the one with hens laying now be more likely to reproduce future birds that lay well in the winter? Vs. the other flock that doesn't have eggs available now?

    I know with sheep, fall born lambs will be more likely to lamb in the fall as mature ewes.

    Thanks!
     
  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not so much about which breed, but how many hours of light they get. Most hens require 14+ hours of light in order to lay throughout the winter. Keep in mind the hen's life may be shortened due to force-laying through winter months.
     
  3. janchilds

    janchilds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 27, 2011
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    So unless the breeders are managing the birds exactly the same... laying or not... tells me nothing.

    That makes sense... I didn't think about artificial light.

    Thanks!
     
  4. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, length of daylight and abundance of food are the biggest triggers for egg laying in pretty much all bird species, from chickens and quail to parrots and flamingos. Also, age plays a big part in it too. In most breeds, pullets who have just started laying or are in their first year of lay and have not yet gone through their first adult molt are likely to lay fairly well even with fewer hours of light. After their first adult molt and in subsequent winters, the very same pullets may not lay as well during the winter. Those same pullets that layed like vending machines their first winter may mature into hens that stop laying during their fall molt and wait for the longer hours of spring to start laying again.
     

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