Red sex links laying at 4 months??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Potato, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Potato

    Potato Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    I am an owner and seller of some very friendly Red sex link and Americana chicks, fledgelings, and layers.

    On June 13th I had a hatching of 104 Red sex links pullet chicks, I have sold around 40 of them and have received some interesting calls about them. Some folks I sold about 8-12 of them to called me to say they are laying and have been for about a week or so. The chickens are barely over 4 months old, how is this possible?

    Another couple I sold three of the same R.S.L. chicks to has called to tell me, one of them is very large and they think it's a rooster, I know it isn't a rooster because of the color pattern, but the chicken is quite a bit larger and more developed looking. It looks like a full grown Red sex link hen, but the other two they have are the size of my chickens at home.

    If anyone has any ideas of an answer please let me know. Thanks in advance
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
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    4 months may be a bit early but I believe it. I once had a pullet start at 17 weeks. She wasn't a red sex link but she was a hatchery cross ("production red,") also bred for production.

    I would be happy to have a larger hen like that. It makes her just a little closer to the characteristics of the original breed. Of course, she will no doubt eat a little more -- but she may also lay larger eggs, and maybe even be a healthier bird. If my customer wanted to trade her for a smaller han, it wouldn't bother me a bit!
     
  3. Potato

    Potato Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    The folks with the large one are coming by to trade her out for a different one this weekend. But I still cannot get my head around them laying so early, is it the feed? and Why arn't mine laying already? ;) lol
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The most likely cause is genetics, by far -- which is also why some chickens may start at this age and others not for months longer. Just today I was reading about someone's chickens who had not started at 8 months, and I know of one case where a hen did not start til after she was a year old. Pffhand, though, I'd say most hatchery pullets start betwween 20 and maybe 30 or 35 weeks, just as a guess.
     

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