Seasons and onset of egglaying

shortstaque

Songster
9 Years
Sep 29, 2010
307
5
111
Bucks County, PA
I know the less daylight there is the less eggs hens will lay. I'm just wondering if the season in which the pullets mature has a relationship to the age at which they start to lay. What I mean is, if you schedule your hatch to have the girls reaching maturity around the summer solstice for example when there is the most light and it is warmer, will they tend to lay sooner all else being equal (the breed, feed rations, etc.) than if they reach maturity in the fall when the days are getting shorter?
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
432
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I'm sure there are people who plan their chicken keeping that carefully. I also know some breeds lay right through winter, even without supplemental light, just the shortened days.

But for me, I got chicks when I wanted to get chicks, which was last October and only a couple of feed stores still had 'em. The other feed stores just explained it was 'too late to raise chicks now.'

Oh? I did just fine. Yes, they stayed in the house in the brooder longer, but it was my first batch of chickens so I didn't have anything to compare the experience to. Then again, they DID start laying in the Spring, so I had a "jump" on the egg-laying part. However, I didn't get chickens for their eggs.... that's just a big bonus!

But as soon as chicks were again available - in the Spring - I got more. (Chicken math!) They're just now laying, and if they slow down or quit for the winter, that's okay with me. I may have fewer to sell to people at work, but I just do that because all of my beauties produce more eggs than *I* could ever consume.

Sorry I am not being more helpful. Just wanted to chime in with the comment that I didn't plan anything like that.... and I don't think I'm the Lone Ranger in that area.
 
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buckabucka

Crowing
11 Years
Jan 13, 2010
3,143
147
292
Fairfield, Maine
My Coop
My Coop
I was told that most breeds lay through the winter if they are in their first year. I think leghorns, barred rocks, buff orpingtons, australorps, and chanteclers make good winter layers (at least from what I've heard, - this will be our first winter with chickens).
 

shortstaque

Songster
9 Years
Sep 29, 2010
307
5
111
Bucks County, PA
Quote:
Thanks. I hope mine do lay all winter. I've yet to get an egg, so it would be nice to have them keep going this winter once they get charged up.
 

shortstaque

Songster
9 Years
Sep 29, 2010
307
5
111
Bucks County, PA
Quote:
It's torture!!! 17 + weeks and counting. A few are turning red in the face. I expected the Anconas and Andalusians to be the first to lay, but from the looks of it a Cuckoo Maran and Dominique are by far the reddest. So we'll see. Could have a few any day, but I have a few more weeks to wait probably.
 

woodmort

RIP 1938-2020
9 Years
Jul 6, 2010
3,524
978
301
Quote:
Yeah but that's Ma Nature for you, you can't rush her. Remember the longer it takes for them to start the longer they will lay. Plus that first egg is going to taste soooooooooooooo good.
BTW, back to your original post--no, the seasons/daylight will not effect when they will start, it just slows them down once they start. Most people start with spring chicks because that is the easiest time of year to get them started weather-wise as well as giving them all summer to mature. That means the first eggs start appearing in September- November then, unless they are kept in artificially lighted coops, production slows down until about March, speeding up just in time to produce more eggs for spring hatch. Then it starts all over.
 

Duchessk75

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
70
1
39
1.9 Acres Ohio
My BR, which are now 5 months old, have pretty much stopped laying. I've went from 18-20 eggs a day down to MAYBE 4 on a good day. I was expecting a slow down in egg productions though, but before I bought BR I did some research and they were known as a hardy breed that would lay through the winter. For a few weeks I was watching them really close cause I figured I had an egg-eater...but it turns out my girls have decided on a winter vacation lol
 

4 luv of eggs

Songster
9 Years
Apr 22, 2010
400
1
119
Westminster, MD
Quote:
Yeah but that's Ma Nature for you, you can't rush her. Remember the longer it takes for them to start the longer they will lay. Plus that first egg is going to taste soooooooooooooo good.
BTW, back to your original post--no, the seasons/daylight will not effect when they will start, it just slows them down once they start. Most people start with spring chicks because that is the easiest time of year to get them started weather-wise as well as giving them all summer to mature. That means the first eggs start appearing in September- November then, unless they are kept in artificially lighted coops, production slows down until about March, speeding up just in time to produce more eggs for spring hatch. Then it starts all over.

Makes you wonder if that's where the tradition of dying Easter eggs came from. All of the sudden there is a plethura of eggs around the Eastertime.
 

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