Shouldn't they be laying by now?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jaimi, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Jaimi

    Jaimi In the Brooder

    Mar 1, 2008
    North Central Alabama
    I got 4 chicks (~1 week old, one RIR hen and 1 EE hen) the week of March 17. Well, they still haven't started laying yet. Is there a problem or are they just slow? Does having 2 roosters cause problems? 'Cauz I have 2, but I havent seen any fighting of anything...
    Just wonderin' [​IMG]
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    It's not time for them yet. Most heritage breeds don't start laying until at LEAST 20 wks old, and many times 22-23 weeks is more typical depending on the breed and time of year. I've got a bunch that were born around March 5th and am still waiting that first egg from those girls, and not expecting it until next week at the earliest.

    Now, some will surprise you with an egg sooner than that, but I have learned not to expect eggs until week 20-23.

    As far as the rooster question. If you have only 4 chickens total and 2 are girls and 2 boys then you may end up with trouble as they mature. The usual ratio is 5 hens MINIMAL for 1 rooster. Any fewer than that and you may end up with bare-backed, worn out girls.

    But, there is the rare exception where you can have small numbers like that and they all get along too. Just watch them and be prepared to separate out or give away/cull your roosters if necessary for the health and well-being of your girls.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  3. MsBentleyboy

    MsBentleyboy Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Kentucky girl
    If I calculated correctly, you have 20 week olds? (that's about 5 months and most will start anywhere from 4 to 6 months). You may have a few more weeks to go. If it's too hot... they may delay some. I'm still waiting on two of my 5 month olds to start laying now..... it's nerve racking isn't it. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  4. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    well I'm not an expert but I believe some hens don't lay till 20 wks
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Most birds are going to be 5 months or so, but some breeds, can take 8 months if not longer for their first egg. Don't hold your breath now!
  6. milleryardchx

    milleryardchx Songster

    May 25, 2008
    Washington State
    i hear you! my 5 1/2 month old Ameraucana has yet to lay her first egg!!! [​IMG]
  7. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    Your girls are only a little over 4 months so you have at least a few more weeks before you see production. Watch for the signs....comb and waddle become larger quickly and turn bright red. They will start "squating"...meaning responding to the advances of the roo(s). You should only keep one roo with only 2 hens though. Mine started laying then stopped, then started then stopped....waiting for them to lay is painful [​IMG] Good luck!
  8. MsBentleyboy

    MsBentleyboy Songster

    Jul 16, 2008
    Kentucky girl
    "comb and waddle become larger quickly and turn bright red."

    That's interesting to know. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  9. mom wewantchicks!

    mom wewantchicks! Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    Quote:i was just getting on here to look that up! i thought i had read that! i have 2 41/2 month old BA and i have noticed the past two days they have gotten really red on the comb and wattles,does that mean i should be expecting eggs?
  10. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Songster

    Dec 31, 2007
    Washington State
    Most everyone has already hit on the normal 20-24 week laying period so I'll just add that you are oftentimes better off if they aren't early layers. Oftentimes early layers can develop other problems like pro-lapsed vent later on. I had that happen with one of my BO's. Of course, laying eggs that were actually, literally, truly bigger than our duck eggs, didn't help!

    I understand your anticipation though. I have several Welsummers that were born in early March and a dozen Blue Wheaten/Wheaten Ameraucanas that were both on April 1st. No foolin! We are trying out best to patiently wait for a new dark brown or blue egg to show up in a nest - but we're not rushing things.

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