Starting Pullets in Autumn?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sarabeth53, May 13, 2010.

  1. sarabeth53

    sarabeth53 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    I know that typically chicks are supposed to be ordered in spring to have them laying by autumn because of the hours of sun that tricks their cycle to make them lay. I was wondering, what would happen if I started chicks in September or November? Would they still lay at 5 months old? Would they be less productive? Would I get eggs by the spring of the next year?
  2. Vanessabuffsnsilkies

    Vanessabuffsnsilkies Songster

    May 26, 2009
    NE Ohio
    I ordered chicks last September 28th and they started laying around Feb. I left a light on for them at least 14 hours per day. They laid thru the rest of the winter and now are laying regularly.
  3. Marie1234

    Marie1234 Songster

    Mar 29, 2010
    It kind of depends on your location and setup. Because it is so cold here I want everything to have feathers and a layer of body fat before November or I have to plan on running heat lamps out to coop. Sometimes a broody will hatch out a batch late in the year though and as long as she is willing to keep the chicks warm it works out well because just as spring rolls around you have egg producers.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    My welsummer chicks hatched 10/24 and the 2 girls started laying at exactly 24 weeks.
  5. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I agree with Marie1234.
    What I have read, most breeds start laying around average 5 months of age. Regardless when they were born. Climate does have a role in this too. If you have freezing temps in the winter, they may hold off till the weather warms up a bit (towards spring).

    I'm lucky to have good laying hens even through the winter. I do a lot of baking and depend on my girls to give me eggs.
  6. sarabeth53

    sarabeth53 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2009
    Pasadena, CA
    Thanks for all the info! I live in north-central CA so it stays pretty warm here. I think I'll be okay. Thanks!!
  7. riftnreef

    riftnreef Songster

    Oct 27, 2009
    Mechanicsburg, Ohio
    My Golden Comets were hatched in August and started to lay not too long after Christmas. We had a rough winter, but once they got going they were giving me an egg a day. A normal breed though would have waited till spring most likely but that being said, it would have been early this year so when every one was hatching chicks, we would have been getting eggs, so I say yes, there is an advantage to hatching in the early fall, just leave enough time to grow them out before winter...not so much you, but those of us in not so friendly of climates...[​IMG]
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I got my very first chicks October 2, 2009, and added a few each week for a month. (Uhhhh.... it just happened???) They started laying in late February. Because we did have a cold snap for a few days longer than is usual in this part of the state, AND I'm a doting first time chicken momma, I kept my chicks inside at night until the oldest were 12 wks old and the youngest were 8 wks old. I wanted to put them all out at once, so avoid repetitive bouts of pecking order problems.

    You'll do fine. However, now that I've started with more chicks this Spring, in the future I will try to stick to Spring chick purchases - as opposed to Fall or Winter. There's just more opportunity to give the babies their little day trips outside, and the heat lamp usage in the brooder is MUCH less intensive.

    Just my opinion - and I'm a relative newbie to chicken keeping.
  9. Barry Natchitoches

    Barry Natchitoches Songster

    Sep 4, 2008
    Quote:I had a Buff Orpington lady go broody on me at the beginning of September of last year. She successfully hatched three babies: 2 pullets and a cockerel, on September 27, 2009.

    The two pullets that hatched were the daughters of Barred Rock hens and our only rooster: an EE male.

    Both of those pullets began laying eggs in their 21st week (January), and lay regularly ever since. They have a half sister who was born December 27, 2009, making her 21 weeks old on Sunday. She has not laid her first egg yet, but I expect her to any day now.

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