What is the earliest a chicken can possibly lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rosalind, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    In April, I got two Barnevelder and two Welsummer chicks. I am 100% certain they were day-old chicks (OK, 2 days old at most). They were all fuzzy without a pin feather to their names. Definitely day-old chicks, hatched the first week of April.

    I kept them in a brooder box in the house for a little while, and when they had some more feathers I put them in a separate pen in the barn with one of my Cochin hens. The Cochin hen stopped laying a couple weeks after becoming a foster mom, and soon was guarding her adopted daughters fiercely.

    They have been eating Blue Seal non-medicated chick starter. They occasionally get treats of scratch and cottage cheese. They have a mix of pigeon grit and sand, which is the same pigeon grit and sand all my other chickens have always gotten.

    This week, I thought, "Maybe next week, since they will be about 11 weeks old, I should start introducing them to layer pellets and a wider variety of food." They are pretty big, as big as my Buttercup hens. Their combs are kind of pink-y. They look very handsome, glossy.

    Yesterday, OK, yesterday, I put down new shavings in their pen, re-filled the feeder, cleaned and re-filled the waterer, checked for eggs and found two brown eggs. I figured, you know, the Cochin is back to laying off-and-on, these must be hers. I put the eggs in the fridge (I am very sure of this) and didn't think any more about it.

    Today, I get home from work to do the routine food-water-eggs check. I look in their little nesting area that they all like to huddle in. There are EIGHT--EIGHT--as in, 8--brown eggs in there! Mostly little ones.

    There is no way, no matter how backed up she was, that my Cochin could possibly have laid all those. No way!

    And yet I just find it really really hard to believe that 10-week-old pullets can possibly lay 1-2 eggs each. Is that even possible? What is in the Blue Seal chick starter, is it made of pure Clomid?

    I mean, they are big and fluffy enough to lay. They look mostly grown, as big as a smallish hen. Their combs are slightly pink. But EIGHT? [​IMG]
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  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    What other chickens or birds can get into their coop? I have never heard or seen a 10 - 11 week old pullet lay any kind of egg.
     
  3. newnanchic

    newnanchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2008
    Newnan, Georgia
    Could someone be messing with you ??? I have never heard of this either... However I would love it !!!!
     
  4. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Everyone thought mine starting at 15 weeks were awfully early so I can't imagine a 10/11 week old laying.
     
  5. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    The only other birds that can get in their coop are the local songbirds. Which consist of sparrows, robins, woodpeckers, chickadees, juncos, a couple of blackbirds, mourning doves, bluebirds, thrashers, waxwings, cardinals, bluejays, titmice...the biggest thing we've seen so far has been a Cooper's hawk and a barn owl, and the dog was guarding the barn the whole day, you know? I don't see a Cooper's hawk or a barn owl going in the chicken pen, past a furiously barking and snapping dog, hunching in the chicken nest without harming so much as a feather on any of their little heads, laying a bunch of eggs and then taking off again. Know what I mean?

    Even if, let's say, the only other Cochin hen figured out how to get through two layers of predator-proofing to get to the Kiddie Pen section of the barn, and get right back to her regular area before I got home...there's still a grand total of two Cochin hens in the barn. Who can't lay eight eggs a day.

    I called DH, but honestly, he does not even notice the chickens unless I specifically ask him to do something for them, which is rare. He disavows any responsibility whatsoever for my chickens and does that, "they are YOUR chickens, YOU (do whatever), YOU'RE the one who wanted them" thing every time I ask him to so much as check on their water. And even if he did go to the store, buy a carton of brown eggs and put them in there...How did he get the poopy streaks on them?
     
  6. newnanchic

    newnanchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2008
    Newnan, Georgia
    In that case CONGRATS !!!!!!! You've done it !!!! Now could you pass some of those genes to my RIR's They are about 11 weeks old and I would love to start having more eggs every day !!!!!!!
     
  7. Josie

    Josie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 3, 2008
    California
    Have you tried testing the age of the eggs in water. Just submerge them in water, and older eggs will have one end rise, or even start to float.`That would rule out the eggs being older, previously undiscovered eggs.
     
  8. Rosalind

    Rosalind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2007
    Good idea Josie!


    ...



    Uh, they are fresh. Every last one sank like a stone. And with some of the poo washed off, comparing them to eggs which came from my other Cochin, the one who is in the adult coop...These are definitely a shade darker, but in the way that some Ameraucana eggs look blue and some look blue-green. That sort of half-a-shade difference. I don't know how well it will come out in my camera, but I will try to post a pic.

    OK, tonight it is all dark and I don't think my camera will work in the barn, even with the flash. Anyway the chickens are all asleep. But tomorrow evening while it's still light out, I am going to take pics of these chickens standing next to my adult hens, and then pics of the eggs compared to eggs which I know for sure came from a Cochin behind. And I swear on a stack of Bibles, these are 10-week-old chickens.

    [​IMG]
    What happens if you cross a Welsummer or Barnevelder with a Cornish X...? I mean, they sure LOOK 100% Barnevelder and Welsummer, respectively.
     
  9. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    HA, I wasn't the only one! One of my hens thata I gave away layed an egg at around 8 weeks.
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    What is the earliest a chicken can possibly lay?

    6 AM? Maybe 5:30?​
     
    1 person likes this.

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