When are my hens going to lay!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by amymarie1221, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. amymarie1221

    amymarie1221 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 3, 2016
    Woodland, WA
    Okay so I got 4 chickens that are now 22 weeks old (glw, ameracauna, easter egger, & welsummer) and two chickens that are 26 weeks old (Olive egger, slw). Any suggestions on when they might start laying? The 22 week old welsummer and slw are starting to get red combs and wattles (also the 26 week old slw but not as big) but none of the other gals are. Im new to chickens so I'm just patiently waiting not knowing what to expect!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Peeps are a-peeping Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Those breeds tend to start at 5-7 months. The combs will get large, bright red, and shiny. They will become more talkative and potentially bossy, and will often squat. You do have some slower to develop breeds, your first might be the EE.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Could be soon, could be weeks yet....only time will tell.

    New layers can be quite goofy acting, they don't know what they are doing at first and can be confused and anxious, it can take up to a month or so before they get it all figured out. Putting some fake eggs or golf balls in the nest might help show them where to lay. They may scratch around in the nests for weeks before laying, spreading the bedding everywhere. They will scratch around a bit less in nest as they get used to the routine. Meanwhile, eggs everywhere, some of them can be rather funky looking, soft or thin shelled, huge double yolked eggs.

    Signs of onset of lay---I've found the pelvic points to be the most accurate.
    If you touch their back they will hunker down on the ground, then shake their tail feathers when they get back up.
    This shows they are sexually mature and egg laying is close at hand.

    Combs and Wattles:
    Plump, shiny red - usually means laying.
    Shriveled, dryish looking and pale - usually means not laying.
    Tho I have found that the combs and wattles can look full and red one minute then pale back out the next due to exertion or excitement, can drive ya nuts when waiting for a pullet to lay!

    Dry, tight, and smaller - usually not laying.
    Moist, wide, and larger - usually laying

    Pelvic Points 2 bony points(pelvic bones) on either side of vent:
    Less than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means not laying.
    More than 2 fingertip widths apart usually means laying.
  4. Every hen is different even in the same breed...All anyone can tell you is that they will start laying eggs...I watch for red combs and wattles...My nest boxes are now put back into my coop for a week..I have one Pullet who jumps in and out and tries all the nests...She is 18 weeks...Far from laying an egg...I never worry...I know soon enough I will get eggs..


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