I have 25 young hens, 17 and a half weeks old today. I have RIR's, Light Brahmas, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Araucanas/Americanas, and Black Australorps. I am very excited about the beginning of their egg laying careers, and want to know when that will be! I've heard 18 weeks, 20 weeks, and sometimes even 25 weeks is the starting point for most hens. At what age did your hens start laying? Also, after they start laying, will they immediately be laying 6 or 7 eggs a week? They have been in a large enclosed pen, and have more than twice as much space as is required. They have been on a diet of as much fruit, veggies, chicken scratch, and layer pellets as they want. They also occasionally get "junk food" as a snack (bakery bread) but that's only once every 2 weeks or so. I already have 10 older hens who are laying, but they are 8 or 9 and only laying about an egg a week each. (They are Silkies, Polish, a frizzle, a frizzle/silkie cross, and 2 Araucanas.) They can show the younger girls where to lay their eggs. Thanks!