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When chickens start to Lay

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Half-a-dozen, Jun 23, 2007.

  1. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2007
    I have 12 girls that are 7.5 weeks old. Doing the math they should start to lay eggs around September.
    I've read that once they start to lay they do so for a while and then molt and during that time they don't lay.
    Does anyone know when that might happen and how long it lasts. Also will they definately stop laying at that time?
    Do they go thru this every year at the same time?

    I am trying to plan for constant egg production because I know once we start eating the good stuff we are not going to want to go back to the store bought ones.

    So at what point should I be getting some new chicks to raise to offset these laying dry spells?
    My girls are 7.5 weeks, should I be getting new ones now?

    Thanks for any advice
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, my birds lay though their molts, just fewer. And if you want a constant egg supply, just get a batch of chicks every spring and take out your hens that are three years old. I find that if you start chicks too late in the year, they will molt and start laying in the spring. You can also put a light on them for an extra few hours in the winter to encourage laying, but I find it is not necessary and laying just slows. A rest is good for them too.

    Generally they will molt around the same time each year but the duration and heavy ness of the molt will depend on the bird. I have some that will drop all their feathers and appear to be a pin coushin and while others you can hardly tell.

    Oh yeah, laying dry spells are weather and season tempermental, so age only plays a small role in it. They will all eventually end up on the same relative cycle.
  3. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2007
    Thanks for the reply-

    What do you do with your hens that are three years old?
    At that point are they to old to bring to the table??
  4. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    bring them to the table. better you know where they are going rather than somewhere you don't know what king of later life they'll have. That is what we are going to do. I acn't process though , It would break my hear t to look in their faces while THAT was going on so Hubby said he will do it for me. I know it is part of the food chain and I suppose i could turn vegan but i like meat way to much to give it up!!

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