when do they start laying

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickenMommy, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas
    when will my chickens start laying eggs?
    They are 12 weeks old now.
    I have 4 RIR, 1 black sex-links and 1 black Austrolof.

    Also when do I switch them to layer feed?
    When do I add oyster grit?

  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    It can be anywhere from 5 months to 8 months, from what I've heard. Mine started laying around 6 months. You can offer the oyster shell now if you'd like. Just keep it in a seperate container (I put mine in a parrot dish) and they will eat it when they feel they need the calcium.
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    the breeds you have should start laying at 18 to 20wks.depending on the weather maybe sooner maybe later.
  4. JamesC

    JamesC In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2007
    You should start getting eggs by about 20 weeks. As soon as you get the first start switching them over to lay ration. Do that by 1/3's over a week or two. That's also the time to begin adding oyster shell for calcium although your layer ration should contain approx. 3% calcium, it doesn't hurt to give them extra.
    By the way it's Australorp as in Australian Orpington.

  5. jmofaustin

    jmofaustin Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Austin, TX
    My RIR's did not start laying till they were 6 1/2 months old, they took the longest of all my chickens, but, they lay the largest eggs now and do it everyday!
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Sometimes the sexlinks start laying very early, maybe 17 weeks. My first layer was a RIR and started at 19 weeks. My latest one, a Buff Orpington, started at 23 weeks old. One of my Barred Rocks also started at 23 weeks.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  7. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    I have three girls, all hatched late March 2006. Two of them are RIRs and the other is an EE. The EE was the first to lay at 20 weeks, 5 days. The first RIR to lay did so at 23 weeks, 6 days. The second RIR didn't lay until 27 weeks exactly. Since your girls were hatched earlier in the year, it's likely that they'll lay a tad earlier than mine who came into maturity in the fall when the days were already getting shorter.

    You'll begin to see some signs that they're close to laying. You'll notice that their comb and wattles are getting red. They may also do a funny little squat in the days before they lay and may also begin checking out the nest boxes.

    I switched my girls to lay feed with calcium at 17 weeks, which was a little earlier than I would have liked to have done, but had run out of chick feed (no grower feed available in my area) and didn't want to end up with a bunch of feed I couldn't use. It would be reasonable to aim for about 20 weeks, but if you begin seeing signs of impending laying activity, you can begin switching over. It was suggested to me that I add 1/4 lay feed to their old feed for 4 - 5 days, then switch to half and half, then 3/4 and 1/4 until I eventually reach full lay feed.

    Calcium can be given "free choice" in a separate feeder.
  8. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: