When does a hen start laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BuckeyeFam, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. BuckeyeFam

    BuckeyeFam In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2009
    I'm going to try to hatch some chicks and am wondering how long it will be for the hens to be old enough to lay??
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009

  2. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    They start laying at about six months. Some breeds take longer to mature though. Our Barred Rock started laying a six months, now we are waiting for the rest to start (they are all six months) They have all started squatting for us though, so it will be soon! [​IMG]
  3. msgenie516

    msgenie516 The Happy Hen

    May 16, 2008
    Nesconset, LI, NY

    I have found that most of my girls start laying anywhere from 5 to 6 months but I think I would wait to breed them until their eggs got a little larger. Their first eggs were very small and I don't know if it's a good idea to hatch the smaller pullet eggs. I'm really not sure but it doesn't sound good to me. Maybe an expert will come along to clear things up. Good luck! Genie
  4. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    As stated before depending on the breed they start laying anywhere from 5 to six months, some of the larger breeds can start to lay even later.
    In order for your hen to hatch eggs, she has to go broody first. Not all hens go broody. If you get a broody hen and let mother nature take it's course, you should have a pretty good success rate.
    If you plan to incubate your eggs, definitely wait until you get consistent size eggs. Maybe wait about a month after they first start laying. Don't be in too much of a rush. It is so tempting to get those babies going right now, but I think, if you go along with what would be occurring naturally, you'll get sturdier chicks and have a better experience all around.
    We hold off until March to get our babies started. I like to have two hens go broody at the same time, so they can share the mothering duties. That way there is less wear and tear on the momma hen.
    Good luck and enjoy raising your own.
  5. BuckeyeFam

    BuckeyeFam In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2009
    Oh!I should have clarified.I'm going to try to hatch eggs in my homemade bator.I'm getting some eggs from my aunt who has TONS of birds so I'll definitely be getting eggs from mature hens:D Will that be ok?

    I'm VERY new to all of this so I appreciate any advice [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009

  6. rebecca10782

    rebecca10782 Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    The only thing I would suggest is if you do get a broody hen, I would let her hatch out the babies [​IMG]
  7. blackrooster

    blackrooster In the Brooder

    Feb 1, 2009
    it depends on the breed of chicken
  8. ams3651

    ams3651 Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    i had my first EE lay at about 20 weeks i think and one just laid yesterday at about 8 months and I think I still have a RIR who only lays when she feels like it [​IMG]
  9. pascopol

    pascopol Songster

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    One of mine 9 mutts started laying at 4.5 months of age the rest of them were laying fully at 5 months.

    They are January Florida hatch, then they went into molt the same year in fall.

    I believe the seasonal, and environmental factors (Florida climate) caused early laying.

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