When does the habitual laying start?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lawsonchickens, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. lawsonchickens

    lawsonchickens Hatching

    Oct 26, 2014
    Eureka, Ca
    Hello there again!
    So I finally got my first egg from one of my girls yesterday! One of the most exciting things! And so I was wondering, as a rule how long it takes to start being habitual, and how often do pulleys lay as rule? Everyday, every other day, couple times a week, etc.? Does it depend on the breed/specific hen?
    Thanks so much!!
  2. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chirping

    Sep 9, 2014
    Depends a lot on the breed, and probably the chicken, but I'd expect her eggs to become regular now. Depends some on what you're doing to counter the seasonal decrease they might naturally do now. We add a couple hours of daylight by having lights turn on early in the morning, and we have them stay on a couple hours after dark at night. Not bright lights either... just a string of christmas lights on a timer in the coop. We have six of the most common breeds, and we get at least 4 a week from most of them, and an egg almost every day from our White Leghorn.

    And they started with that schedule from pretty much day one after the first one got them started. :)

    Up their calcium and protein now. We feed layer feed, plus some dry cat food treats, free range bugs and things, and we feed the eggshells back to them, all ground up.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  3. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chirping

    Sep 9, 2014
    On your comment about it being exciting. My husband and I ate eggs our whole lives, without realizing or appreciating what marvelous perfect little creations they are, till we got chickens. We're still amazed at what they can make every day out of grain, bugs and grass. :) Each hen's egg color and shape is a little different, enough that we can usually tell whose is whose. They're really quite remarkable.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2014
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    It can take up to a month or so for them to get into the groove and start laying regularly.
    You might see some softshell, double yolkers or funky looking eggs in that time frame.

    I have one new girl hatched in March this year who has laid almost every day without fail after a rocky first month or so, she just finished a 50 day streak took 1 day off and is back at it again for 10 days now.

    All my other pullets take at least 1-2 days off each week.

    I do use supplemental lighting and that may be a factor:
    Sometimes first year layers will lay all winter without supplemental lighting, sometimes they won't.
    Older layers need 14-16 hours of light to lay regularly thru winter. Last winter I used a 40 watt incandescent light(this year I am using a CFL) that comes on early in the morning to provide 14-15 hours of light and they go to roost with the natural sundown. Last year I started the lighting increase a bit late(mid October), the light should be increased slowly, and the pullets didn't start laying until late December. Here's a pretty good article on supplemental lighting. Some folks think that using lighting shortens the years a hen will lay, I don't agree with that theory but I also plan to cull my older hens for soup at about 3 years old.

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