When should I expect first egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jmtcmkb, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I have 5 chickens all 19 weeks today. I am in New England and it's winter....I do not have any artificial light in their coop- wondering when I should expect them to start to lay? I know they need a certain amount of daylight. I have had their nesting box blocked since introducing them to the coop, and plan to open up access this week.

    I have 2 red stars, 1 orp, 1 Australorp and 1 BR
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello! The average is 20 weeks to begin laying, but some breeds can take longer. Now, I've had Golden Buff hybrids lay at 17 weeks, but my Marans didn't start laying until 25 weeks.

    What breed are yours?
  3. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Usually anywhere from 20 to 25 weeks, although I have one Welsummer that is over 8 months old and has yet to lay
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Oops! I see which kind of hens you have in your signature! Your Red Stars will probably start laying first, while the heavier breeds take a bit longer. I would definitely open those nesting boxes and even put a fake egg in there if you wish. (The fake egg isn't mandatory--they can figure it out.)

    If you free range your girls, I would start keeping them locked in the coop and run until at least 3pm each day. That's how you instill good laying habits.

  5. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    The average age for laying varies a LOT. My average - with lots of different breeds - is closer to 25 weeks. I haven't had any that started laying before 24 weeks - and that includes leghorns and other breeds that are classified as early layers.
  6. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    thanks to all of you :)

    A couple of them are getting really red so my guess is pretty soon !! I wasnt thinking about it until this morning when I noticed the red faces and decided to check the calendar, the payoff begins ha ha.

    They are enclosed in a run all day, hopefully they'll be smart enough to figure out where to lay the eggs.
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Both my barred rocks only started laying at 6 months old, my BO at nearly 7 months. Red star.. that's the same as production red, yes? They start laying earlier. Mine started at 20 - 22 weeks old.

    I think your first egg will be from the red stars!

    The winter does not deter my girls from starting. Had 5 start in January alone :) Though mine seem slower to lay than everyone elses. I have silkies that are going on 33 weeks still not laying. Two cochins that are 27 weeks - zippo.. My RIR is even 7 months and still not a single egg. Some chickens are just slower than others.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  8. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    My BO and BR started maturing outwardly at 16 weeks, began laying at 24 weeks (January). I still have one holdout. Slacker.
  9. MadameDork

    MadameDork Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 3, 2011
    Western WA
    My girls (RIR, 2 EE and 2 Austrolorps) will be 20 weeks this Wednesday. They have free range of about an acre of land. I could keep them locked up, but my RIR starts yelling for attention as soon as she sees someone in the yard. She's my social butterfly. Their run seems pretty small to me, but compared to an acre of land, anything would seem small.

    How long would you suggest keeping them locked up till 3ish for? Weeks, months?

    I have a feeling I will have to have the daily egg hunt to find their nesting spots. [​IMG] And they have plenty of options to hide.
  10. bloom chicks

    bloom chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    I have Red Rocks, RIR, BO, BR and 1 EE. My reds started at 24 weeks, BO started 25 weeks, BR started 26 weeks and my EE was 30 weeks. I also free range and was afraid that they were going to lay elsewhere, but I had no problems and like yours mine would have a fit if I left them in there too long so I took the chance and just let them out. They free range on about 4 acres and they all of the would go to the coop to lay their eggs.

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