When will a particular breed will lay her first egg?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jazzpurr, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. jazzpurr

    jazzpurr In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2007
    This picture is of my most mature hen. I am surprised by the differences between the 13 hens as far as physical maturity. None of the others have
    as well developed waddles and combs.

    I was looking at the "First Egg" thread and I noticed a picture with
    Orpingtons at 19 weeks but mine already look like those at 17 weeks.
    So I took the afternoon off and got the coop set up for egg laying and got
    the Nesting boxes up on the wall.

    Are the Waddles and Combs the way to tell if they are ready to lay?
    Regardless of 17 or 19 weeks?
    I thought the Orpingtons were 20-24 weeks.

    Any hard facts on when it will happen for a particular breed or does their
    environment and care affect it just as much (i.e. enough food and water,
    moderate temperatures etc.)


  2. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I'm not there yet with my first batch of chicks, but I have read repeatedly on the BYC that watching their combs and wattles is a good indicator. When they start turning bright red, they are ready to start laying. Other nesting-type behaviors are also an indicator.

    Hope this helps - Good luck!
  3. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I don't know about buff orps because the two I have laying I got as adults and the other three are pullets that haven't laid yet, but I know that the blue orps usually take six months before they lay.
  4. mammafishy

    mammafishy Hatching

    Jul 16, 2008
    I got my very first eggs about 2 weeks ago, from my Buff Orphingtons. They were 19 1/2 weeks old and I would say a week or two before they laid they would come around our feet and would hunker down and let you pet them. I read last night on this site, that is a sign they are getting close to laying and sure enough. It is still a thrill to go out there every day and find those baby eggs! Good luck..hope your girl is laying soon!
  5. blueskylen

    blueskylen Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    mine are right at 20 weeks, with no eggs yet. i actually went out there yesterday after reading that darkening the nest boxes make them more comfortable, so I added a pretty pink ruffled valance to the tops of their boxes. - just in case they didn't know they were girls! [​IMG]
  6. ears73

    ears73 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    Westchester, NY
    Quote:Soooooo funny! I can just picture it!! [​IMG]
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    My girls from the same hatch, and each developed differently. Some started laying at 17 weeks and the last to lay was at 27 weeks. They all have leg bands so I can keep track of them. Watch their combs and wattles ,when they start turning bright red, they are ready to start laying. Squatting is submissive behavior. Also I put a golf ball in each of the nest boxes. Some people put plastic eggs in. I have never had any of them lay out of the boxes. I painted the inside of my nest boxes a dark forest green. I think they like to lay in darker places. I put vents in the nest boxes too, to help with air flow. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008

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