when will my girls start laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ftlmom, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. ftlmom

    ftlmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2011
    I am a new chicken owner. My girls are PBR and 5 months old. What signs should I be watching for and how should I care for them differently when they start to lay.
  2. cooped up

    cooped up Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2012
    Portland, Or
    It will happen -- be patient. Sometimes they will do a squat for you { if you had a roo he would be all aver them. } I'm not sure what the average age for PBR's to lay is - but they may also start hanging closer to the coop/ nesting boxes.

    I had a feed store owner tell me that it was OK to give the pullets the layer food before they lay... but I have read differently on this site. { At this age I think it would be OK if they are near their average age of starting to lay.}
  3. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I started giving my pullets layer feed around the age of 17 - 18 weeks since some breeds start laying that early.

    Signs to look for: The pullets will start investigating the nest boxes - may even sit in one for awhile. When you reach out to pet it, she will "squat." Squatting means she hunkers down with her wings out just a little. It's what they do when a rooster approaches them - it's a sign of submission. They may start doing what's called the "egg song" - which is just a particular way of squawking. It's a "bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk- BAWK!" squawk. Once you hear it, you'll know what it is. Another sign is that their comb will get really red a few days to a few weeks before they start laying.

    ETA: Once they start laying you can provide oyster shell to make sure they're getting enough calcium - although layer feed includes calcium. I still make the oyster shell available to them.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  4. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    At around 18 weeks they will usually start to lay. The only thing you really need to do differently is to give them layer feed and oyster shells for calcium supplementation.
  5. ftlmom

    ftlmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2011
    Thank you so much for all the good advice. The guy at the feed store told me to wait until they start to lay before starting them on layer pellet.They are on start and grow now. I have started to notice that their combs and wattle is starting to get red but they are not squatting yet.

    These 2 girls are very new to me. They have been home for less then 1 week. I was told to leave them in the coop for a couple of days and not to give them assess to the run just yet. They have been cooped up for 4 days now. Should I let them out to the run today? Or should they stay in the coop a little longer?

    I Have 3 other girls but they are still very little (3 weeks old) They are being kept away from the big girls for now but I am really unsure of when to put them together and how to best do that without putting the baby girls in danger.

    Thank you again to everyone and this website for all this help. i don't know where I would be without you guys [​IMG]
  6. ftlmom

    ftlmom Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 14, 2011
    I can't believe it. We just went outside to chek on the girls and there was an egg in th egg box. One of our girls just laid there 1st egg.[​IMG][​IMG]
    Brent M likes this.

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