When will they lay?

SunriseChickers

Songster
Nov 12, 2018
232
434
156
Ohio
I have six five month old chickens. Two Rhode Island Reds, two White Rocks, and two Golden Laced Wyandottes. When can I start to expect eggs? What can I do to help them start once they reach the appropriate age? What can I do to promote production once they have started?
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
5,994
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817
Western Ohio
Good luck, 20 weeks old...you may have awhile to wait , especially since days are shorter. But, could be soon..they are looking like they are getting pretty red. Are they squatting for you at all? Are they friendlier (less skittish) than when they were younger?

We have 6 breeds approx 36 weeks old. Just this week we got a first egg from a dark brown leghorn. The other two DBLs haven’t laid yet (definitely aren’t paying their rent!). the DBLs have been red (comb and wattles) for a long time. The other 5 breeds started to lay around 20-26 weeks old.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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St. Louis, MO
I concur with most of what has been written. Those breeds would be expected to lay by about 20-24 week if reaching that age in spring or summer. If they reach that age between summer and winter solstice (declining day length), all bets are off.
The best indicator of the ability and maturity to lay eggs is the space between pelvic bones.
Brighter red, enlarged combs and wattles are a good indicator but I had an Orpington hen that laid well but had a small pale comb her whole life.
I have a hen now that has a huge bright red comb but she molted a couple months ago and hasn't laid since.
I don't put much stock into squatting as an indicator. Squatting is a desire to mate on the part of the hen, not that laying is imminent. After hundreds of layers, I haven't had a hen squat for me in years. (likely because roosters run with each flock)
 
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ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,990
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The Big Island/Hawaii
Agree with what's been said, the shorter days won't help with them laying. Here in HI our days (sunlight) get shorter too but last years girls (4BO) gave me 3.5 eggs a day through the Winter. Not sure what this years will do.
 

SunriseChickers

Songster
Nov 12, 2018
232
434
156
Ohio
Good luck, 20 weeks old...you may have awhile to wait , especially since days are shorter. But, could be soon..they are looking like they are getting pretty red. Are they squatting for you at all? Are they friendlier (less skittish) than when they were younger?

We have 6 breeds approx 36 weeks old. Just this week we got a first egg from a dark brown leghorn. The other two DBLs haven’t laid yet (definitely aren’t paying their rent!). the DBLs have been red (comb and wattles) for a long time. The other 5 breeds started to lay around 20-26 weeks old.
What does a hen look like when she's squatting?

They might be. I can pick them up without tremendous fuss, but they do spook if I try to pick them up and they flap if I try to hold them close.
I concur with most of what has been written. Those breeds would be expected to lay by about 20-24 week if reaching that age in spring or summer. If they reach that age between summer and winter solstice (declining day length), all bets are off.
The best indicator of the ability and maturity to lay eggs is the space between pelvic bones.
Red enlarge combs and wattles is a good indicator but I had an Orpington hen that laid well but had a small pale comb her whole life.
I have a hen now that has a huge bright red comb but she molted a couple months ago and hasn't laid since.
I don't put much stock into squatting as an indicator. Squatting is a desire to mate on the part of the hen, not that laying is imminent. After hundreds of layers, I haven't had a hen squat for me in years. (likely because roosters run with each flock)

How do I measure the space between those bones?
 

MANNA-PRO

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