When will they start laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cluckmecoop7, Jun 24, 2019.

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  1. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    I have been waiting for weeks for my chicks to grow into chickens, and now it had happened. They are 17 weeks and 1 day old right now, and they have not laid yet. I was wondering when I will get my first eggs?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    My first question would be, what breed/s of pullets do you have?
    Depending on breed, they could start laying between 17 and 25 weeks or more.
    Lets say they are a slower maturing breed like Brahma, Cochin, Langshan, etc., it would be closer to 24 weeks or longer. That would have them reach point of lay around the middle of August. Being that is when days are getting shorter, that can delay onset of lay even more.
    Have their combs and wattles reddened and enlarged?
    You can check the space between the pelvic bones. If it is 2 finger width or more and the vent is moist, laying is probably imminent. If it is less than 2 and the vent is dry and shriveled, you have longer to wait.
     
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  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    triple post
     
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  5. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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    Thank you!

    I have 3 Buff Orpington's and and 3 Golden Laced Wyandotte's. Both breeds grew up together. The combs and wattles are redder than before. I'll check the vent thing.
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    Wyandottes are medium in maturity rate so they could start between now and 20 weeks. It helped that they were maturing before summer solstice.
    Orpingtons are medium to slow maturing, so 20 to 24 weeks. The Orps I've had were all about the same ages as yours and they didn't start till closer to 24 weeks. In fact, they were with some Rocks and JGs of the same age and since days were getting shorter, none started laying till I started adding light and they all kicked in at once. Within 2 weeks all 10 were laying.
    While enlarged deep red wattles and combs are an indication that laying may be near and pale shriveled combs indicate that they aren't, it isn't always the case. One of my Orpingtons never developed a bright red comb. It was pale and small her whole life yet she laid very well.
    This past winter I had a bird that molted and stopped laying for months and while most in that same condition had pale shriveled combs, this one bird kept her huge red comb.
    That's why the pointy pelvic bone finger test is key. They can't lay if there isn't enough room to pass an egg.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  8. cluckmecoop7

    cluckmecoop7 Crowing

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  9. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

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    Are they squatting when you put your hand over them?
    Are their combs and wattles red and swollen?
    Are they acting weird? Like their looking for something.
    My first Flock of Golden Comets were squatting, had swollen combs and wattles. I also noticed one was in the coop scratching around in a corner. Looked like she was trying to make a nest.
    I didn't have the nest boxes in the coop I built. I quickly assembled and installed.
    The next day I saw her in the corner again. I picked her up and put in the nest box, she stayed.
    About 35 minutes later she came out and I found a beautiful egg.

    Yeah, as ChickenCanoe said it varies with breed, but also varies with pullets of the same breed.
    My Golden Comets (early spring chicks) started to lay at 16 weeks and all 5 were laying by 19 weeks. (August).
    My Barred Rocks (mid summer chicks) started to lay at 20 weeks, all 7 were laying around 23 weeks. (January). GC
     
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