Will my hens just coming into laying skip the winter before starting?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeffross1968, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I have 4 hens who are just now about 20 weeks old. They include a Jersey Giant, Black Sex-Link, RIR, and Golden Comet. They have all filled out very nicely, and have red crops, faces, and combs. I thought I remember reading somewhere that sometimes, if they hit laying age during the shorter days, they won't lay at all and completely skip winter before starting to lay for the first time in spring. What are the chances this will happen with all 4 of them?
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    728
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    I've never had pullets at POL skip laying in the winter months. IMO- they'll all start laying when they're ready, which from reading your post should be soon. You may notice their production pick up in the spring when there are longer days, but they should lay in the winter as well....
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you "get them going", they will normally lay all through the winter just fine, in my experience. We are so far north that daylight is brief, ever so fleeting from October to February. I have to do chores at 6 am anyhow, so I need to see. I have light come on at 5 am, year round. Whatever happens in the evening, happens in the evening, year 'round. Even with that, the hens only get 9-10 hours of light during "the dark period". The first year pullets seem to handle it the best.
     
  4. jmlorton

    jmlorton Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    22
    Jul 20, 2011
    Lexington, KY
    you should definitely give them some light they probably wont skip but it will be very unproductive
     
  5. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I really don't NEED them to be highly productive, but I was counting on them laying somewhat. I guess I could get a light timer but they are with my other layers, and I was planning on letting nature take it's course and let them take a breather during winter. I'll guess if production goes down so low we are close to buying eggs I'll reassess the situation.
     
  6. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

    597
    18
    121
    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    My three started laying in June and July, which is the beginning of winter here. Mind you, we still get plenty of daylight and warm temperatures in winter. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Funny, one day after posting...one of the four is in the laying box. I know to just be patient, but man, these 4 were really making me wait...
     
  8. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Generally - generally cause each bird is different - but I have found my POL pullets will lay thru the winter without additional light. They will lay a bit "lighter" say 3 eggs a week vs. 5 eggs but still lay. They are driven by hormones.


    Older hens (over a year) generally molt in the fall. Eggs are made of protein and so are feathers. Protein gets shifted from egg laying to feather producing thus eggs laying declines. Then once they are fully feathered, they are then dealing with the really low light conditions that winter produces – so laying takes a bit to get going in older hens.


    I like having some POL when starting winter, just so I can be greedy and have eggs all winter long [​IMG] I also have my older molting girls who I gladly wait on to get back into the swing of things.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    All of my LF chicks have been purchased in late summer. And all of them began laying in winter time. The lack of daylight doesn't seem to impact youngsters like it does older hens...at least in my experiences.
     
  10. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    So does this mean I don't need to add light for our 23.5 week old pullets? Will it hurt them if we do add light?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by