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Will pullets start laying even though the winter is coming?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FlyingtheCoop, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. FlyingtheCoop

    FlyingtheCoop In the Brooder

    Aug 25, 2010
    My girls have not started laying yet, but are approaching laying age. The days are shortening already, but I was wondering if they will lay anyway or do they hold out until spring regardless of age? Thanks in advance!

  2. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    My white leghorn started laying on thanksgiving morning. I've gotten six eggs out of eight days. Yesterday was a wind egg but not a real egg.
  3. OmyChickens

    OmyChickens In the Brooder

    Nov 22, 2011
    The length and intensity of light is what triggers the hormones in hens to start the laying process.. If you are able to, you can artificially light your coop so your hens get about 14-16 hours of bright light a day and 8-10 of dark or dim light. Make sure you keep a regular schedule. Hens can stress out it they know the lights go off at "x" time and they dont go off until you get home late after dinner and a movie.. Timers are pretty cheap and a great way to solve that problem.

    Other factors for not laying could be stress (predators, mean roosters, wacky schedules with lighting, poor nutrition, all kinds of things) and temperature.. if its too cold many hens just wont lay. you can artificially heat your coop too.. I made a solar heater out of old aluminum cans and a solar fan.. super cheep cheep!

    Good luck!

    edited to add:
    Perhaps I should say ( so you know im not blowing smoke up your tail feathers) that I read about day length and light intesity in a book.. I believe it was Raising Chickens for Dummies.. Kimberly Willis; breeder and enthusiast and Rob Ludlow; Owner of Backyardchickens.com
    So perhaps there is no merit to it... perhaps there is.. Of course hens who do not get artificial lighting are still going to lay.. its a matter of when. I doubt they candle lit coops back in the day and the chicken has seemed to continue through time so artificial lighting is not necessary unless you want to lengthen the day and hold off the slowing down of egg production. I did not mean to say that lighting is the only factor to help your hens along or even the correct answer to your waiting blues..
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  4. BerrytangleFarm

    BerrytangleFarm British and Scandinavian Poultry

    We have lights in two coops and not in another. The one coop without lights has pullets coming of age but not laying. The other two coops have pullets coming of age and just started laying in the last couple weeks. I think the lights are working [​IMG]
  5. OmyChickens

    OmyChickens In the Brooder

    Nov 22, 2011
    Quote:Awesome! Worked for me too! Weirdest thing.. [​IMG]
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Typically, a pullet going into her first season of laying is going to lay when her body is ready to no matter what the season, no matter what the lighting conditions. If you are going to see a wintertime slowdown it will be in their second winter.
  7. Pinky

    Pinky Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    Quote:Mine did too! I thought I would have to wait until spring.

  8. FaereChicken

    FaereChicken Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    N. Central Maryland
    We got our first egg from a 5 month old Susex yesterday!
  9. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Had 4 just begin laying, so at least for us, apparently the length of day meant nothing.
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:Yep, season doesn't matter in the first year - they will still start laying. I had 2 start up 2 weeks ago. (I don't light my coops)

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