Will they lay in winter if they havent yet?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by IveGotSunshine, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. This may be a silly question but Ive read a lot about when hens start laying and they fall/winter "lay off" so to speak. I have 3 hens, 2 EEs (that stands for 'Easter Egger, right? Still learning lol) and 1 Welsummer. They are 25 weeks old and only 1 EE is laying. As its already pretty cold in MD and were headed towards winter... Will my other girls start to lay or will they hold off untill spring?
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They will start laying, but it may take them a bit longer to start up with the shorter days.

    Generally, they will lay through their 1st winter and then molt their 2nd fall. I have had 9 month old birds molt though. They quit laying when they molt because replacing feathers takes up all of their protein stores. If they go through a hard molt, their body weight will be drastically affected, so once the feathers are replaced, they have to get their body weight back up to a sustainable level for laying.
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    I took your question to mean will they start laying in winter or wait until the following spring? The answer is either yes or no. [​IMG] Big, help, no? I've had it happen both ways. The EE's will often start laying in winter. Most of mine started laying in Feb. right at the six month mark, but by then the winter solstice was over. Some of their daughters started laying at Thanksgiving going into the shortest days when they were only five months old. And I've had some spring Ee's start laying in October. My EE"s are all excellent layers.
    My welsumers are another story. I love their dark colored speckled eggs, but they waited until they were 8+ months old and the days were getting longer to lay.
    Their olive egger daughters all started laying around the five month mark, but that was in July with long days.
    If your EE's are related and one is laying, there is a good chance the other will start. Good luck.
  4. Lol. So like everything with chickens... it just depends on the chicken, there is no "rule." Okay, Ill be patient then! Thank you!

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