Winter Affect on First Egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ear019, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. ear019

    ear019 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Huntsville, TX
    My girls are 18 weeks, I got them back in July. They roam our acre yard during the day, and we put them up in the coop at night. They have had free choice water, feed, and grit since they were moved into the coop. On Monday I switched them to layer feed, gave them access to crushed oyster shell, and put ceramic eggs in the nest boxes.

    I know that winter affects egglaying and that they are of laying age, but I was wondering if the winter would affect them laying their FIRST eggs.

    I can't wait to get my first eggs!!
     
  2. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sep 27, 2012
    yes the cold can probably effect them, it might make them feel like they shouldn't lay yet!
    Good Luck hope you get eggs soon!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    The weather fluctuations in Michigan have really set some of my pullets back. Out of fifty 24 week old sex-link pullets, I'm getting about 20 eggs a day right now from them :(

    I've never had such a delay in egg laying. I didn't even get my first egg until they hit 21 weeks.

    For the last couple years, I'd been getting some eggs as early as 16 weeks. From now on I will always get chicks in the early spring instead of summer.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Cold actually has a very limited effect, actually. The problem with July hatched chicks is that they reach point of lay during the darkest time of year, in North America. March hatched chicks normally hit point of lay right on schedule because of the late summer days and adequate hours of sunlight.

    Two bits of advice. If you really want to push the issue, you can supply a few hours of pre-dawn light supplement in their coop. This will get them going. Or, you can just let nature take it's course.

    Also, do what you wish, but I don't like turning out point of lay pullets. I prefer they stay in the coop and master laying where I want them to lay. Then, around 2 pm, I'll turn them loose to range about. I'm too old for Easter egg hunts. LOL
     
  5. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Thank you Fred,
    I forgot about the limited daylight issue, it was hiding in the back of my brain somewhere. Unfortunately I won't be able supplement light until I get the coop closer to the barns and run an extension cord.
     
  6. ear019

    ear019 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2010
    Huntsville, TX
    Funny you mention easter egg hunts, we have Easter Eggers. ; ) 5 ladies and 1 supposed-to-be-lady-rooster...

    Thanks for all the advice! It's not to cold in Texas, but it does get dark earlier. We got our chicks the first chance we got this year (it's our first time).

    Getting eggs is not a huge issue, I was just trying to figure out what to expect now. So I should be leaving them in the coop with access to their run until they start laying?

    I will post pictures when it daylight...
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Pullet don't automatically "know" where to lay. They certainly don't know that we want them to lay in those nifty boxes we've provided them. Young pullets are caught off guard by their little pullet eggs passing. Sometimes, they drop them from the roost while asleep. Sometimes they'll just "poop" them in the yard, without much recognition. But, eventually, they will adopt our laying nests as their laying nests. Yes, fake eggs in the nests at point of lay is a visual cue that often works. Sometimes, they kick them out, but nonetheless, it is a start. Eventually, when the lead pullet, the alpha starts using the nests, the social pressure to conform to the flock's need to build a clutch of eggs kicks in. Don't be surprised to find 8 to 10 pullets all using the same nest. Again, this is all instinct and flock behavior for reproduction and survival of the species.

    All we do as flock keepers is channel their natural abilities and instincts. Nest boxes lower to the ground are ideal to train pullets, as the chicken is a ground layer by nature. Until the pullet adopt the nests, they may choose a quiet place under the deck, or behind the lawnmower or who knows where. Thus, the training period. After they've got it? They usually stick to their routine pretty well.
     

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