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How old are chickens when they start laying?

7122 Views 15 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  jstringerrn75
From the moment I get the chicks to the moment they lay eggs how long are we talking?
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Most chickens lay AROUND 20 weeks old. Of course it depends on the breed, what your feeding them, and hours of the sun.
I agree with Apyl it depends on a few things or you could just buy some pullets and be ready to go. (as soon as they settle in. ;))
Ours all started between 16-18 weeks. Be sure to have your boxes ready for them so they're used to them by the time they start laying.
I've seen 18 weeks for a "hybrid" red-sex-link and up to 26 weeks for my "I don't want to grow up" Buff Orpington. In the beginning the eggs will be small, about 60% of their full grown hen size, as the winter progresses the eggs get a little larger, but next Spring they are usually full sized.
My Bantam Cochins started at about 8 months.
A way to tell (not in weeks or months) is to listen for the peeping to stop and the "singing" to begin. That's when they start to make the "bawk, bawk" sound softly as they wander around the coop. Within a week or two, you'll start getting eggs.
My Production Reds started laying at 16 weeks, and one of my Eggers didn't start laying until 7 months old. You can tell they are getting ready when they 'squat' in front of you lol.
I heard one of my barred rocker girls bocking yesterday.. my babies are growing up.... she wasnt tweeting anymore... boohoo.. oh wait, YAYYY EGGS eventually....
We have ten chickens, four from last years flock and six new ones from this past spring. They all follow me around the yard and come running whenever I go outside. They come to me when I whistle, or make the "bock bock bock" sounds. They've recently started responding to clapping like when we call our dog in. Our neighbors probably think we are nuts making chicken sounds in the yard, but who cares haha, they're like our pets. They let me pick them up, and will walk right up on the deck to lay down and stretch out in the sun when I'm out there. A couple of them have tried to go through the doggie door while following our Jack Russell Terrier around!
They have been a huge help weeding the flower beds but I've given up on mulching considering it doesn't last more than five minutes and then there are ten chickens making little burrows in the mulch and dirt. We plan on raising more next spring and sell the eggs in our neighborhood. Right now we just supply our families with eggs every week.
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In my last batch of 15 ,they started at 16 weeks the last one laid at 31.5 weeks.18-20 was the average for most of them.
My average is 5 months to 5.5 months. I guess that's 20 weeks to 22 weeks
It also GREATLY depends on when they reach about 20 weeks... If they hit 20 weeks BEFORE the Solstice, then they are more likely to lay at or before 20 weeks.

If they hit 20 weeks AFTER the Solstice then they are much more likely to not lay until way after 20 weeks of age.
I am really new at this, but so far, my chickens have laid their first eggs within a week of doing the "egg laying dance," when they squat low, hold their wings out a little, and tap their feet really fast. They do this when you get close to them, it's really obvious and REALLY cute and funny!
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