When Do Chickens Start Laying Eggs?

This is a question that more than 4373 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!

However there is not a magic date at which point they will produce that first egg. You may find that one will start laying at 17 weeks old while another from the same clutch won’t start until the 20th week.

In this article we will explain these factors and also give you tips on how to spot when they are about to start laying eggs. It can be up to six months (24 weeks) before breeds like Orpingtons, Jersey Giants and Brahmas are ready to lay their first egg. Overall it is an individual thing that is beyond the hen’s control and they will start laying eggs when they are good and ready. The specific breed of your chicken will impact how long it takes for them to start laying. Many of the more popular breeds (especially the sex links) have been specifically bred to be young and productive layers. They are also much bigger chickens and need time to fully develop before spending energy on egg laying. These two specific illnesses can cause infected hens to not lay well in future months. As an example if you have a hen that lays wrinkly eggs then she most likely has been exposed to infectious bronchitis at some point. However stress can interrupt or delay a laying cycle until she settles down back into a routine. Try to avoid things like adding new hens to the flock , changing feeds or moving coops. Odd behavior: She may start pacing the coop, clucking and returning to one or two spots repeatedly. Eating more: This is a tough behavior to spot but as she is ready to start laying her appetite will increase. Interestingly the attitude of the older hens towards the new girls becomes a bit more accepting, like she has become a member of the Layer Club . It takes a bit of time for the egg laying machinery to get into production mode , so you can expect a few hiccups along the way. Occasionally you will have a hen that will start laying and then stop for a really long time like a month or more. Some people are under the impression that Easter Eggers lay all sorts of colored eggs . Before your hens start to pop out those eggs, there are a couple of things you will need to make their lives easier. In the wild chickens are happy to lay eggs just about anywhere: dust bath, under the rose bush and other interesting places. The boxes should be placed in the quietest and darkest part of the coop because chickens like privacy to lay and do not appreciate being disturbed while sitting. The nest box should have a lip so that bedding stays put (unless the hen kicks it out), it also prevents the egg from rolling out too. Resist the temptation to prolong the amount of time that you keep them on high protein ration. Hens that are given high protein for lengthy periods of time can get sick. The process of egg laying will leach calcium from the hen’s body causing brittle bones. If the amount of calcium in the hen is extremely low then she will stop laying egg altogether. Oyster shell is a roughly ground source of calcium that is an important supplement for hens. Oyster shell should be provided as a free choice supplement, it should not be mixed in with their regular food. Once up and running your ladies are likely to be trouble free for a good long while, enjoy their eggs and their personalities!

How long does it take for a chicken to lay its first egg?

The process of laying an egg takes between 24-26 hours, with most of the actual formation happening overnight. The creation of the eggshell makes up the longest portion of egg formation. In fact, a whopping 20 hours of that 24-26 hours is spent forming the shell.

Is it OK to eat chickens first eggs?

Pullet eggs are the first eggs laid by hens at about 18 weeks old. These young hens are just getting into their egg-laying groove, meaning these eggs will be noticeably smaller than the usual eggs you come across. And that’s where the beauty in them lies – quite simply, they are delicious.

How do I get my chickens to start laying eggs?

Provide the Right Number of Nest Boxes..Make the Nest Boxes Appealing..Collect the Eggs Regularly..Provide Enough Roosting Spots..Train Your Chickens With a “Nest Egg”.Make the “Wrong” Places Difficult for Your Hens..Keep Your Hens Confined Until Mid-Morning.

What are the signs that a hen will start laying?

Chickens will be between 16-24 weeks old..Pullets look full grown with clean, new feathers..Combs and wattles have swollen and are a deep, red color..Bones in the hen’s pelvis will begin to separate.

You’ve finally bought some spring chickens, and the anticipation of receiving your first batch of fresh eggs is almost too much to bear. We don’t blame you for being a bit antsy! Fresh eggs from your home-raised chickens have the most decadent flavor and are truly superior to grocery store eggs.

If you can’t stop wondering when your chickens are going to lay eggs, you’ll be happy to know that there are some signs to look out for so that you have a better idea of when they’re going to arrive. Be patient and enjoy watching your chickens mature so that there is an even deeper appreciation for them when that magical morning finally happens. If you didn’t get the chicks until late summer, though, this could delay their egg production , and they won’t start until early spring. The reduced daylight from winter usually tells mature hens that it’s time to take a break from laying eggs so that they can conserve their energy and nutrients during the harsh weather. Image Credit: Free-Photos, PixabayThe combs are the red, fleshy part of the chicken that sits on top of their heads while the wattles hang below their beaks. The young females develop their combs and wattles slowly, and they change from light pink to vibrant red as their hormones shift. Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, ShutterstockPeople think of a crowing rooster as an annoyance, but they obviously haven’t heard the songs of a chicken. Maturing chickens are going through a major transformation and laying hens have vastly different nutritional needs than young birds on starter feeds. Slowly transition your young chickens over to this feed after they reach 18 weeks of age or whenever their first eggs arrive. Another way to help give your chickens some extra nutrition is to add crushed oyster shells or eggshells to their food. Image Credit: Peter Turner Photography, ShutterstockOne of the biggest indicators that your chickens are about to lay eggs is if they start performing a squatting behavior. Most people don’t have a rooster around, so give her a good pat on the back and she’ll continue on her way. It won’t be too much longer before you have a basket full of beautiful, colorful eggs that you sourced straight from your backyard. Beets Lettuce Broccoli Cucumbers Carrots Squash Kale Swiss chard Lavender Mint Basil Parsley Oatmeal Mealworms A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand.

Do you have young spring chickens at home? If so, I bet you’re eagerly waiting for those fresh eggs to arrive…. and I don’t blame you! Home-raised backyard chicken eggs can’t be beat. If you’re wondering when your chickens will start laying eggs, read along to learn the signs that signal eggs are on the way. We’ll talk about the average age that chickens start to lay eggs, how breed plays a role, and a few tell-tale signs that eggs are on the way.

Over the years, we have had some extra-early overachievers along with our fair share of late bloomers, but found that around 20 to 22 weeks was the most common age for our chickens to start laying eggs. Reduced daylight hours in the wintertime usually signals mature hens to take a natural break from laying eggs, conserving their energy and nutrients to brace for the cold winter ahead. As her hormones shift and she gets ready to start laying eggs, her combs, wattles, and face will change from light pink to brighter red in color. One great way to encourage young chickens to lay eggs in their designated nesting boxes (as opposed to on the coop floor, or hiding them in the yard!) Younger birds eat “starter” and “grower” feeds that contain higher levels of protein to support their rapid growth. As you walk by your young hen or reach out a hand to pet her, she may stop, squat, and put her wings out slightly to her sides. Give the girl a good pet on the back, but keep in mind the biological reason for her squatting behavior isn’t about cuddling with humans!

Summer has arrived and your spring chicks will be approaching puberty. Assuming they’ve enjoyed good food and care, the young hens, called pullets, begin laying sometime between their 16th and 24th week of age.

Here’s how to tell: Chickens will be between 16-24 weeks old Pullets look full grown with clean, new feathers Combs and wattles have swollen and are a deep, red color Bones in the hen’s pelvis will begin to separate.

How Old Are Chickens When They Start Laying Eggs

The large majority of chickens will allThis includes breeds such as Red Comets, Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Leghorns and Easter Eggers.However there is not a magic date at which point they will produce that first egg. You may find that one will start laying at 17 weeks old while another from the same clutch won’t start until the 20th week.Some breeds will start laying eggs much later.It can be up to six months (24 weeks) before breeds like Orpingtons, Jersey Giants and Brahmas are ready to lay their first egg.There are a few breeds that take even longer such as the much loved Silkie. They can take up to nine months (40 weeks) before they decide to lay.Overall it is an individual thing that is beyond the hen’s control and they will start laying eggs when they are good and ready. It is unwise to try and push your hens to lay sooner than they are ready for. This can lead to some serious health problems for them further down the road like egg bound chickens.

Factors That Impact When They Start Laying

Breed

The specific breed of your chicken will impact how long it takes for them to start laying.Some breeds lay relatively quickly whereas others seem to wait forever, why is that?Many of the more popular breeds (especially the sex links) have been specifically bred to be young and productive layers. This is what they have been made for and they do it very well. These breeds will start to lay at around 16-20 weeks of age.Others, such as Orpingtons and the Brahma, have been bred to be dual purpose heritage breeds.This means they will develop slower because they are aAs heritage breeds they will not lay as many eggs per year but they will lay for more years to come.

Illness

Chicks are susceptible to illnesses such as coccidiosis, infectious bronchitis and many others.These two specific illnesses can cause infected hens to not lay well in future months.Both of these diseases leave scarring on the reproductive system to some extent and can impact the number of eggs and the quality of those eggs laid. As an example if you have a hen that lays wrinkly eggs then she most likely has been exposed to infectious bronchitis at some point.

Stress

Hens get stressed at some of the seemingly strangest things.However stress can interrupt or delay a laying cycle until she settles down back into a routine.Try to avoid things like adding new hens to the flock, changing feeds or moving coops. They also get stressed when they are startled on the nest by loud, unusual noises or strangers.You cannot eliminate all stressors but if you can keep them in a daily routine, they will have a better chance of tolerating outside stressors better.

Time of Year

The time of year you get your chickens can impact when they first start to lay.During their first winter chickens tends to lay lots of eggs. However, this stops once your hen has her first molt and wintertime will now be a period of egg famine.If you want to keep your girls laying over winter, see our article here.

Signs A Chicken Is About To Start Laying Eggs

There are certain key signs to watch out for when a chicken is about to start laying eggs. Some are obvious whereas others are more subtle.Here are some key signs that your chicken is about to lay their first egg:All of these behaviors are signs of her changing body status.Interestingly the attitude of the older hens towards the new girls becomes a bit more accepting, like she has become a member of the

What To Expect When They Start Laying

When your hens first start to lay it is an exciting moment.However once she has laid her first egg she may go for a few days or a week without laying another egg.What happened?It takes a bit of time for the egg laying machinery to get intoEgg laying will be erratic for a while before your hens settle into a routine. Occasionally you will have a hen that will start laying and then stop for a really long time like a month or more. Usually she will start laying eggs again, but watch her and try to make sure she is not sick.Her first few eggs will be small and puny.They are oftenOdd shaped eggs are common in young layers and in older layers that are coming to the end of their careers.This will sort itself out in time, so do not panic just wait it out. Once everything is running smoothly their eggs will gradually get bigger over the next few months.It should probably be noted here for the uninitiated that the color of your hen’s first egg will be the color of all of her eggs. Some people are under the impression that Easter Eggers lay all sorts of colored eggs. As a breed they do, but the individual hen will lay only one color in her lifetime.

What To Prepare Before They Lay Eggs

Before your hens start to pop out those eggs, there are a couple of things you will need to make their lives easier.

Nesting Boxes

Technically chickens do not need nesting boxes.This is more for your convenience than theirs.In the wild chickens are happy to lay eggs just about anywhere: dust bath, under the rose bush and other interesting places.A nesting box makes finding and collecting eggs much easier for you.You should plan on having one nest box for every three hens.Standard sized chickens need a 12×12 inch box, bantams need 10×10 inch and large breeds require 14×14 inch.The boxes should be placed in the quietest and darkest part of the coop because chickens like privacy to lay and do not appreciate being disturbed while sitting. If you are talented you can provide them with curtains for extra privacy.Make sure to place the nesting box off the ground because in general chickens prefer boxes that are elevated from the ground for protection against predators such as rats and snakes. The nest box should have a lip so that bedding stays put (unless the hen kicks it out), it also prevents the egg from rolling out too.

Correct Feed

Once your chickens are 16 weeks old you should start to transition them from their higher protein feed to a traditional 16% layer feed. Whether it is crumble or pellet does not matter, although crumble is easier for bantams and smaller breeds to eat.The transition should be done gradually.You can mix the two feeds together for a few weeks gradually phasing out the higher protein feed altogether. There really is not a set time limit for this but the transition between feed should be finished by week 20.Resist the temptation to prolong the amount of time that you keep them on high protein ration. Hens that are given high protein for lengthy periods of time can get sick.

Other Considerations

Your chicks are soon going to be using a large amount of calcium daily.Each egg will demand a hefty dose of calcium to manufacture the shell of the egg. The process of egg laying will leach calcium from the hen’s body causing brittle bones. If the amount of calcium in the hen is extremely low then she will stop laying egg altogether.Although layer feed does contain calcium, some hens require more than is provided by the feed. This is where oyster shell comes in. Oyster shell is a roughly ground source of calcium that is an important supplement for hens.Providing her with extra calcium in the form of oyster shell helps to make sure she has a continual source of calcium if she needs it. Oyster shell should be provided as a free choice supplement, it should not be mixed in with their regular food.Hens will self-regulate their intake as they instinctively know when they need it.

What Age do Chicken Lay Eggs?

It sometimes feels like an eternity, but most young female chickens start laying eggs around 6 months old. Of course, some mature faster and start around four months, while others take their sweet time and only start after being 8 months old. There’s nothing wrong with any of these timelines. Chances are, they’ll all start laying eggs sooner rather than later, and you’ll have so many eggs that you don’t know what to do with them all.

Do Some Breeds Lay Eggs Faster than Others?

A chicken’s age isn’t the only factor that could affect how fast your chickens start laying eggs. Some chicken breeds lay eggs sooner than others and each breed has its schedule for egg development. Those who were bred solely for egg production often start by four months of age. Other breeds, like Wyandottes or Orpingtons, take a little bit longer.

When Do Chickens Lay Eggs?

Young chickens usually lay eggs sometime within their first year of life. If you didn’t get the chicks until late summer, though, this could delay their egg production, and they won’t start until early spring.The reduced daylight from winter usually tells mature hens that it’s time to take a break from laying eggs so that they can conserve their energy and nutrients during the harsh weather. However, young chickens might continue to lay eggs throughout the entire winter season for their first one. After that, they’ll probably follow suit and skip the hard work the following winter.

Preparing for Egg Laying

It’s always better to be prepared and give your chickens a comfortable environment to lay their eggs in than to have them laying them on the ground. If you suspect your chickens might be laying eggs soon, start by cleaning out their nesting boxes and making sure there is plenty of straw for them to nest in. Keep the boxes off the floor of the coop and in a dark place. The more relaxed and calm they feel, the easier it is for them to start the process. Keep up with these tasks and don’t let the boxes or coop get too dirty. Your girls deserve a safe, clean place since they are doing a lot of hard work for you.

5 Signs from a Chicken that’s About to Lay Eggs

Are there any warning signs that your chickens are going to finally start the egg-laying process? Here are some ways to tell that your chicken might be ready to give you a healthy supply of eggs:

1. Enlarged Combs and Wattles

The combs are the red, fleshy part of the chicken that sits on top of their heads while the wattles hang below their beaks. These parts of the bird because increasingly large and red as they age. If it happens at a young age, it could indicate that your chicken is a rooster. The young females develop their combs and wattles slowly, and they change from light pink to vibrant red as their hormones shift. If these chicken parts are swollen and red, that means it’s almost showtime.

2. Your Chickens Start Exploring the Nesting Boxes

Young chicks don’t show much of an interest in the nesting boxes. It’s only after they mature that they start to test out different boxes, sit in them, and hang around that area more in general.Some chickens like to lay their eggs on the coop floor or hide them in grassy patches in the yard. To encourage them to lay directly in their nesting boxes, place false eggs inside each nest. Lots of chickens prefer laying eggs next to other ones. Fake wood eggs and even golf balls make excellent props.

3. The Chickens get Louder

People think of a crowing rooster as an annoyance, but they obviously haven’t heard the songs of a chicken. Chickens tend to squawk for hours on end before they lay an egg so if it starts to feel a bit noisier at home, chances are you’ve got some gals who are preparing to lay.

4. The Chickens Eat More

Our bodies go through numerous changes, both inside and out, when pregnant. Chickens aren’t so different from us. Growing and laying anything takes a lot of energy, and it makes you work up an appetite.Maturing chickens are going through a major transformation and laying hens have vastly different nutritional needs than young birds on starter feeds. Layer feeds have let protein and added calcium to help the eggshells form. Slowly transition your young chickens over to this feed after they reach 18 weeks of age or whenever their first eggs arrive.Another way to help give your chickens some extra nutrition is to add crushed oyster shells or eggshells to their food.

5. They Assume the Position

One of the biggest indicators that your chickens are about to lay eggs is if they start performing a squatting behavior. If you slowly put your hand out to touch your chicken, she might stop and squat down with her wings at her sides. If she does this, she is signalizing that she is ready to be mounted by a rooster to fertilize the egg. Most people don’t have a rooster around, so give her a good pat on the back and she’ll continue on her way.

What To Do When the First Eggs Arrive

Do you remember what it felt like when you walked out to find your first egg? Or are you still waiting for that magical moment to come? At some point, you’ll get to experience the excitement of finding your first egg in the coop. Don’t be too disappointed if the eggs are on the smaller side. Young chickens have smaller eggs than hens who are fully mature. It won’t be too much longer before you have a basket full of beautiful, colorful eggs that you sourced straight from your backyard.

Gladys Chism
I stay high because it doesn't hurt from up here. I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life Social media fanatic. Problem solver. Troublemaker. Bacon buff. Professional zombie geek. Lifelong tv junkie. Interests: Embroidery, Genealogy, Wine Tasting
Posts created 433

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top