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Old 05-01-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
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How long to lay eggs?

Ok, so I am starting to prepare for our chickens (prob in July) and have a couple questions. How long until chicks get old enough to lay? I was thinking around 6 months? If it is or longer should I consider getting older ones that are laying already? We want eggs sooner than that... We have the space do I was thinking two pens one for the little girls and one for the ladies that way I could continue the process every few years? Lastly, I mostly want the chickens for eggs but am considering meat as well. Are there chickens that lay brown eggs and are good meat birds?

Lol, sorry I know it's alot!! That's in advance for your help

Carly

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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Re: How long to lay eggs?

It depends on the breed, we have 4 red sex links that started laying at 17 weeks old. They are a hybrid breed, that has been bred to mature quickly and lay almost every day. Heritage breeds will take a lot long to mature some up to 9 months or more. Also some purebred birds from breeders will take even longer. Hatchery birds are bred to lay quickly. The amount of eggs that lay in a week depends on breed as well. If you want to process a laying hens after a few years they will only be good for soups etc, they will have very chewy meat at that point. Most meat birds are processed at 8-11 weeks old.

Are you planning on getting started pullets or grown chickens? If you get chicks in July they won't be laying until fall winter witch depending on where you live may not be the best.
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:18 PM   #3
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Re: How long to lay eggs?

We got ours beginning of march...I am not expecting egs till aug/sept
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: How long to lay eggs?

6 months is right for most especially if there dual purpose (meat and eggs). If you get full grown chickens try and buy all from one owner because they have gang violence jk but they don't always get along and will have to establish a pecking (literally) order sometimes really bad so its recommended to do at least 2 at a time. Also I like the two cages idea. So if you want eggs right away then buy adults for one then order the chicks for the other because 6 months is a long time to wait for eggs.
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Old 05-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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Re: How long to lay eggs?

5-6 months, some sooner, some later. It depends on the chicken, the time of year (our youngest group of chickens came into laying age in the winter, so most of them didn't start laying until Spring, so they were MUCH older), etc. I had an Ameraucana, my first to lay, start at 16 weeks. It just depends.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: How long to lay eggs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by javabarnes View Post
We got ours beginning of march...I am not expecting egs till aug/sept
We're in the same boat. I'll be happily surprised if we find an egg before they are 20wks but I won't start stalking the nest box till then.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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Re: How long to lay eggs?

I decided to get a few chickens that were already at laying age to start off with. I'm impatient! So, I started with 4 chickens that were almost a year old. I paid $6-8 each for them from a local breeder. I figured that was cheaper and easier in the long run than starting with baby chicks and feeding them for months.

So, at the same time I also bought some baby chicks, so that I would have a younger and an older flock. The baby chicks that I bought were Heirloom breeds and took FOREVER before they started laying. It was a long long wait but it was worth it. My Americanas didn't start laying until they were almost 30 weeks old. I think part of the long wait was because it was winter when they reached the 20 week mark, so there was not enough daylight for them to lay even though they were old enough.

Next year I would like to talk DH into getting some meat birds but I don't think he will be thrilled with that idea. If I get meat birds I will get cornish X chicks that are processed before they are 10 weeks old.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your help

I was thinking of doing the two pen idea, so some "older" ladies and chicks! I like that idea cause I am thinking of getting meat birds also so the two pen idea would work in time (year or more)

Also I was planning on getting red sex links and we live near Santa Cruz so I think they would lay in December! My sons preschool teachers eggs lay all year...
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #9
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Re: How long to lay eggs?

It's really a good idea to have the cornishx in a separate cage ours that were free ranged got picked on so bad they almost had holes in them so we had to kill them early and next time we will make another cage to separate them. They really are one of the best birds we have had.
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