At What Age Will My Chickens Start Laying?

Introduction

The age at which your hens will begin to lay depends on their breed type.  Hybrids are the earliest birds to start laying, starting about 1 month earlier than non-hybrids. Non-hybrids, which include our rare and heritage breeds, typically begin laying about one month later than hybrids.

Hybrids

Most of the egg laying hybrids start laying at 4 to 5 months of age. These include Pearl White Leghorns, Black Stars, and Red Stars. Hybrid egg layers are bred by crossing two different lines or breeds. They are known for their excellent productivity and high feed conversion ratio.

Non-Hybrids

Most non-hybrids start laying at 5 to 7 months of age. These include New Hampshire Reds, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, and many of our other breeds.

My hens are the right age, so why aren’t they laying?

If your hens are of laying age but aren’t producing eggs, there are a number of things you can investigate to determine the cause of the problem. Read the article below for more details:

9 Things to Investigate if Your Hens Aren’t Laying Well

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3 Responses to At What Age Will My Chickens Start Laying?

  1. Laurie Barajas says:

    I have 8 hens all the same age, about 6 months now. 2 are Americana, a buff Oprinton, Black Australorp, Barred rock, Wyandotte, red something, and I forgot what the last one is. I know one of them was suppose to lay white eggs, the Americana green or blue eggs and the rest brown eggs. My questions are why are only 4 of them laying eggs? The other four haven’t ever laid an egg. I’ve looked all over the pen to see if maybe they are laying some where other then the nesting boxes, but can’t find any eggs other then the four brown eggs I get in the nesting boxes each day. All hens are healthy, and I’ve check the 9 things you’ve listed. But they haven’t stopped laying, they haven’t ever started laying. Should I be worried or do I just need to give them more time?

  2. Bonnie says:

    I have 3 hens (5 months old) – they laid 2 eggs and then nothing for over two weeks now. They are very tame, live in a nice chicky condo, plenty of sunlight or shade – their choice…what could be going on?

    • Matthew Pressly says:

      Bonnie, hens need 14 or more hours of daylight to lay well. You didn’t say where you are from, but my guess is that your chickens are getting less than 14 hours of daylight now (closer to 12 hours in most parts of the United States). The number of daylight hours began to shorten after the Summer solstice (June 21) and will continue to shorten up until the Winter solstice on Dec. 21/22. See our blog post about laying and daylight hours for more information.

      If you want to encourage your hens to lay during the shorter days, we suggest that you use a light on a timer inside the chicken coop. Set the light to come on a few hours before dawn. Chickens don’t require strong lighting to encourage laying. For details on how much light you need see the article linked to above.

      It’s also possible that something else could be causing the reduced laying. For other possible causes, please read 9 Things to Investigate if Your Hens Aren’t Laying Well.

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