My pullets haven't started laying

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tans
Chick
Chick
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Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:57 pm
Location: Whangarei

My pullets haven't started laying

Post by tans »

Hi team

We purchased some Rhode Island Red pullets in October that were hatched in late August and they haven't started laying yet. They are nearly 28 weeks old now and we have them in a big area with plenty of shelter, food and water. They seem healthy and happy. I suspect the summer heat may be the reason but wonder if something else may be at play. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks John
Marina
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Re: My pullets haven't started laying

Post by Marina »

Hi John, they are only 6 months old! They're not Shavers who start to lay at 18 to 24 weeks old. Give them a few more weeks and you should find their first tiny eggs in the laying box. These heavy breeds take a bit longer than light breeds.

Unless your coop was previously inhabited by some other chooks, mites shouldn't be a problem. But if it was a night-time check would be a good idea.
tans
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Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:57 pm
Location: Whangarei

Re: My pullets haven't started laying

Post by tans »

Thanks for the reply. We've had Sussexs, Orpingtons and Barred Rocks in the past and they've all started laying at the 22 week mark or thereabouts. And from our investigations these guys should be too. All our other pullets were purchased in the autumn but we got these in late spring so were wondering if the heat has caused the delay...
Marina
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Re: My pullets haven't started laying

Post by Marina »

What you say makes sense. Yes, spring hatched pullets take longer to mature than summer or autumn hatched pullets. Spring hatched pullets are nowhere near starting to lay when the day length still increases and when they could start to lay, day length decreases which means there is nothing that stimulates their ovary to mature. The ovary will mature anyway once they approach the 10 month mark, no matter what the day length does but once the day length increases this gives them a hurry-up to start to lay.

Autumn hatched pullets will be 3 to 4 months old when day length increases again, stimulating their ovary to mature and they will start to lay soon after.

You'll find that your spring hatched pullets, once they start to lay, will start with a much bigger egg than autumn hatched pullets because they had time to mature. Spring hatched pullets also grow bigger (that's why exhibition breeders only raise spring hatched pullets) than their autumn hatched counterparts.

It has nothing to do with the heat. Laying hens will stop to lay if it gets too hot but the growing-up process continues.

I like sping hatched pullets as they supply us with eggs usually from June onwards.
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