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#76109 - 10/07/03 07:58 PM Egg laying patterns

Hello all,
My 13 pullet hens started laying on Sept. 30th...first it was one, then two, then three eggs per day. Today there were 2 eggs in the morning around 9:30 AM, then 2 around 5:30 P.M.

My questions are these; will the egg laying begin to follow a pattern? Today was the first day I had eggs prior to 10:00 am, and after 4:30 pm. I thought chickens didn't like to lay "at night". Isn't 5:30 on the late side? i've read they lay about an hour later each day..does this mean the late day layers will hold their egg till the next morning? Do they eventually coordinate the timing of their egg laying, or should I always expect it to be so staggered? Many thanks to this forum for helping me raise my darlin' girls

#76110 - 10/08/03 04:51 AM Re: Egg laying patterns
R. Okimoto Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/18/02
Posts: 1498
Loc: Arkansas
Most hens lay before noon. Do you have a light aways on in your coop?

The usual pattern is that the first egg is laid early and the next egg is laid a little latter and the next later until the hen resets and lays one early again. Hens often skip a day to reset. Young pullets can probably lay in some random pattern until they come into full lay.

#76111 - 10/08/03 05:55 AM Re: Egg laying patterns
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I have a lot more layers than you do and I would say that I get the vast majority of my eggs by noon each day. I will still get a few in the afternoon and on occasion I'll get an egg or two after 3:00 or 4:00 PM. From what I've read, it takes about 26 hours (generally) to produce an egg so a hen might lay at 8:00 am today and then 10:00 tomorrow and so on and yes, if it's late enough in the day they seem to be able to hold off until the next day. For somebody like me, that means I see a "peak" day about once a week where I get a LOT of eggs and then a lower day where I get fewer than I would expect from my number of hens. But it all balances out in the end, obviously.


#76112 - 10/08/03 06:37 AM Re: Egg laying patterns

Thanks for your replies; this is my first flock and it's all so egg-citing! I don't have a light in the coop, so the evening eggs were a natural event. I leave the girls in the coop/pen all day until 3:30 or so, then let them out to range with the coop people door open, so they have access to the nests. (The 3 Hamburgs have to stay in, as they like to roost in trees) It's been 10 days since they started laying; obviously they're not all there yet as I have 13 birds, and 3-4 eggs per day. So, as I understand it, they will eventually tend to lay most eggs in the morning?

#76113 - 10/13/03 07:30 AM Re: Egg laying patterns
J. Henderson Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 674
Loc: New York
We have added a mixed crew of pullets to our flock, including two Babcock B300 White Leghorns, a couple tufted Golden Comet crosses, and some Easter Eggers.
We were surprised by the Babcocks because after one pullet-sized egg at 19 weeks, we found no evidence that either pullet had laid again. However, I finally caught one of the Babcocks in the act, and the reason we were fooled is the egg she laid is already full size, larger than the usual eggs from our two year old brown leghorns and hamburgs. I guess Babcock has bred the early-to-full-size-egg feature into them.

Meanwhile, either one or more Easter Eggers have been consistent, for once we found the nest being used, we have found a small olive green egg a day for a week, but the eggs have not increased in size and are still smaller than small on the egg scale.

The first tufted Comet just started producing yesterday.

Although most of our birds do lay before noon, we usually get several between 12 and 2, and quite often one bird seems to wait until after 3.

#76114 - 10/13/03 08:17 AM Re: Egg laying patterns

We too are very egg-cited about the pullets starting to lay. Especially the kids! We sometimes go out with an Easter basket and get the eggs. Too corny!

Our barred Rocks started laying on Labor Day and now from this group of 8 we are getting 7 to 8 eggs in the late morning.

If something scares/upsets them or they run out of water we noticed the next day they will have a lot fewer eggs. Hopefully we've worked the bugs out as far as their routine!

We have lights in the barn and started turning them before sunrise and for awhile after sunset and that seemed to coincide with their getting into a routine of laying in the late morning/early afternoon.

That's the good news. The bad news I'm starting to get attached to them and it's gettng mighty hard to picture them in the Crock Pot next year sometime! Might have to give these to my heartless in-laws (LOL!)



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