I have a mixed flock of duel birds (sussex & Australorp) coming 20 weeks on 12/1. I have a 25 watt bulb in the hen house (10X10) to provide longer "daylight". Just wondering if the natural shorter day light/weather will postpone the onset of egg laying? I have the nest boxes shut and am wondering when I should open them prior to the first expected egg so they can get used to them but I don't know when to expect the first egg. My neighbor said her red stars starting laying at 18 weeks. It seems I can't get a clear answer.
I was thinking of putting a golf ball in each of the 4 boxes to give the hens the idea that is where they should lay their eggs. Is a golf ball good idea? I could use some sage advice from people that have done this before.