Leghorns...16 weeks and laying????

ctufts(z4 Maine)June 24, 2008

Hi everyone,,I know that leghorns tend to lay before most other chickens,,or that is what I have heard. Mine are about 16 weeks,,,should I expect eggs from them soon??? Also, I have Buff orpingtons,,When do they usually start to lay. I have had chickens in the past, but can't remember exactly when they start producing eggs. Any help would be great. I did notice that the one rooster that I have (have had for 5 years) was in the nesting boxes showing the chickens what to do....I am assuming that is a sign that they are pretty close to laying.

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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Most hens begin laying at around 6 months of age, give or take a few weeks in either direction. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 4:12AM
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ctufts(z4 Maine)

WOW,,Thanks for ALL the Great responses.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 7:23AM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

ctufts: I hope that you weren't being just a little bit sarcastic there. After all, it is summer, and a lot of us are out gardening or farming until it is dark, and don't always check the board every day.
Velvet sparrow is our guru on chickens, I tend to agree with her that it's six months, give or take a few weeks. Depends on day length. Depends on breed. Depends on a lot -- are you pushing them, or letting nature take its course. Mine slow down if it's too hot or too dark (winter).
I'm not sure that the rooster is showing them what to do. That's a little bit of anthropomorphizing on your part. Roosters don't really know that hens lay eggs, they just know that the hen is their means to reproduction. If anything, he was just looking for a place to rest.

Don't forget, we are all volunteers answering the questions. If you want instant answers, please forward your VISA or Mastercard number, and I'll answer all the questions you have, immediately. :^)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 12:18PM
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ctufts(z4 Maine)

Yes, I WAS being sarcastic as a matter of fact.
but you also didn't have to take it so personally. lol.
I do find it odd that you think roosters do NOT KNOW that hens lay eggs. How COULD YOU possibly know that??? I have found roosters to be quite intelligent as opposed to the hens, the way they teach the pullets to scratch and find food as well as alert them when danger is near, and call them over when I put treats in their outdoor pen ,etc. The rooster was not taking a rest,,he was scratching around in the nesting box just like a hen would before she lays an egg, and while doing so all of the hens were standing there watching him. I have seen this behaviour before. yes, I know that most chickens lay eggs around 6 months of age, because I have had chickens for about 6 years on and off ,but like I said, I had heard that leghorns are the earliest to lay, sometimes as early as 16 weeks.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:09PM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

ROFLMAO

    Bookmark   June 27, 2008 at 9:52PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

My roos have always been very tender and affectionate with their hens, but I suppose that can vary widely from breed to breed--I've had Barred Rock, OEG bantam and Americaunas roos. My fellas quite often will enter a nesting site that they think is neato-keen, and sit down and kind of shuffle around, burbling excitedly at the hens. The hens will climb in there with him, just as excited at the same old nest. It's very sweet. :)

The social interaction among the flock is fascinating, and entertaining to watch.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 4:49AM
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ctufts(z4 Maine)

HI Velvet Sparrow, Yes, I agree, it is very fascinating and entertaining to watch. Thank you for your kind and knowledgeable responses. I appreciate it. Have a great weekend !!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 10:03AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

In a cartesian sense there is very little that we can possibly know. Beyond say a Log=-10 uncertainty there is a great deal that we can know about birds, while roosters may know that hens lay eggs we can be highly certain that they do not know how hens go about doing it and that they wouldn't show the hens how to sit on a nest box.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 5:27PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Um...sorry brendan, mine do. :) It's a very tender scene when the roos enter the nest ahead of the hen and sit down and shuffle about, chuckling and burbling at her. It always draws at least two hens, who get very excited.

Sometimes it's in the rabbit's hutch:

Sometimes in the trash cans after we've done yard work:

My boys pretty clearly know exactly what's going on and understand the entire process. That and Phoenix is just a big ol' fluffy sweetiepie who wuvs his girls. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 3:01AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

The fact that your roos go nuts over a nice site doesn't mean that they know what exactly goes into a hen laying eggs, it means that they go nuts over a nice nest site. They may act tender, that doesn't mean they understand why they are acting tender, it just means that they are acting tender, chickens are not smart animals, and certainly aren't applying logic and reason to there preprogrammed social interactions. Besides, if the roo's knew how hens went about laying eggs they would know that showing them a nest site doesn't make them any more likely to lay an egg.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 4:11AM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

Thank you, Brendan

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 9:48PM
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flowersnhens(Maine 4)

Brendan, Chickens (hens) are not smart animals, your right, BUT however, Roosters are quite smart from what I have seen. If you took the time to actually pay attention to what your flock is doing, maybe you would realize that. It is a fact that roosters are MUCH smarter than the hens. I have been watching them for many years, and it is quite clear what is going on between the roosters and the young hens. I am sure many will agree.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:32PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Dunwaukin, you deal with obsessive people regularly don't you?

Flowersnhens, I can absolutely agree with what you said there, roo's are much more put together and focused than hens.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:20PM
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dunwaukin(Ontario 5b)

Not sure what you mean, Brendan? Here? Work?? I don't post on here all that much anymore, there are lots of experts to answer questions more accurately than me.
However, sometimes, I just can't let a post like this pass.
I also love the posts where people rave about the horse mind readers that they have come to the farm (not on this board). Give your head a shake, people.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2008 at 10:54PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Oh, I thought it was an extremely tactful way of saying "you've said your piece and thats nice ... now shut the #%&$ up"

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 1:01AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

Well, I'll just say that we agree to disagree. I've had chickens for many years and grew up with them as well, and know their social interactions very well. Like I said, it depends on the breed and individual personality. What you have noticed in your flock, with the breeds you keep, clearly differ from my own.

My birds are quite tame and kept in a suburban back yard, where I can interact with and observe them throughout the day.

I stand by my previous posts--chickens aren't stupid, and understand the reproductive process just as the males in any other species do. To think that they do not is laughable.

I'm not claiming that the roo showing a nest site to a hen MAKES her lay eggs, it just shows that he is interested in and involved in the process. I also wouldn't attempt to apply such thought processes as logic and reason to chickens--what they do is instinctual, but clearly nurturing. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   July 7, 2008 at 3:40AM
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