Lesson 582 – When will my chickens start laying eggs?

It’s not tough to figure out when your chickens will start laying eggs. Chicks gotten in the spring usually start to lay eggs in the fall. It takes a few months and chicken owners come to expect this.

But what if you got a chick in the middle of the winter (like Charlie)? Thankfully there is an almost fool-proof way of figuring out when your chickens will start laying.

Their wattle and combs start turning from a pale pink bubblegum color to a vibrant red. This is a picture I took of Charlie yesterday (right after I took the photo of her toes), notice all that red. That just wasn’t there a few weeks ago.  (She was born in January.)

It’s a sign that soon we will have a chocolate colored egg (and you better believe a photo will be going up of that one!)

Now here’s the next question. When will my chickens stop laying?

It’s the reverse. When chickens stop laying, their wattles and combs start fading back to the bubblegum pink. Youth, along with color, has been spent – it’s time to pass the gauntlet to the youngsters of the flock while the older hens take to the back porch, drink some cooled white wine and compare stories with each other about the good old days.


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, Charlie, Personal, The kids

4 responses to “Lesson 582 – When will my chickens start laying eggs?

  1. Rich Kolb

    What do you plan on doing with them once they stop laying?

    • Wendy Thomas

      Oh, all of our chickens are welcome to spend their retirement years in our flock. I’m not interested in eating them (although I know, I should eat our chickens and not the garbage that is sold in stores.)

      I do know that older chickens can have some health problems and I am prepared to cull any that need to be humanely put down.

      Other than that? my girls are welcome to join me anytime on the back porch.


  2. Mine learnt how to roost and I was so happy. When they start laying, I dont know what I will do.
    PS:do we do anything special when the temperature is above 90F? I know they have fresh water and food. They are in the shade. Anything else?

    • Wendy Thomas

      In the severe heat, we just make sure the birds have access to plenty of fresh water, veggies and grass and have access to shade. Just be on the look out for birds that appear to be “panting” (breathing with their mouths open) – those are the hot birds, move them to an enclosed area where they have access to water.

      We seem to be bothered by the heat more than our birds are.


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