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Q: At what age do hens start laying eggs?

A:

On average, pullets, or juvenile hens, start laying eggs at about 6 months of age, depending on the breed. Larger, heavier birds like Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks and Orpingtons will lay on the later side whereas lighter, smaller breeds like Leghorns, Stars, and Australorps will start laying sooner. However, if your birds come into maturity at the coldest, darkest part of the year, they will sometimes not begin laying until spring: six months is just the average! We guarantee you that every day past five months that they haven't begun to lay will seem like an eternity!

If you suspect there's something more to it, you might consider taking your hen to your local avian vet. She could be suffering from external parasites like lice or mites, or a fecal smear can help determine if she has intestinal parasites. Lice and mites can also be helped by dusting with diatomaceous earth; diatomaceous earth mixed in with feed at a ratio of 2% can also reduce internal parasite load. These other dewormer products are also safe and effective!