…For this year’s chicks to start laying eggs. The general rule of laying says hens start to lay at about 20 weeks of age. Some lay a little sooner and some can go as long as 26 weeks. I have had early and late layers. We rejoiced in the early layer and John kept threatening the late layer with Sunday dinner.
This year’s birds are 17 weeks old which is still early but it is now in the realm of possibility. We have been calling them the littles, but in the last week they have suddenly shown signs of maturing. There bodies are just a little smaller and a little leaner than the big girls. Each of them is getting red in their comb and waddles. Our new barred rock, Spot, grew waddles overnight. Our wyandottes are getting red and starting little waddles too. They are a little harder to judge as they have what is called a cushion comb meaning it isn’t that flopping, spiked red comb we all think of. It is one of those cold weather traits I really like as you don’t worry about frostbite in the winter.
Yesterday I took pictures of my ladies and today I had to look very close to tell the difference between the two barred rocks. Spot is smaller, just barely. Rock Star has a larger comb and waddles. I suspect that in a couple more weeks the only way I will be able to tell them apart is by personality, because they will both all grown up and egg laying machines.