I have one laying and one (I think) not laying hen. GH has been laying since December, and has produced probably over fifty eggs since then. Eloise (we don’t think) has laid a single one. Hens are supposed to start laying anytime around weeks 18-22 (about 5 months), but this isn’t a hard and fast number. Larger breeds of hens (like the ones I have) are notorious for being late bloomers. I think GH&E were hatched in April/May, so this would clock her in right about at 8 months. Little Eloise, on the other hand, is now probably at 42 weeks (10.5 months), and still nary an egg.
I was beginning to get very disheartened, but this week I’ve noticed her comb and wattle (the pinkish parts around her face) have gotten very, very red. This usually happens when a hen is about to lay. When they are just developing, their comb is pinkish. Being new to chicken keeping, I wasn’t sure if I’d even notice the change when it happened, but in December, GH’s comb and wattle got obviously more red, and a week or two later, voila, there was an egg.
“Good morning. Check out my red comb. You might get an egg off me yet.”
P.S. A pullet is an immature hen – one who is not laying eggs yet. So, even though I refer to the girls as hens, technically GH is a hen and Eloise is still a pullet.