Timing is everything! Anyone involved in agriculture knows that success hinges on a variety of specific factors all falling into place at the proper time. A perfect example is having your spring hatched pullet chicks start to lay at the projected number of weeks. Depending upon the breed most pullets reach sexual maturity between five and six months of age. Day length, however, also plays an important part in the laying process. Hens need at least sixteen hours of daylight to enter production. Chicks hatched in March or April should start to lay in September or October, but if they were hatched from May and beyond the shorter days of late fall might need to be lengthened with artificial light to trigger egg laying. The augmented lighting need not be mega bright, a forty watt bulb will be sufficient in a coop up to four or five hundred square feet in size!
In short, if you don’t want to increase your electric bill, time your chicks to hatch early enough so they reach sexual maturity while the days are still fairly long!
By: Jim Quinn, Resident Poulty Expert