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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > May/Jun 2019 > Immature Eggs

Immature Eggs

REBECCA HARRISON/SHUTTERSTOCK

Q. We recently got into backyard chickenkeeping, and our baby chicks are now about 6 months old. The Leghorn hens have finally started laying eggs, but the eggs are smaller than I thought they’d be. What could be going on?

A. I believe you have some pullet eggs. Pullet eggs are those laid by a hen less than 1 year old. A hen usually starts laying eggs when she is around 20 to 22 weeks old, so between that time and when she reaches 52 weeks old, she is considered a pullet, hence the name “pullet eggs.” Pullet eggs tend to be a bit smaller than eggs a mature hen would lay, but conversely, they are often more vibrantly and darker colored.

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