Pullets, Point of Lay, Layers

A ‘pullet’ is a young hen that is under 1 years of age, which has not started laying eggs yet. Pullets are fully grown, and will have a full coat of shiny new feathers. However, their bodies are still developing, and aren’t ready to lay eggs.
Once a pullet because closer to the age where their breed typically starts laying eggs, they are then regarded as a ‘point-of-lay’ hen. Generally speaking, ‘pullets’ (young hens), will reach ‘point of lay’ (age at which they lay their first egg), between their 16th and 24th week of age. In some cases and breeds, it can be more, or less.
So if you purchase a pullet, don’t expect them to start laying straight away. If you purchase a point-of-lay, she should start laying soon.
Hen’s aren’t born laying eggs from day dot – they have to wait until their body is mature enough to produce these little shells of goodness.
There are a number of indicators you will be able to see in your hens when they’re getting ready to lay. One sign is their wattles and combs: have a look at your hen’s head – are their wattle and comb looking a bit redder, and slightly more swollen in size? Then they’re probably about to lay an egg! See in the photo below, how the pullet’s comb is different from that of the older hen.
Your hens will lay eggs when their bodies are ready – trying to stimulate egg-laying early in a hen who’s not physiologically equipped will cause them damage.
If your hen doesn’t have a safe private place to lay her produce, then egg-production will definitely slump or cease to exist. That’s why you must have a coop with nesting boxes – otherwise you might be waiting for a while.