Egg production is significant to the poultry industry, and getting the right birds is a critical concern for many reasons. Many factors or reasons that affect egg production include the quality of the feed, the quantity of the feed, the amount of water consumed, duration of light exposure and the intensity, disease, parasite infestation, and others. However, today we are looking at the age of the birds by comparing day-old pullets vs point of lay hens in layer egg production.
And this brings us to which is better for egg production between Pullets and Point of Lay (POL) birds. Pullets are young chickens that are not up to a year, and in this case, we are referring to females. On the other hand, Point of Lay is used to describe pullets that are approaching the age when they will start laying eggs. As we can see the major difference between these two is the age, which, in turn, will influence other factors like feeding, quality, disease risks and so on. Hence, let us compare the factors affecting both to see which is more suitable for your poultry business.
Chickens continue to lay eggs, producing 50 to 60 eggs weekly throughout their lives which range between 2 to 4+ years. From the second year, you should expect a decline in the production of eggs but the rest depends on other factors such as quality and feeding which is where the comparisons between Pullets and point of lay come in. If you decide to rear pullets, this means you will have to do the feeding and other management practices for a longer period than you will for POLs.
Some people see this extra time and effort as an unworthy risk that might come in form of a high mortality rate, the prevalence of diseases, and poor egg production. However, it will help you monitor the quality of layers you will be having unlike if you are just buying POLs that might be sub-par from another poultry which will affect your egg production and defeat the purpose of your egg production business.
Unlike when you buy POLs to start your egg production business, rearing outlets from chicks would give you a wealth of added experience that you would not have acquired from the former. This knowledge can be useful in being a paid/free consultant to others or launching into another part of the poultry business.
Clearly, the cost of production differs for POL and pullet. When you consider all it takes to raise the pullets to egg production age, you realise you might be spending more than if you just purchased POLs from another poultry. However, if you are not financially buoyant and you are not under a strict timeline, rearing your pullets allows you to spread the cost across up to 6 months, thereby relieving you of the burden of spending a chunk of money at once.
To ensure that layers maintain an optimal egg production rate, they are often prevented from long duration of exposure to light. Light hastens their maturation and most layers are best reared between April and August for this purpose. Pullets need a lot of heat while they are still very young. All I am trying to make you see is that the condition of the environment has significant effects on the metabolism and physiology of birds.
When purchasing POLs, you must give them time to adapt to their new environment. This means you have to buy them a few weeks before the egg production period and ensure that your environment is conducive for the breed, else they may die out and your poultry dream dashed. When rearing pullets, you would not have to go through all of this worry or a particular breed might have died out on your farm and you know not to ever rear such breed.
Type of Breed
While some breeds are commonly commercialised and would easily thrive in most environments, others are either selective or require special attention. These breeds are usually costlier on the market and, if you can pull it off, rearing the pullets to the egg production stage might be a better option.
More Details on Layers (Day Old Pullets vs Point of Lay)
How layers start producing eggs depends on their parent stock and the condition of brooding and rearing. Expected laying ranges between 18 to 22 weeks of age. Thus an early purchase enables the hens to adapt to farm conditions and management practices.
- The 12-week-old Point of Lay/ Pullet hens has completed all the required vaccinations for their age (you will need to get a veterinarian to complete the remaining vaccinations).
- Provided they are raised under very conducive conditions and properly managed as we do at Afrimash they will deliver well on your farm.
- At 16 weeks of age, the hens have scaled through the most difficult parts of raising chickens, after being raised by experienced professionals.
It is a tight race between Pullets and Point of Lay; choosing the better option is always your choice based on how the different factors affect you. However, I would go with the Pullets as I am able to watch them grow and understand their history which remains useful when they start laying eggs. However, if you are not cut out for these risks, POLs are just fine. The most significant factor is quality and at Afrimash, be sure to get that regardless of your choice. Visit or eCommerce shop to order your birds today and get them within seven days