Consistent egg production is a sign of happy, healthy hens. Most hens will lay their first egg around 18 weeks of age and then lay an egg almost daily thereafter. In their first year, you can expect up to 250 eggs from high-producing, well-fed backyard chickens. Then, egg counts will naturally decrease each following year with hens entering egg retirement around years six or seven.
Dual-purposed breeds like Plymouth Barred Rock, Sussex or Buff Orpingtons will typically also achieve top performance. Overall, 80 to 90 percent is considered excellent egg production (100 percent = 1 egg per hen per day), but breed, housing, weather, management, parasite load and nutrition can all affect the rate of lay of your hens.
Within their first year of life, most laying hens will be at their peak production at about 30 weeks of age. See the accompanying graph from the University of Florida to help estimate the number of eggs you can expect from your flock each year. Remember, hens can live for several years after they stop laying eggs.
The worlds oldest chicken on record is was an Old English Game hen named Matilda who lived to 16 years of age.
What age do chickens stop laying eggs?
As hens age they will naturally start laying fewer eggs with many hens slowing down production around 6 or 7 years of age and retirement shortly after. Many laying hens can live several years into retirement with average life expectancy between 8 and 10 years.
What month do chickens lay the most eggs?
The first week of March their egg production quadrupled. There are several reasons chickens lay more eggs in spring: Light. Chickens lay best when exposed to at least 14 hours of light a day.
What is the average lifespan of a laying hen?
Laying hen / Lifespan
What happens to chickens when they stop laying eggs?
Most are euthanised and then either sent for rendering to be converted into protein meal for feed or turned into pet food. Hens that are at the end of their laying life are considered a by-product of the egg industry, unlike broilers that are reared for meat and are a valuable food product.
Do you have young spring chickens at home? If so, I bet youre eagerly waiting for those fresh eggs to arrive. and I dont blame you! Home-raised backyard chicken eggs cant be beat. If youre wondering when your chickens will start laying eggs, read along to learn the signs that signal eggs are on the way. Well talk about the average age that chickens start to lay eggs, how breed plays a role, and a few tell-tale signs that eggs are on the way.
Reduced daylight hours in the wintertime usually signals mature hens to take a natural break from laying eggs, conserving their energy and nutrients to brace for the cold winter ahead. As her hormones shift and she gets ready to start laying eggs, her combs, wattles, and face will change from light pink to brighter red in color.
One great way to encourage young chickens to lay eggs in their designated nesting boxes (as opposed to on the coop floor, or hiding them in the yard!) Younger birds eat starter and grower feeds that contain higher levels of protein to support their rapid growth. As you walk by your young hen or reach out a hand to pet her, she may stop, squat, and put her wings out slightly to her sides.
Unless youve raised backyard chickens, were willing to bet that the average egg consumer doesnt know that hens stop laying eggs pretty early on in their lives. Chickens live eight years on average, but hens only productively lay eggs in the first two, maybe three years of their lives. And on the commercial level, its closer to two years, and sometimes less.
If you send them to a pet food plant, which is the biggest use of spent hens, they pack them into crates and ship them in trucks hundreds of miles. Pete and Gerrys Organic Eggs outlines on their website how they treat the end of laying and life for their hens.
ARDEN HILLS, Minn. With spring in full force and days getting longer, backyard flock raisers are experiencing two fun moments: New baby chicks and egg production picking up again from the adult flock. Whether its the first egg at week 18 or the first egg of the spring season, theres nothing like the first egg happy dance. But how long do chickens lay eggs? And do egg counts change as laying hens age?
Research from the University of Florida (see Figure 1) shows estimated egg production naturally declines each year. See the accompanying graph from the University of Florida to help estimate the number of eggs you can expect from your flock each year.
Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Arden Hills, Minn. and a wholly owned subsidiary of Land OLakes, Inc.