how many years or how long do (most) chickens lay as mine have all but stopped and the are about 1 1/2 years old now. last winter they layed all winter now I get only 1 or 2 eggs a day from 10 hens.
thanks for and help.
It all depends on breed and living conditions. Some breeds are known for laying eggs well into their 4th or even 5th year of life, whereas others will start decreasing within their 2nd year. What breeds do you have?
Also, hens don't lay often in fall and winter due to the shortened daylight hours, colder temps and little access to the outdoors. You could add artificial light to encourage them to continue laying throughout the winter.
Stress can influence egg laying as well. Are your birds molting, injured, being bullied or have parasites? Could they be hiding their eggs at all?
Hopefully, they will start up again in the spring. Remember to provide them with plenty of food, water and calcium and know that they decrease in egg laying a little more each year of their lives.
Pullets under a year old will usually not molt their first winter. They will lay all winter long. Starting with their second winter they will molt and stop laying. You are actually lucky to be getting 1 or 2 eggs. Some members are getting none. As they get older the time they spend molting will usually get longer. So, it was normal for your girls to lay their first winter. It was also normal for your girls to slow way down during their second winter. The days are now getting longer. They should start to lay more eggs very soon.