At what age does egg production drop?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by la dee da, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read that at about the age of 4 or 5 hens will hardly lay at all, but on BYC some people seem to have 3 and 4 year old hens that lay well. So what are your breeds and when does their egg production drop rapidly? I know from 1-2 they lay best, but does egg production really go something like this?

    year 1- 240 eggs
    year 2- 230 eggs
    year 3- 150 eggs
    year 4- 75 eggs
    year 5- 25 eggs

    That's the impression I get, but somehow I doubt I'm correct. Anyone have any insight?
     
  2. CCF

    CCF New Egg

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    I, too, would like to know if there is any set age or if it just depends on the hen.
    My hens are 3 and 4 years old and since early December they have simply ceased laying. I have 25 of various breeds. They are healthy, they eat well and have a nice house, so I am wondering if they are going to earn their keep or not from here on out? [​IMG]
     
  3. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have they ever stopped laying at Winter time before? I wonder if hens get affected more or less by Winter as they age...hmm.
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I know I am effected more by winter the older I get [​IMG]
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never kept the hens for their 3rd year but their 2nd year was always very nearly as good as their first. That's what you are saying, also.

    Research on older production hens was cited in "Principles of Poultry Science," by Rose. The study was on hens laying on into their 3rd year. During their 2nd laying period, these production hens layed on between 90% and 70% of the days (slowly decreasing).

    What surprised me was that in their 3rd laying period, they kept their daily production above 60%. There was no sudden drop off in production. And, egg quality actually improved for those older hens.

    Steve
     
  6. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have two now four year old phoenix crosses that lay the same as they did when they started laying.
     
  7. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    "What surprised me was that in their 3rd laying period, they kept their daily production above 60%. There was no sudden drop off in production. And, egg quality actually improved for those older hens."

    What exactly is egg "quality"?
     
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rose is a British poultry scientist so he may not mean the same thing by "quality" as what is meant on this side of the pond. BTW - that book may be in your public library, and it is very worth picking and reading - kind of a 101 class text. I found it at the library but it's off my book shelf now.

    If memory serves, I think he was mostly talking about size and sales value of the eggs of the older hens. Marketability . . . that's the right word.

    It could also have to do with blood spots and rejection of unmarketable eggs. I know spots are common in younger birds but I do think he was talking about size.

    Steve
     
  9. la dee da

    la dee da Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In other words, it wouldn't break me to keep them for a 3rd year, right?
     
  10. Sissy

    Sissy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine can hang around as long as they like
    LOL the older I get the slower I become.
     

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