Determining if old hens are still laying eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by capayvalleychick, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2010
    Guinda CA
    I am trying to figure out if some of my older hens are still laying eggs. I've been putting them in a small coop/cage and waiting for them to lay an egg.
    My question is, how long do I wait until I can make the determination that a hen is no longer laying eggs?

    The first few hens laid an egg within 2 days. The latest hen, born in 2009, is going on her 4th day without laying.
    Is it too early in the year to test? I think that most of them are laying, judging from the number of eggs being collected daily.

    These hens usually free range during the day, so being in a cage must be somewhat stressful and may affect their egg laying. ??? But I figure that they can't hold back for long, if they are still productive.

    Any experience with this?
  2. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    There are many factors. My two 3-year-olds laid non stop for 2 years, even through winters. They, of different breeds, both started molting this fall. One resumed laying in 3 months and one just resumed. They are both laying at much lower rate.

    Chicken is a hobby to me, so egg production is secondary. If your objective is harvesting eggs and your older birds are more than 2 and have stopped (to rest), might as well change them out.

    Egg farmers in my area rotate out after 1 year.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012

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