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

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    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?
    Thanks,
    Kim
     
  2. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2011
    NJ
    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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