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Do Chickens Have Random Egg Production?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FishChicken, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. FishChicken

    FishChicken In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2014
    So chickens lay a lot of eggs, but can they keep up with random egg production? In pondering this question, I knew I could answer it with some egg count information that I collect on my six layers.
    If my chickens laid eggs randomly (50/50 chance) then I would expect to obtain 3 eggs each day under random egg production.
    However, we all know this isn’t true, and there are times when chickens may lay more or less than this (If you’re interested see my previous post that evaluates factors affecting egg production). My chickens have only been provided natural lighting.
    Perhaps one of the most astonishing things to me is that chickens make an astonishing amount of eggs (biomass) – no natural bird can come close – we’ve created a bird with unparalleled fecundity – but can they keep up with random chance?
    Well here’s the stats…
    Under random chance one would expect a daily production rate of 0.5 eggs each day, but I measured an average daily rate of 0.47 (95%CI=0.449-0.492) eggs per day over two years. So it appears that chickens produce just slightly less than random egg production.
    However, this isn’t necessarily true. For example, when I plotted my cumulative egg production over time I found that during the summer time when temperatures were favorable and daylight hours sufficient - my flock was actually far outcompeting random egg production (Figure 1). In particular was the reduced ability to outpace random production as the birds aged each year. So, that by my bird's third year, I shouldn’t probably expect egg production beyond random egg production during the summer months.


    Figure 1. - Time series showing the cumulative number of eggs collected from my flock of six chickens (black line) in comparison to what I would expect had my chickens been laying purely randomly (red line) over time.
    So, on average, it appears chickens lay slightly less than random chance, but during the summer months over the birds' first two years their production far out-paces random egg production.
    Any thoughts, comments, please share. Hope you enjoy the chicken stats.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  2. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop 6 Years

    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    That is a very interesting observation. It is indeed fascinating the size of an egg a chicken can produce compared to its size!
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Very interesting statistics; thanks for posting. I've been raising chickens over the past 50 years, and having become increasingly utilitarian over the years, my concerns were which breeds or hybrids would give me the most eggs during a year. I've done meticulous annual egg counts on various breeds and hybrids, and my best layers have been my Black and Red Sex Links. They have consistently churned out over 300 eggs per hen per year in their laying peaks. I don't have the exact figures in front of me, but they average out to approximately 6 eggs per hen per week. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. What kind of chickens do you have?
  4. FishChicken

    FishChicken In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2014
    Thanks, its nice to hear of others who are collecting chicken data. I'm planning a few behavior experiments with nest selection too. Its kind of fun.. I have 1 buff orp, 1 barr rock, 2 amercaunas, and 2 blk autralorps. I like mixing it up every 3 years. I try your suggestion next go round. have a happy thanksgiving
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Wow! Great info!
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    I have had all of those breeds (still have Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, and Black Australorps) and the Black Australorps have been the best layers those four. I've typically gotten 5 eggs per week from the BAs (occasionally 6 from the Dunlap strain), but only about 3 (occasionally 4) from the other three. Have a happy Thanksgiving.
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word Staff Member Premium Member 7 Years

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Wow, you really did some research here! You can't count on what anyone says about how chickens lay. I have a flock of Australorps that seem to lay better this year at 3 1/2 years old than they did at year 1 and 2!! Go figure!! LOL

    Well done and we do welcome you to our flock!

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