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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by capebird, May 6, 2011.
Is there a certain time of day the hens will lay? Are they time consistent
when they lay? Thanks
It can vary, but my two that are laying do it in the afternoon, about 1.
Most chicken experts will tell you to expect eggs between 7 and 11 am. However, any true chicken owner knows that hens have minds of their own and they will lay when they want to. The reason experts say between 7 and 11 am is because the eggs last stage of development before being laid happens while the mother is sleeping and when she wakes she has a fully formed egg in her ready to lay. I was told it was similar to a woman going to bed five months pregnant and waking up about to go into labor. The hen will want to lay ASAP because the egg is hard and is uncomfortable and her natural instinct guides her to lay. Sometimes a hen's biological clock is a little slower or faster than average so that is why the experts say all hens should lay within those four morning hours.
That all makes perfect sense on a scientific level but in reality, I check for eggs three times a day. Once in the morning, After my evening meal (and to take the girls some scraps) and Before I go to bed. I use the rule for every two hens you have check once a day.
I have six Red Sex-Links and they all lay at different times. Plus, they are all sisters. But each individual hen lays her egg at around the same time each laying day. This will help you determine what times to go check for eggs.
Timothy in KY
I'd never heard that about why a chicken should lay in the morning. Very interesting. Thanks. Of course, mine don't always.
It takes about 25 hours from the time the egg starts it's journey through the hen's internal egg laying factory until it is laid, though I'm sure the hen can delay it a while if she wants to. I often see a hen pacing in front of an occupied nest, looking in, and telling the other one to hurry, even with empty nests available.
I don't know exactly what triggers that egg yolk to start its journey. All I've read is "hormones". That does not tell me much. I could guess that maybe daylight triggers those hormones to release an egg yolk to start the journey. If so, 25 hours later it would be morning when they laid. Or I could guess that the hen does not want to lay on the roost but wants to lay in a nest, so she holds it until it is light enough that she can see the nest. Again, they would lay in the morning. But I do not know that any of these theories are true.
Most of mine usually lay in the morning, but certainly not all. I have some that lay at the same time each day. I have some that seem to lay just a bit later each day. And I have some that seem to follow their own pattern. Some are time consistent when they lay, though they may be consistently different than others, but some are not. As with almost everything else concerning chickens, they are all individuals.