friend says hens only lay about a year...is this true?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazy4eggsJulie, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. crazy4eggsJulie

    crazy4eggsJulie Songster

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    A friend told me that hens only lay about a year or two max. I have read several posts that say they can live to be 5-8 years and still lay but I was wondering if that means like only every once in awhile. How many eggs a week should I expect from a 2 year old hen? How about a 3 year old?
    Thanks!
     
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

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    No! Not true at all. Their production will go down as they age; they typically lay larger eggs, but fewer of them. Many people still get 3-4 or more eggs from their 2yo chickens.

    Some people on here have VERY old chickens which still lay regularly for them. 5, 6 and beyond.
     
  3. crazy4eggsJulie

    crazy4eggsJulie Songster

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    Thanks! That's what I thought, but she tells me that it is true and that her's are only 1.5 years and have layed their last egg. She says she knows because it is smaller than the other eggs. I was wondering if maybe they were molting or something...
     
  4. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

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    That's probably exactly what it is. Once they're done molting and it cools down a little, they'll be back at it, full force.
     
  5. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Songster

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    Some people believe that if your chickens are cared for properly or "spoiled" then you can expect to see happier hens that lay eggs at a fair rate even as they get older.

    My father is one of those believers..... currently he has two siver lace hens that are about 4 yrs old that lay EVERY DAY... now they may slack off earlier but i'm guessing they are still "earning thier keep" so to speak.

    Hang in there [​IMG]
     
  6. Mortimer

    Mortimer In the Brooder

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    Their first and second years of laying are the most productive. It does start dropping off gradually after that but healthy hens can still lay as old ladies, even up to 6 or 7 years old!

    Hens naturally slow down egg-laying in the winter and pick back up in the spring. It has been speculated by many that encouraging them to lay through the winter with artificial lights (to make the days seem longer) and heat will shorten a chicken's egg-laying life, but no one knows for sure.
     
  7. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Songster

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    My four year olds (Barred Rocks and Buff Orphingtons) lay every other day and occassionally take two days off. They average about 3 eggs a week and they do tend to lay bigger eggs as the birds age.
    A chicken hatches will all the eggs she will ever have in her ovary (one ovary withers after hatching and all eggs are released from the remaining one). If you artificiallly stimulate the hen by exposing her to artificial light at night, she will still lay on a 25hr cycle but 'burn out' sooner and decrease her egg laying frequency in later years. This is what commercial producers do. They don't care about long term laying potential as they normally only keep their birds until the first molt.
     
  8. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

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    No, not in the least little bit! They certainly slow down, but they keep laying.
     
  9. kimbobim

    kimbobim Songster

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    I have a Black Star from McMurray Hatchery that is almost 5 years old. She lays 6 eggs a week like clockwork - and they're enormous. I've been told that the sex links start laying earlier and burn out faster, but see no evidence of it in Lola.
     
  10. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

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    Some of my hens are 4 yrs old and still lay darn near every day. They are also quite spoiled (they just devoured half of a seedless watermelon) ... It was hot out today and I felt bad so they got a nice treat to cool them off [​IMG]
     

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