How Long do chickens lay eggs before their worn out?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazyeggkat, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. crazyeggkat

    crazyeggkat Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 13, 2009
    I was just wondering if anyone could tell me how many years chickens lay eggs for before they stop and are worn out. I am new to this and wonder if this summer I should hatch some eggs instead of selling them so I can have future egg layers. Thanks, Kathy![​IMG]
  2. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Well, Kathy, from what I have read...have only had chickens for two years now....if you don't force the laying issue with artificial days/lights...they sporatically lay for years. Now wait till someone gets on here with many years experience and trust in what they say. Miss Prissy/ Speckled Hen and a few very experienced others will have the facts for you. [​IMG]
  3. KeyPenCoop

    KeyPenCoop Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2008
    Lakebay, WA
    [​IMG].yes, I 'd like to hear an answer to this as well. I think they lay for like 5-6 years but I the most productive is like their second year??
  4. jjparke

    jjparke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    I've read first year is best year then they will only lay up to about 80% of previous year until about year 5 then very sporadic.
  5. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    My oldest turns 8 in the spring. She is an awesome broody too.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    The whole article is wordy, but 'figure 1' will pretty much answer your question:

    A hen is hatched with the number of ovum she will produce already programmed (just as human females are). The amount of eggs she actually lays each year can be influenced by alot of things (as described in the article), including supplementing light. It's my understanding that everything else being equal adding light won't change the overall number of eggs you get from a hen, only the time frame in which you get those eggs.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2009
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Quote:My understanding is that birds are unlike mammals. The process of producing cells from which an egg develops ceases at about the time of hatching. However, the number of these early stage ova (oocytes) is nearly infinite by comparison to mammals.

    The number of oocytes was counted nearly 50 years ago. It was determined that 480,000 are present in the female chick. PubMed

    The reproductive aging of birds is now studied because it does NOT seem to have to do with a finite number of ova. Researchers think better understanding this fact may help us better understand human aging. Birds become post-reproductive still having significant reproductive potential if one was just counting cells that could but won't develop into eggs.

  8. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK

    They will lay for many years but not as good as the first couple
  9. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Could it be that chickens have been bred to lay well for a year or two and then drop off in laying? With the thinking that most would be culled after that time. I think this would definitely be the case in hatchery birds. Are there some breeds that hold up better over time, maybe ones that don't lay so prolifically when they are young? Seems like a chicken like that would be more suitable for small, "pet" flocks.
  10. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2009
    Cairo, Missouri
    Some lay longer than others. Most hens will slow down with age. One way to tell when they are nearing the end of their laying cycle is to look at their comb, wattles and legs. When they bacome quite pale in those three areas they are nearing their laying end. Also, once they lay the soft-shelled eggs it is another sign they may be done.

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