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how long do chickens lay eggs for

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mommy3, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
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    ok- I am reading that chickens can start laying eggs anywhere from 5 months and up. We have 3 barred rocks, how many years do they lay for? Then what? Dinner? Just curious!
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Until they run out of eggs! Hens are born with all the eggs they will ever lay. If they are a high production breed, and lay like "egg laying machines" they might lay the majority of their eggs in the first two years. A heritage breed, who lays 3-4 eggs a week will lay much longer. When all is said and done though, they will both lay approximately the same number of eggs and once they've laid them all, they're done.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Yes, as stated above. How long will they lay heavily? If that is your question, the answer will vary. Their pullet laying year will be quite productive. Then at roughly 16-18 months of age, they'll moult and take a couple months off. When they start up again, they will lay a few less eggs each month, but the eggs laid will be a great quality and nice size. The next fall, same thing. They'll take a couple months off, normally and start again. Each year will bring fewer and fewer eggs, typically.

    This is a thumbnail sketch. Every bird is unique, but the sketch is helpful nonetheless.
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Sorry, I missed this part of your question. It is a personal choice what you do with them after they are done laying. For some people they are pets they could never consider eating. Others see them as livestock, and once they no longer serve a useful purpose as egg layers, they become a meal. It is up to you which direction you wish to go.
     
  5. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've been thinking about this. My first flock is almost 8 months and laying like gangbusters. But, I know that if I don't add chicks in the spring, I'll go as long as three months (THREE MONTHS???!!!) without eggs next fall. I really don't want a bigger flock. It's a conundrum...
     
  6. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
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    I don't think I could ever do anything to them, but we have a small coop and will only have about 8-10 at one time. I was "told" they lay eggs for 1-2 years. I am happy to hear they can lay for years. I hatched them from eggs, recorded each on hatching, and hold them all every day so you tell me what you think I would do!!!? I have read many people that don't think of them as pets, not sure the hubby feels the same about them! Just not sure I would win a battle if they completely stop laying eggs! Hey- they are only six weeks old so I don't have to worry for a while!
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I have a four year old hen, she was a hybrid, who just layed like gangbusters up until recently. She stopped about a month ago. She's one of my first chickens ever.....So she's kind of special...I plan on just letting her retire....LOL I know I shouldn't though, because I dont' have tons of room......I can't have all these chickens that don't lay eggs running around....

    I hope she's just taking a break.....And will start up again because she's not that old.....
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The light weight super layers aren't much for food, but the solid dual purpose are pretty good. You likely have to use a slow cooker or pressure cooker, the meat can be tenderized. But the broth and flavor are out of this world. We, as a culture, have basically lost touch with real food. These chickens we raise taste incredible and the broth of an older chicken produces a broth that is unmatched.
     
  9. ninabeast

    ninabeast Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am all for every one making a decision that works best for them, and there is NO judgment coming from here, at all. But let me just add that I'm sure MY hens are glad I'm a vegetarian! [​IMG]
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You might add a couple of hens of a breed that doesn't lay as intensively but more continuously. Our bantams lay pretty much year round, although right now they're all molting and we're only getting a couple of eggs every few days our of the 9 of them.
     

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