How long do chickens lay eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by INchickens, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. INchickens

    INchickens Out Of The Brooder

    54
    0
    39
    Mar 30, 2008
    Indiana
    How long is a chicken productive as an egg layer? Our 22 chickens are about 1 1/2 years old, and have gradually decreased to just a few eggs a day. Is this normal? Is it time to get new chickens? Thanks
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well...it's natural that egg production decreases at this time of year (reduced light exposure). So is the egg reduction a recent thing (last few weeks) or was it happening over the summer too??? Most say egg production will decrease (not a seasonal thing) at the 2-3 year mark. Some chickens will lay for years, but at a much lower rate...
     
  3. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Are your hens moulting, if so it also can cause a reduction in eggs. Some even stop for the duration of the moult.
     
  4. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    980
    3
    131
    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    What breed are we talking about? They will begin to lay less, but I have read that they decrease after 2 years old and start being where you would notice a good deal less by 3 years old. After that, it might be good to let them go broody and replace them with their own offspring. I never kept a hen past 4 years old, but my mom-n-law kept some for 7 years and wouldn't consider killing them, because she said that even though they aren't good layers anymore, she still gets a few eggs a day and she didn't want to start over with new chicks.
    I would keep a good broody for 7, if she looked healthy, but a hen I wanted for egg production, I would replace after 3 or 4 years. I would first raise a few young pullets to where they were about 10 to 15 weeks old and then I would start eating a few soups (thats all you can do with an old hen ). That is unless I have a section I can pasture them on, alone where they can live mainly on grass and bugs, with just small rations of cracked corn here and there. Then maybe I can squeeze blood from a turnip just a bit. I mean, I will agree that it would be disappointed to be cleaning a soup hen and find an egg or 2 and know thats it from her.
    My mom was always trying to convince me to replace my flock every year, but really they are supposed to peak between 1.5 and 2 years old.
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    159
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I rescued an EE two weeks ago tonight that looked to be extremely old. I gave her lots of good protein, lathered her legs with vaseline to be certain she didn't have leg mites.... dusted her. On Sunday I got a green egg, on Monday I got a green egg and today I got a green egg! 3 days in a row... and they are beautiful.... now if the feathers will just grow back around vent and under her wings. She looks healthy enough that I put her in the coop.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by