How long do hens on average lay eggs before they stop altogether?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AndyL, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. AndyL

    AndyL Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2009
    Hi, I am just curious if any of you eggsperts know the average timespan that a hen will lay eggs if her lifetime? Might be a silly question but there has to be some amount of time. Two years, three, four..........or what?

    If it is breed specific I am going to be getting four Australorps and four White Barred Rocks.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2009
  2. Tiramisu

    Tiramisu Got Mutts

    May 3, 2008
    Milan PA
    A chicken can lay for quite some time, but I think between 1-3 years is when they are most productive, and then with aging productivity will decrease.
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Depends on if you mean completely stop or just slowing down to inefficiency.

    I've never had a chicken live long enough to stop laying altogether, so I dont know.

    I know the scientists say they only live 3-5 years. But there is always someone to say that their chicken(s) is about a gazillion years old and is still laying strong.

    So lets see what the group says.
  4. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    I had an eight-year-old mixed bantam hen that was a seasonal layer. She laid about 3-4 eggs a week when she wasn’t broody. She would also take a week off here and there. I also had an RIR given to me by a neighbor who said that she was five years old, and she didn’t lay a thing. Old hens aren’t very reliable in the egg-laying department. I suppose their egg laying depends on the breed as well as their general health.

    Goodluck with your new birdies.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  5. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    I don't know the answer (but it isn't stopping me from speculating). [​IMG] First, I think that the really heavy layers, like Leghorns, are bred to lay so much that they burn themselves out in a few years.

    So you are better off with a heritage breed, which I think is what you said you are getting. Some breeds lay a reasonable number of eggs and keep on doing so for quite a while.

    Second, and this is my belief that I could not prove if I had to, I think that if they are free ranging and eating lots of nice healthy bugs and stuff, they will lay longer, and also of course if they are on pasture.[​IMG]
  6. chickenkate

    chickenkate Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 2, 2009
    East coast
    On average a hen will lay 2-4 years, then stop, or slow signifigantly.
  7. chickorama

    chickorama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    they start at around 6-12 months, depending on the breed. They end around 3 and a half or 4 years. when they get older their laying decreases.

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