How long do hens produce?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by paynemom, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. paynemom

    paynemom In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2008
    Robinson, TX
    I was researching online to find out how long my chickens will produce eggs and was shocked to see that commercially, they only produce for 2 years. What has everyone else seen. I have 4 4-week old chicks, 3 BOs and 1 leghorn. Will I have to raise chicks every couple years or so too keep up a good supply of eggs?

    Erika from AZ
  2. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Unless you're trying to squeeze pennies out of them like the commercial raisers do, they should lay well enough for three or four years.
  3. hooligan

    hooligan Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
  4. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    That's a cool timeline, but do chicken really moult at 6 months? Mine didn't [​IMG]
  5. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Quote:I think it will depend on the season as well as the age of the chicken... I don't think nature would allow (generally) them to molt in the middle of winter for example.
    Mine are 6 months old right now!
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Those are general guidelines and as all silly chickens are... they moult at some of the worst times. LOL. I have a bunch of hens that are the same age... and they have been doing their hard moult, all at different times in the past 3 months... right amist winter!!!

    Commercial birds only produce for 2 years because they are culled after that and don't have the chance to give more eggs.

    I have a commercial leghorn and she's a egg laying machine. I have no plans on culling her and I'm sure she willstill lay well for another few years before declining dramatically.

    They don't really stop laying, they just slow down. Someone on the board had a 16 year old hen lay another egg. Believe it was bantymum.
  7. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but how old are your hens that are in a hard moult? I'm trying to figure out when to expect mine to moult.
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    The hens that have gone under hard moult are between 1 and 3 years old... all march -june hatches... not too helpful huh? My guess is about 18 and 30 months old plus and minus 4 months, giving an 8 month window each year when they moult... I had one go into half a moult, turn broody, and after her chickc hatched, finished her moult! Silly thing didn't give me a single egg for 3 months!!! They don't like to follow time lines very well!
  9. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Yup ... They are culled because they are past their prime. Also they are sex linked type crosses that burn out much earlier. Heritage breeds will lay into their teens. Your BO and leghorn should be good to go for many years. They will slow down after the first 2 or 3 seasons, but typically it is not considerable. Having said that it will vary depending on the breeding and genetics of the line.

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