How long does a chicken lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NewHobbyForMe, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. NewHobbyForMe

    NewHobbyForMe Songster

    Oct 10, 2009
    I've got 1 year olds that are just now starting to molt. Neighbor said they won't lay after molting [​IMG] please tell me this is NOT true. I will not eat my pets I've raised for a year [​IMG]
    They have been great layers, RIPs, BOs, BRs please reply Thank You
  2. buckabucka

    buckabucka Crowing 8 Years

    Jan 13, 2010
    Fairfield, Maine
    My Coop
    They only stop laying for a while during the molt. I don't know how long, - I am new to chickens (ours don't even lay yet!). But then they start laying again. Someone else will know how long it will be.
  3. I am new to chickens but I can say for a fact Buff Orpingtons can go through a molt and then return to being great layers, mine have already done that and my RIR and Russian Orloffs too.

    I was told my Russian Orloffs would be terrible layers and they have been doing great, so perhaps not all chickens are the same or your neighbor doesn't know what he is talking about. Good thing there is BYC in the world, huh?
  4. CricketYang

    CricketYang Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Mason, MI
    Actually after their first molt your eggs will be even better! They'll be bigger and have a nice shape. Maybe the lady you spoke to meant that they wouldn't lay during a molt. Heck, my Jen is molting right now and she still gives me about 2-3 eggs a week. The molt could last anywhere between 4-12 weeks.
  5. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I have a hen that is still laying daily at the age of 10 years. She is the most reliable of the girls this year.
  6. Alabama ee

    Alabama ee Songster

    Feb 18, 2010
    In the past, mine did better after the 1st year. When they started laying after their molt, the eggs were bigger. Most backyard flocks do well for several years. I have heard of some folks that had chickens lay eggs until they were 11 or 12.
  7. chickenboy21

    chickenboy21 Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    A chicken will lay up until she dies though as she gets older she want lay as frequent but her eggs will be larger.. they will not lay during a molt which can last from 4 to 12 weeks depending on how many feathers the bird molts at a time
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Here are a couple of sites that will give you some accurate information on molting, not what you are getting from your neighbor. Commercial operations sometimes force a molt to improve the egg quality. Don't worry. They will come back laying better than ever. Their best laying year is still ahead of them.

    On average, a hen will lay 15% fewer eggs after each adult molt. Not the one they are going through now, but the next ones. With your breeds, that should still be a lot of eggs.

    Mississippi State describes molting

    Kansas State feather loss
  9. NewHobbyForMe

    NewHobbyForMe Songster

    Oct 10, 2009
    Thank you Thank you Thank you all. It made me sick that my girls were at the end of their laying time. Neighbor said he raises new chicks every six months to keep his stock going for laying [​IMG]

    I am sure glad I posted, should have in the first place and would not have been worried, I love this site, your all sooooo helpful. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. Kat'sChicks

    Kat'sChicks Chirping

    Jun 20, 2009
    Minonk, IL
    [​IMG] does that mean the idiot culls/replaces at 6 months???? If he does I'm guessing he's a few bricks short...LOL. I have BO's that are 16 months and still laying, albeit a bit less, during molt and a group of youngsters 5 months old that have begun to lay those irresistible pullet eggs (the grandkids LOVE to gather and eat them). The 9yr. old is taking 2 doz. to school for show & tell. [​IMG] I have a friend whose flock has some 6 yr. old hens that are laying gorgeous eggs every day too.

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