We have six hens that we would like to keep for their entire lifetimes. Somewhere I read that a healthy hen has the capacity to lay a certain amount of eggs (300-400). Anyone out there know where to get this information?
I can't believe I've gotten only one response to this question. I'm writing an article on this subject and I was sure, with all you knowledgeable people out there, I'd get a more concise answer. Perhaps it depends on the breed? Where can I look to find out this information?
It depends on the breed,some lay only 60 to 120 in there lifetime,others that are egg laying machines 300 the first year,200 the second year,and 120 for the next three years,thats 800 for a 5 years lifespan.I googeled it and that was the answer I got,hope this helps you.
Oh, this is helpful. I'm going to look into the breeds that lay over time. People here are worried about getting hens that are both layers and "pets", and having them lay for just a couple of years. I'll continue to research. If you know of breeds that are known for egg production longevity. please let me know. Thanks for your help.
I was looking up information on Black Australorps and found out one of them, in the 1920's, layed 364 eggs in 365 days. Most book answers are for prolific layers to lay upwards of 240 eggs each of the first two years then taper off. There are so many variables affecting egg production, light, sickness, feed, age of the hen, etc that its tough to pin down how many eggs you can expect.
It is a known fact that all hens start to reduce their egg production by their third year. That's the reason commercial egg producers cull their hens prior to their first or second molt. That said, my two 'senior' hens are going on six years old (a buff orphington and a barred rock) and each of them produces two to three eggs a week. I read a post on this board last year, I believe, where someone had a ten year old hen that laid one egg a year.
My girls are all named (i.e. pets) and their quantity of egg production is purely secondary to the fun of having them around.
I would be very interested in finding out which ones lay the longest. My 3 hens were 2years in April and have completely stopped laying. They were production machines from about 5months old for a year. We've had them since they were days old. They are the sweetest things but we get absolutely no production from two. One will lay occasionally. I am so sad because I loved their eggs. 1 australorp, 1 RIR and 1 Brahma.