How old does a hen have to be to slow down on egg production?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hobbyfrmr, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. hobbyfrmr

    hobbyfrmr Hatching

    Feb 18, 2010
    Cache Valley
    I have 3 sex link hens about 3 years old. They have been laying daily, then just all of a sudden, aoubt 1 1/2 weeks ago I am down to 1 egg a day. I actually had to buy eggs at the store today.
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    The first year is the most productive year for most breeds. After that they slow down a bit, a little more each year. My adult hens are all brahmas, a breed known to be slow to mature (as in, it takes two years for them to be considered full grown). Looking at my records I was surprised to realize that my girls actually laid better in their 2nd year than they did the first.
  3. 3chimama

    3chimama Songster

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I don't know what is going on but my 1 year old hens are hardly laying the last 2 weeks!
  4. Annabella

    Annabella Songster

    Apr 17, 2010
    Is it heat?? Molting?? Getting enough water??
    But I do think they go off the lay every now and then.
    My older Sussex (5 year old) hasnt laid for the past 18 month ( or VERY rarely).
    Since we got the newer hens and they are now intergrated - I have gotten 2 eggs this week from her. [​IMG]
    its like she has gotten a new lease of life!!
  5. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Hens require 14 hrs of light a day for optimum production. We are getting closer to 12 hrs of light a day now. Production will drop. Additionally, some birds will start to go into a molt this time of year (some later...I have some starting to molt now and others that usually molt near winter). Some birds won't lay at all in winter months (I have one that won't lay from late Aug/Sept through March or so [​IMG] ). Others will lay throughout winter, but at a reduced number. Some of it is breed related (of the breeds I have or have had EEs, Buckeyes, Javas and Welsummers generally don't lay in the winter...Delawares, Faverolles, Jersey Giants, and Barred Rocks generally will lay in the winter). With that being said, the winter layers produce fewer than their average eggs/week in the winter, but still, I get eggs, so that is good. Then there are the exceptions. Two of my best layers right now are an EE and a Welsummer. I am getting ~4 eggs/week from one of my 3 yr old EEs (not the one that stops Aug - March...she already stopped [​IMG]), even though others birds have stopped or slowed down.

    Birds productivity does go down after their first year, but not significantly in most cases. A friend of mine had a 9 year old BR hen who would lay an egg every other day for a month, then take a month off....year 'round. Even when they had to evacuate from a fire near their home, they had her in a dog crate at the place they were staying at and she paid her rent by giving an egg every other day to their host! [​IMG]

    I would say the laying being stopped is more related to the time of year (hours of light, molting, etc). [​IMG]

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