How Old is OLD for a chicken?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SarniaTricia, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. SarniaTricia

    SarniaTricia Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a mixed age and breed flock.
    I have an EE that is no longer laying (no green eggs). I also question who is laying my 2 eggs a day.
    As my older girls are not cuddly, I don't feel attached to them. I don't want to keep them as pets, so I am thinking soup pot.

    I want to plan ahead for getting new chicks when the younger girls get older.

    My question is how old do chickens stop laying?
  2. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    2-3 years
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    How many eggs does one hen lay per day?

    This depends on: the time of year; the breed of the hen; the diet of the hen; the age of the hen; and, how the hen is looked after.
    Most of the standard breeds of chickens that have been selected through the years for egg production will lay between 180 – 320 eggs per year for their first year of laying.
    On one extreme, there are records of hens averaging an egg a day for over a year. The rate of laying tapers in the second year and beyond, until it may only take place during the spring.
    Some of the breeds that haven’t been selected for egg production (selected for show, or other qualities, instead) may only lay eggs in the spring and early summer.
    Appropriate feed mixtures also stimulate egg production. Provide 14 to 16 hours of light for hens to lay regularly.
    One hen can only lay, at the most, seven eggs per week while most chickens lay fewer. A hen which lays one egg every day is a very good layer.

    How long do hens lay eggs?

    Egg productivity diminishes after the first year. It is still good the second year, but then declines rapidly.
    At about three or four years, production is not very efficient. Most commercial and farm hens are culled after their second season of laying.

    **I found this for also depends on the breed...
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  4. RHRanch

    RHRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a couple of hens which are almost 6 - They still lay and love to go broody. IMO, that makes them useful still. Plus, thier presence keeps the flock dynamics stable. They are the old matriarchs of the flock. I had another old hen that layed pretty regularly up until about 6 months before she died - she was around 9-10 years old.
  5. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010

    wow......what breed are your older ones?
  6. Zonoma

    Zonoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 15, 2011
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:Wow. That's impressive. I had no idea that was even possible! I knew they could live up to 6 years and figured (as you said) they would help stabilize the flock and be useful in that way.
  7. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    I have a 6yr old mixed breed hen that still lays, not every day, but a couple a week. She also still goes broody from time to time.
  8. SarniaTricia

    SarniaTricia Chillin' With My Peeps

    I didn't consider the flock dynamics.... Hmmmm
    I have until the seven teen girls (8 weeks) get laying age (Sept/Oct) to make a decision.

    Thanks, defininately something to think about.
    maybe keep my two favourite old girls, give away a couple teens and freezer camp for the rest.
    I want to keep my flock mixed ages and breeds, but I want to cull yearly with 2 new chicks a year.
    I don't want chicken math to get out of control! It has already happened as my flock is 13, I was supposed to be getting 3-4!!!

    4 years and we will move to a hobby farm and I can get MORE CHICKENS!!!! Maybe some ducks, geese and turkey!!?!?!
    I live in a subdivision now. Just not the space for too many girls.

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