How old when they stop laying?


10 Years
Sep 1, 2010
I'm wondering how long hens actually lay well for. I think even if one slowed way down I wouldn't have the heart to cull it...probably. They will be pets so we'd like to start with 4 with the possibility of adding 2 more down the road when laying slows. But does it slow way down after the first year?
"They" say you'll really start to see a decrease in laying after the second year. Regardless, I have 3 year old brahma girls still laying well and I happen to know someone still getting the occasional egg from a 10 year old brahma.
I wonder what makes the difference? Or maybe they still lay "well" but not well enough for production after the second year. And that's the second year of laying, not second year of life right? How is one year measured. From start of laying to molt?
Behind your questions lies some differences of opinion and differences of life style vs sheer economics.

For a hen to "pay for herself", she has to lay a lot of eggs, let's say 280+ a year, to give the flock owner a fighting chance at making a buck or at least breaking even.
Many/most breeds cannot do that, especially after the second year of laying.

People has other reasons for keeping such hens, however.
I don't know how others measure it, but I measure by laying seasons - the times between the molts. My brahma girls turned three April 9, 2011. My younger girls will turn 1 the 9th of June. I consider them to still be in their first laying season as they haven't had their first adult molt yet. My brahma girls are actually in their 4th laying season when I stop to think about it, i.e., they've had four adult molts and are laying again.

Economically are they worth having this long? Probably not. This month (after having an illness based on poor care while DH and I were gone on vacation), my brahma girls are averaging 4 to 6 eggs a day, out of 12 hens. One hen is ill with egg peritonitis and only lays sporadically. I am blessed to be in a position where I can say who cares?! They are my therapy. They make me smile. They eat bugs and they give me eggs when their bodies allow. That's all I need from them.
I'm not sure but my Chickens are my pets so the eggs are just a bonus for me. I'd ideally like to still have a few eggs a week when they've aged but I don't think it will make me love them any less.

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