How old will chickens on average lay till?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jarvisite99, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. jarvisite99

    jarvisite99 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    How old will chickens on average lay till? I would like to know if my chickens will lay just as many eggs the first year as the second year?
    Thanks for your input.
  2. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    I understand they peak between 1-2 years then decline, production breeds like Leghorns and sex-links dramatically, and heritage breeds more steadily at something like 12% per year, theoretically. I guess pretty quickly the economics do not favor keeping hens too long, unless you can free-range/grow your own food. There are some other threads that report on egg-laying in senior hens, and it sounds highly variable with the individual.
  3. blueseal

    blueseal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2008
    i raise leghorns and red sexlinks . i have had leghorns lay at the 3 year mark getting about 3 to 4 eggs a week from the 3 year olds. the sex links start fading out around 2.5 years. i have 9 white leghorn and 9 red sexlinks all this years layers. so i should be good till the next 2.5 to 3 years with egg production i sell about 20 dozen eggs a month on average.
  4. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    I once bought a young EE from a lady who had a bantam salmon faverolle in her flock that was almost 8 years old and still laid 1 to 2 eggs a week. I thought that was pretty impressive. This same lady relayed to me a story of once having a Rhode Island red hen that still laid 3 or 4 eggs a week until she was taken by a hawk at the age of 7, as well. That's pretty old to still be laying that many eggs, but these chickens had about 4 acres out in the boonies that they free-ranged on, so I imagine their diet was pretty optimal.
  5. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    The answer to this is "it depends." It depend on the breed of chicken, the individual chicken, and the health and diet of the flock. For all chickens, the first year, from 6 months until they molt at 18 months of age, is the most productive. On average, the next year sees a decline of 20 %. Then there's another molt when they stop laying. The next springtime, when laying picks up again, you'll see at least another 20 % decline, for some breeds more. At that time, too, no matter what you feed, you'll have thinner-shelled eggs, which is one reason why farmers don't keep old hens - there's too much breakage. You'll also have far more health issues. That said, some old hens stop laying after their third year, some go on until they are 8. Economically, they stop "earning their keep" at the end of their second year, but that doesn't stop many of us from having retired hens around. If you want to see more about the difference between old and young hens, take a look at this blogpost:
  6. SueBaby

    SueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Oceanside, CA
    Quote:Very cool comparisons. This is my first year with chickens, so all I know is young chickens. I loved seeing both sides of the coin. [​IMG]
  7. jarvisite99

    jarvisite99 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    Thank you every one for your input. Was just tring to see the average amount, to see what kind of layer hens to get. [​IMG]
  8. Lyon3mchics

    Lyon3mchics Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 17, 2010
    Northern Michigan
    Thank You for the information. I have three 1.5 year old and they finished molting about 3-4 weeks eggs in 6 weeks. Previous to the molt - 5 or 6 eggs a week.
  9. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    I had some six year old Orpingtons still laying about three eggs a week. High producing breeds like Leghorns and sex links will "wear out" sooner than the older "dual purpose" style birds, they will lay 300+ eggs a year for a couple of years and then slow way down, while your dual purpose breeds might lay 150-200 eggs a year for a couple of years and gradually slow down.

    After they molt, it can take them a while to start again, especially this time of year, because there is not enough daylight to stimulate their reproductive tract to start working again. An increase in daylight length (12-14 hours) either by waiting until the days are naturally longer, or providing artificial light, as well as a boost in protein in their diet ought to get them going again.
  10. sunnysideuprarebreeds

    sunnysideuprarebreeds Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    Wow still laying after 6 years that is great! I have only been raising chickens for three years now and thought they only layed well for two years.

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