If hens lay less in the winter, will they lay for more years?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by zafner, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. zafner

    zafner New Egg

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    Just like it says in the title. Assuming hens are hatched with all the eggs they'll ever lay, then won't a slowdown in production during the winter months just make them lay for more years down the road?

    Thanks very much for any answers, even speculation. This is a great forum you guys have and I'm happy it was so easy to join. We're trying to keep our chickens happy and the posts here have been a big help.
     
  2. bluehillfarm

    bluehillfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    seems like it would doesn't it hmmm....never really thought about that....I would say yes they would lay for longer into their life maybe not a year but at least a few months or as long as the stopped laying in the winter.
     
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  3. bluehillfarm

    bluehillfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh and [​IMG] have fun you will love this site in now time [​IMG]
     
  4. bluehillfarm

    bluehillfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    *no
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Hens are hatched with tens of thousands of potential eggs in their ovaries; depending on breed. Even if they only had 10,000; (if my math is correct) they could lay daily for like 27 years. I doubt they run out. More dependent on breed, age, hormones, and health.

    Imp- Welcome to BYC
     
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  6. zafner

    zafner New Egg

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    So that's a no then. And it makes sense.

    Thanks
     
  7. zafner

    zafner New Egg

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    So that's one yes. So we have one yes and one no!
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    This doesn't relate to how many eggs they have in their bodies, but I do think that allowing them a break increases their overall health, thus disease resistance and lifespan. I don't use lights for this reason, I want them to be as close to a natural cycle as possible.
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The fact is we just don't know. The science has simply not been done. The commercial industry funds the studies in Poultry science. Research is expensive, grants must be funded, results checked and replicated. Since the industry already knows that commercial hens lay well their first laying year, and, following a moult, a bit less their second year, and most importantly, know that the third year even less, the flock is turned over. Commercial hens are lighted, of course.

    Perhaps for the sake of "pure knowledge" someone might one day study this matter. No one has studied the "un-lighted" hen, that I am aware. So, speculate all we wish and gather all the testimonials we want, testimonial accounts are not scientific data. We just don't know if lighting shortens a hen's laying "career".

    I also agree that a hen has thousands more eggs, in potential, than she will likely ever lay. She doesn't "run out" or "use them up" in a season or two. One has to account for the overall health and well being of the bird and how this effects reproductive systems.
     
  10. Crazyhenlady

    Crazyhenlady Out Of The Brooder

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    2 years ago I had a bigger coop and lights on the hens in the winter months. Now I have an urban coop and don't use lights. Honestly after this experience and the hens getting a "break" and pampering them it made me appreciate all the eggs I'm getting again and really it was only for 2 months that I was really on the low end of egg collection. I'm really not sure if it makes stop laying eggs at a younger age but it would make sense that it does.
     

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