Inspiring Chickens to Lay Eggs Longer

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SteveBaz, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Inspiring Chickens to Lay Eggs Longer

    What is the Egg Curve in your opinion? They start at 24 weeks and end when?
    Have you been able to extend it? How did you do this?
    Any Special Secrets you have to share?
    I heard Pepper in the food will extend and keep the layers lay eggs more? True or False?
    What other things do you guys do to extend the egg laying process to keep your girls going?

    I would love to here from everyone your idea’s and experiences with egg layers
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Short answer is you can't.
    Chickens, like any other animal(humans included) are born with a finite number of eggs.
    Commercial hybrid egg layers start around 20 weeks and are fairly played out a couple years later. DP birds don't lay as often but can lay for many years.
    IMHO I don't believe the anecdotal evidence about pepper.
    Rate of lay is going to determine how long it takes to get all the eggs out.
    Often they don't live long enough to become completely spent.
    As for feeds, I worked in the commercial feed industry for the big poultry producers and I teach classes on Backyard chickens at the community college. I'm big on nutrition but once a chicken is hatched, there's nothing you can do nutritionally to increase the number of eggs.
    Feeding the parents better can help though.

    Total egg output varies primarily by breed.
    Here's a chart of heritage breeds and what you can expect per year but after the initial 18 months of lay, all breeds will lay fewer and fewer every year and at some point it isn't financially viable to continue to feed them.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  3. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    For egg laying standard breeds, they normally taper off about 10% per year of their life. A five year old hen will lay about half of what she did in her first year. I've had some old (8 year old hens) that didn't stop laying but gradually slowed down. Chickens don't go through menopause and they should lay throughout their life, albeit at a reduced rate. I agree with the post above, something normally gets a hen that prevents her from living to a ripe old age.
  4. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    I have been researching longer laying breeds and at least anecdotally some people say that Leghorns, Hamburgs, and Campines may be more productive for more years. Would love to know if indeed some breeds or strains lay longer.

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