is 3 year old to old

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bullrider, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. bullrider

    bullrider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    there are alot of chicken in my area that are free they are around 3 will they still lay or are they to old?
  2. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    they wont lay as much as a 8 month or 1 year old.. maybe even a 2 year old.... but hens usually lay until 10 years old. some later.. knew a guy that had a BREEDING PAIR at 18 years old.. depends on the health of your fowl. and whenever they decide to give it up really. (also think it has something to do with genetics, noticed some lines give up around 8, and some later. )
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Yep they will lay, just not as often as the younger ones.
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I have a British study in front of me that shows the production of an "egg-strain domestic fowl moulted twice (at 60 weeks and 100 weeks of age)." Principles of Poultry Science, by S.P. Rose

    So, these are commercial layers carried thru 3 laying periods. The study was done to determine the economics of doing this, not out of sympathy for battery hens. "Layer-fatigue" can be a problem for these birds but, obviously, not enuf of a problem to make too much difference in the research. We think of "burn out" but they didn't really burn out.

    During the first laying period, production was between about 95% and 80%. The second laying period had production between about 85% and 70%. The third was between about 80% and 55% production.

    Commercial operations never let their birds get to that third laying period and 140 weeks of age. Their profit margins are too small. You would have to decide if hens of that age would be valuable to you since, during their 3rd year, they are laying about one-third less than young pullets.


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