Is it possible to prevent laying every day??

BobinNH

Hatching
5 Years
Nov 7, 2014
4
0
7
First time owner/poster, so please excuse my ignorance and long-windedness. ;)

After doing a ton of reading and asking friends questions, I am soon going to be the proud owner of 8 chickens.
I've heard that back in olden times chickens were much more free range and didn't necessarily lay one egg every day. They maybe layed 100 per year. And now to the other extreme I guess... A friend of mine keeps a light on in his coop all winter to keep them laying daily.
A few questions about this. Does a chicken have a finite number of eggs that it lays? It will lay, say 1000 eggs in its lifetime. So it will either lay 100 a year for 10 years, or 200 for 5?
Is store bought feed designed to provide the nutrition for a chicken to lay every day? Or is it more because we have 'modern' chicken breeds? If it is more the feed, can I somehow, maybe, slow down the laying? A) I don't necessarily need 6-8 eggs every day. B) will they lay for a longer stretch of their lives as opposed to being done laying in say 5 years?

Thanks so much,
Bob. :)
 

barkinghills

Chirping
8 Years
Dec 17, 2011
143
14
91
I think most of it is determined by their breed and genetics. Some breeds such as Gold Sexlink and others are bred to be early, heavy layers, but then they are done laying much sooner.

What breeds did you get?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,957
37,461
1,096
southern Michigan
Welcome! Layers have been selectively bred to produce many more eggs/ year than was possible 100 years ago. That's who they are, and feed is formulated to support this huge metabolic effort. Starving the birds isn't the answer here, rather select the breed types and numbers of birds that fit your needs, and feed them a good balanced diet. Lots of $$$ has been spent by feed companies to produce the wonderful balanced diets we have available now, for the least cost. Leghorns and sex-linked type egg producing birds will produce the most eggs per pound of feed, and aren't meant to live for more than a year or two. That's the most cost effective way to produce eggs. Dual purpose / heritage breeds will produce fewer eggs per year, grow large enough to make a good meal, and are more likely to do well longer. Look at feathersite and Henderson's breed chart, research a bit more, factor in your climate, and select a few breeds that appeal to you. Mary
 

BobinNH

Hatching
5 Years
Nov 7, 2014
4
0
7
Thanks Mary. :) I wasn't necessarily planning on 'starving' them. I've been toying with the idea of making my own feed. I guess I was wondering if I maybe, reduced a certain ingredient and added extra of another, it would lead them to lay less frequently. But I do feel better knowing that I picked a hybrid, since it's more about breed.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,202
491
Long Beach, WA
It's best to feed them a diet that provides complete nutrition. Chickens will lay what their genetics have 'programed' them to lay. You can't change your chicken's genetics. And it's your job as their owner to provide them with what they need to support their health. If you don't want eggs everyday, choose a breed that doesn't lay as well as others. Also, most chickens peak laying time is in the spring and summer. Egg production naturally slows down as the days grow shorter.
 

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