I'm not sure if this is the correct place as it has to do with egg laying but also the general makeup of a chicken but anyway, here goes. I have been doing a lot of reading however many sources show different data and I am unsure what to go by. I see people talking about true heritage quality breeds over hatchery breeds due to many factors but one of them is egg production. Example: From my understanding a lot of hatchery birds will lay more per year but birds bred to standard will lay less eggs a year but for more years to come. Am I understanding that correctly? Moving on from that, my understanding is that a chicken is born with a predetermined amount of eggs it can lay already mapped in its genetics. How many that is seems to differ from bird to bird and a solid number on that is something that I can not find as I have seen figures as low as 400 and as high as 1,033. I don't know if that differs by breed or not. But is it fair to assume that the average chicken has a similar number of eggs in its laying life cycle as most any other chicken? Here is where my curiosity comes in to play. Just as an example lets say the average chicken lays 500 eggs and you have two breeds of chicken. One lays 250 eggs a year and the other lays 125 eggs per year. Does that mean that in theory chicken A will lay for two years and chicken B will lay for four years? (I realize this is a crude example as from what I have read chickens will not simply stop laying but rather they lay less productively year after year.) So I guess what I am trying to ask is, will breeds that lay less eggs per year lay for more years than breeds that lay more eggs at once or do the breeds that lay less per year simply lay less eggs in their lifetime? I ask this because while I understand that there is a natural life cycle and everything is food for something else I really do not wish to recycle my chickens every two-three years. I will eat them if need be and already have with a few extra roo's but for the most part, to me my chickens are pets that just happen to lay eggs that I can eat, give away or sell. Now, I bought hatchery birds and I realize they may fizzle out quickly but I can plan better for the future if this turns out to be the case. By getting chickens that lay better over the years as opposed to in one or two big bursts and by going with heritage bred chicks or eggs from a reputable breeder. Anyway, I hope this makes sense and I am really appreciative of any insight you have to offer.