Number of chickens vs egg production


Jul 28, 2016
I was just curious if anyone has noticed a relation in egg production vs the number of hens in a pen. Last year we started raising hens to sale eggs. I have one main pen on a half an acre that holds 60 hens and 2 roosters. They have 25 nesting boxes and half the building dedicated to roost. I get maybe 15 eggs. Now I also have 3 breeder pens that contain 1 rooster and 8 hens. I'm getting at least 5 eggs a day on average from those pens. I don't understand. They are both in the same environment in regards to heat and shade amounts. The larger pen actually has better conditions because they have more grass then they can handle. My husband argues that we need more roosters in the big pen because he feels that ratio is the factor and I disagree. They both get plenty of food in the same ratios.

Anybody have any thoughts or experiences to share. I'm starting to think maybe it is the smaller groups of hens regardless of the rooster that may be the issue but as of now I have a whole bunch of squatters and that will not do.


Mar 17, 2015
Billings, MT
my limited experience makes me think of a couple possibilities. The chickens that have 1/2 an acre probably are hiding eggs from you somewhere. Once one finds a spot, others tend to follow, I'd go through the pen with a fine tooth comb and see if you can find any stashes of eggs.
The other thing that comes to mind is that the hens from last year are going to start slowing down production and go into their first molt. Average age is about 18 months. Most hens don't lay during molt and it will depend on the individual how long/hard of a molt and when they will resume laying.
Hopefully someone else will chime in with more advice, but that's where I'd start


Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
Connecticut, USA
I have 5 golden comets 20 weeks old yesterday and I get 4 to 5 eggs a day. They're a sex-links chicken bred to produce, so keep that in mind.
I have them in a 500 square foot pen with a jungle gym, as in a couple of limbs.
They get 18% layers pellets, water, and recently oyster shell in a separate container in the coop 24/7. Water and granite grit under the raised 4'x5'coop. They also have water in the pen. They get a 1/3 of a cup of 4 or 5 grain scratch mixed 50/50 with layers pellets scattered on the ground twice a day around 9:30am and 4:30pm. I open the coop at sunrise till sunset. The pen is under a shade tree. They have two nest boxes.
Keep in mind heat can slow production as can a crowded coop. I run a fan in their coop at night if it's above 60% Fahrenheit aimed at an angle to a wall, not blowing on the hens.
I have plenty of windows in their coop and I turn the light on when I open the coop and leave it on till 9:30am if it's sunny and all day its cloudy, there's no windows on the east side, reason for the light in the morning
I have no rooster, hens won't lay more with a rooster and may lay less if he is aggressive. Hope I could be of help. GC

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