Ok, so I don't know as much about chickens as I thought I did!

Sylviaanne

Crowing
7 Years
Sep 17, 2012
3,309
403
251
Ozark, MO
Chickens only lay for 2 years?
How old do they live to be?
If they stop laying eggs, is it ok to keep them with the other chickens?
Sylviaanne
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
I've got 3 and 4 year olds laying very, very well yet.

The commercial birds are turned over every 2 years and those birds often are fairly used up at that point. This isn't true of all birds. The better the breeding the longer, slow but steady approach seems to be the case.

Birds do slow down on the number of eggs they lay, as they age. Often the eggs do get a bit larger, if laid less often.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,052
581
Southern Oregon
I've had hatchery hens laying their 7th summer. Not so many eggs, but maybe three a week.
True, you get your peak production the first 18 months. Then they take the winter off, and start back in the spring. This cycle continues, each year production drops slightly.
It's fine to keep non producing hens in with laying birds.
 

Sylviaanne

Crowing
7 Years
Sep 17, 2012
3,309
403
251
Ozark, MO
I don't mind if they don't lay many eggs a week, they were for pets as well as for eggs but I thought they laid eggs for a long time. When I read they usually only lay for 2 years, it kind of freaked me out. I figured they lived for like 20 years and laid eggs for most of those years. LOL Sylviaanne
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
423
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
I have a few hens over three years old which are still laying quite well. They are the first hens I got, raised from chicks purchased at a feed store.

There's no reason to worry about keeping non-producing hens in your flock - they will still provide fertilizer, eat bugs, and make you smile with their antics.

Unless you really cannot afford to feed 'em when they stop laying....
 

b.hromada

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jan 9, 2009
15,711
930
461
south Florida, Pompano Beach
I was surprised too. I've got a couple of my girls who are now 4 years old, and they still lay eggs. Like the other poster said, they do take some time off, then start up again. Mine did this, for like 3 months or so? Now, its all systems go!
 

Sylviaanne

Crowing
7 Years
Sep 17, 2012
3,309
403
251
Ozark, MO
Thank you. I just never even thought about when they stop laying. I don't have a problem with them slowing down their production and they are half way pets so I will keep them. I was concerned that I'd have a warehouse of chickens because they all stopped laying at around 2 1/2 years. LOL I'd have to keep getting more to keep us in eggs. LOL Sylvia
 

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