Surprised by Production

Chris2915

In the Brooder
Nov 16, 2020
5
17
13
I have 13 hens with 1 rooster. They are between 26-31 weeks old. Based on the average laying capacity from each breed I calculated just under 65 eggs a week. The last couple of weeks it’s been closer to 80 eggs a week. We are also averaging about 4-5 “twin eggs” as my granddaughter says (dual yoke) each week. What factors would lead to this greater than expected production? Words of wisdom? Cautions?
 

helicopterchickenmom

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2020
13
27
47
When our Rhode Island Red was young, around 6 months, she was producing 2 eggs a day. This lasted only a couple of months then she settled down to one daily like clockwork for a couple of years, even in Winter with no lights used. I think they are egg machines when they're young. Now she's going on 4 years old and slowing down. The 8+ year old lays once in a few days and not at all in the Winter. I don't know much about production norms. Ours are just rescue pets. Any eggs are a bonus and we see it as an indication of good health.
 

Chris2915

In the Brooder
Nov 16, 2020
5
17
13
When our Rhode Island Red was young, around 6 months, she was producing 2 eggs a day. This lasted only a couple of months then she settled down to one daily like clockwork for a couple of years, even in Winter with no lights used. I think they are egg machines when they're young. Now she's going on 4 years old and slowing down.

So average production varies by age? Makes sense. I just didn’t expect something like 2 eggs a day.
 

Chris2915

In the Brooder
Nov 16, 2020
5
17
13
Woah, that's almost 3 times of what you'd think they'd be laying.

I have 6 high production sex link hens that are supposed to produce around 280-300 eggs a year. I was told the cinnamon queens can get up to 330. What surprises me is the production of the NH Reds and Buff Orpingtons.

Most of the time they just roam our yard eating bugs.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,044
22,696
907
Southeast Louisiana
Some individual hens lay below average, some lay above. If you have more hens that lay above average than lay below you will get more eggs than the breed average. It can work the other way around.

Breed averages are calculated in certain conditions. You may not have those conditions.

Breed average is over a year. Laying goes in cycles. During parts of that cycle they may lay more, other parts they may lay less. Their age, time of year, how you feed them, whether you have severe summers or severe winters all plays into that.

Strain has a lot to do with that. If the person that selects which chickens get to breed uses egg laying as a criteria then you get chickens that tend to lay well, regardless of the breed average. If someone is using different criteria, such has how they look instead of how they lay to choose breeding stock, then laying a lot is less likely. Even if they don't do it on purpose hatcheries usually fall into that group of better laying. The more eggs a hen lays the more of the chicks are from her eggs so those genetics get passed down more often.

If you keep them long enough they will molt. The vast majority of hens stop laying entirely whole they molt, which could be anywhere from one month to four or even five months. How is the molt factored into the breed averages you see?

Will yours go broody? They don't lay while broody. How is that factored in to the averages.

You asked for cautions. Enjoy it while you can but prepare yourself for days and even months where they lay a lot less than their average daily number. If you keep them long enough that will happen.
 

Chris2915

In the Brooder
Nov 16, 2020
5
17
13
Raising chickens has been great for me in the aftermath of my stroke 15 months ago. I’m learning a lot and remembering my childhood with chickens. It’s been fun to have them flock around me when I sit outside. They jump on my lap, my shoulder, the chair and congregate around my feet. The eggs are an added bonus. Our neighbors have been so good about them wandering. except when they chase cats away to get their food on back porches. I think they have a pretty stress free life.
 

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