Time frame for egg laying... Please answer :(((


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 25, 2010
South Carolina

Mornin' all... I have a question about something that I was told last week by a co-worker of mine who has chickens also. He told me that "Hens are only good for about a year when laying eggs. After a year they dont lay any longer and then you butcher them"... NOT! I will never butcher my girls whether they stop laying or not. I love my girls.
Anyway, I was wondering if this is a true statement or not.
Opinions are very welcome please...

Thanks for reading... Deb
I have Black Astrolourps... they are very big girls... he actually made me mad when he told me that...
I reckon they wouldn't believe my BA who laid eggs for 14 years........ she did slow down to 3-4 eggs per week when she was 10!

I have some 5 year olds who are still laying daily, when they aren't busy molting. Like right now...
It's very breed dependent. The kind of chicken they breed for industrial production was bred to lay nearly all of her lifetime's supply of eggs in the first year or two of life. But that's not typical of most breeds of chickens, as other comments here note.
The BEST time for egg production is the first 18-20 months (different breeds may vary somewhat) but hens do continue to lay, albeit at a slowed down rate. I have read here on BYC that some members have hens that lay at 6-7 years of age. They may only lay a couple of eggs a month, but they DO lay! Also I have read in many sources that after they molt for the first time the eggs are a bit larger in size. Commercial growers do cull hens after peak laying but they are out for maximum egg production.

Keep those girls fed and happy and you will be rewarded...
That is the commercial life of most of the production birds. For them it doesn't make economic sense to keep them past their first moult so the birds are sold to soup makers. Your backyard flock is good for as long as you want to feed them but production will fall off after that first moult. I have a couple of 5/6-year old hens that are still laying but I'm not relying on them for eggs--that is up to my younger birds.
Please excuse my sass, but what a jerk for saying that!!!!! I find being a chicken owner that there are two different types of keepers, The group that feels that chickens are nothing else but livestock and the second group feels that they are a pet with benefits. I personally see my girls ( n 1 guy) as pets and as long as I take care of them they will take care of me. It is true that they slow down usually about 3 years but it deeply depends on the breed and genetics.

Unfortunatley someone that see's a chicken as a livestock item will never understand our love for our feathered friends!

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