Typical age hens stop laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by McChick, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. McChick

    McChick Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Apr 30, 2007
    Tennessee
    Can anyone tell me how long typically a hen will continue laying? Do they get old and stop or what?
     
  2. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

    440
    18
    151
    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    I don't think there's a simple answer to this question. Others have asked it before, and it seems that the responses vary greatly. In general, chickens start to slow down after they're 2 years of age. But I think still lay a reasonable amount until they're about 4?? They just continue to slow down, every year, until laying rate approaches zero. One person here had old hen that happened to lay an egg at age 16. Just one egg.

    I'm sure it varies greatly hen to hen. And there are variables such as general health, feed quality, stress, etc., etc., etc.

    My friend has 14 hens. The average age is probably 4&1/2. She gets about 5 eggs a day from them.

    I plan to stagger my acquisition of hens, so that as the older girls slow down, I'll have younger ones to keep the production going.

    I hope somebody has a better answer than mine [​IMG]
     
  3. McChick

    McChick Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Apr 30, 2007
    Tennessee
    Thanks - that helps.
     
  4. lilshadow

    lilshadow Chillin' With My Peeps

    893
    1
    161
    Jan 8, 2008
    Milaca, MN
    Quote:Hi McChick, where in TN are ya from...I am from Newport, TN, but live in MN. I know this isn't chicken related sorry folks..It's just good to see someone from TN
     
  5. McChick

    McChick Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Apr 30, 2007
    Tennessee
    Hey Lilshadow!

    Wow-do you have your hands full or what!?!? We are in Bethpage, north of Gallatin. We actually moved here 3 years ago from Marysville, Washington. My husband was transferred. BIG, life change. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean! LOL But we love it. We finally got our little 5 acre piece of heaven and are enjoying the S-L-O-W paced life here. So different from the Pacific Northwest. We added chickens to our 2 boys (14 and 17) and our 4 dogs and a cat last spring. Now we're talking about a pig and a goat. If you asked me 5 years ago if this is where I'd be the answer would've been - no. Now, there's no place I'd rather be. We're still getting to know the area and finding new places to check out so if you have any ideas or suggestions pass them along. How's MN? I love this forum. I've met some great people and I'm amazed at how knowledgeable everyone is. It's so helpful, especially when you're new to all this.
     
  6. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

    527
    15
    164
    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    I have several hens that are six and seven years old! Both are still laying as many eggs as the newbies! I kid you not.

    It is wonderful as it makes me feel they are still healthy and happy.

    I'm sure they will slow down one day, but so far they can keep up.

    Now, let me add to that that they "free range: in a large chicken yard I do nothing to artificially encourage egg laying by keeping them in a coop with light. I let nature determine those things. So, for four or five months a year, I get almost nothing. OK by me. That just means they keep those egg-producings "eggs" longer.

    Geri in Northern California
     
  7. McChick

    McChick Out Of The Brooder

    21
    0
    22
    Apr 30, 2007
    Tennessee
    Hmmm, eight years old! WOW!

    I'm assuming that has to do more with the natural way you raise them???? We tried the free roaming but unfortunately lost several hens to hawks. We'll try that again when the weather gets better and we're outside more to keep a watch. We love those hawks, but not when they're doin that!

    We also had about two weeks where everyone in the hollow lost chickens. They just disappeared. Nobody saw anything so all we can do is guess at what happened. My hens did seem to lay more when they were free roaming though. We also didn't seem to have to supplement their food because they were getting everything they needed, besides daily feedings, naturally.

    Thanks again for all the help!
     
  8. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,164
    12
    204
    Jul 21, 2007
    NJ
    Quote:Geri,
    That's wonderful! What breeds of chickens are these?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by