When do you gather eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TwoShepherds, Aug 14, 2019 at 8:23 AM.

  1. TwoShepherds

    TwoShepherds Songster

    Apr 4, 2019
    Southeast TN
    I'm a chicken newbie, so I'm sorry if this is a silly or obvious question, but is there a time of day that hens usually prefer to lay their eggs? Do they tend to lay in the morning or afternoon, or just whenever? What time do you collect eggs or do you check multiple times a day? Not an urgent question, I'm just curious. Maybe I'm just getting excited for my pullets to start laying. In the meantime, they are such a delight to watch. Thanks y'all!!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    During the winter I used to collect eggs mid morning and late afternoon to prevent freezing. All other times of year late afternoon was 'pick up' time. Good luck on those first eggs.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Mine lay mostly between 8am and 4pm.
    How often I gather eggs depends on if anything special is going on,
    more often when pullets are due, or I've got thin shell layer, or in winter.
    Always a last check when I lock up after dark.

    It takes about 25 hours for an egg to form, a new ova is released shortly after an egg is laid.
    A new egg could be laid approximately every 25-26 hours, so an hour or so later every day until one is laid late in the day and another ova might not be released until the following day, so a day off. BUT..very hen is different and only time will tell what a particular hen/pullets schedule might be. Not every hen/pullet lays every day..some only lay a few a week.
  4. DiYMama540

    DiYMama540 Songster

    Jun 25, 2019
    SW VA
    So far we've checked the coop multiple times a day, but that's only because kids have been out of school and are really excited to find our first eggs. Like an Easter egg hunt, but you don't know when it starts:lau
    I imagine after the novelty of the first several, it will probably only be once a day in the afternoon. Hard to tell though, to my surprise I have some very helpful, attentive, chicken farmers at my house!:yesss:
  5. Lesjr883

    Lesjr883 Chirping

    May 10, 2018
    South Mississippi
    We check early in the morning (before day light) and then through out the day. Some days there are eggs in the morning (I guess they lay late in the evening) and some days there are none until I check right at dark. My laying boxes are not in my coop, they are free standing in the run, and I do not lock them in the coop at night so they can lay any time.
  6. TwoShepherds

    TwoShepherds Songster

    Apr 4, 2019
    Southeast TN
    Thanks everyone! It's really helpful to hear what other people do. It has been so hot and humid lately, I was a little worried I'd have fried eggs if I didn't collect them soon enough. My little flock is only 12 weeks old, so they won't be ready to lay for at least another several months, I'd imagine, and then it will be winter or almost winter, so who knows when we'll see eggs. :)
  7. TwoShepherds

    TwoShepherds Songster

    Apr 4, 2019
    Southeast TN
    Our two-year-old loves to feed, watch, and visit the chickens. I say, "Are those momma's chickens?" and he goes, "No, MYYYY chickens!" Our four-year-old loves them too, but he's more interested in the chicken chores than interacting with the chickens. He's a "tool" boy. If I go out there with a hammer or a rake, he's all over that. haha.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 11:05 AM
  8. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    I go out to check on and/or hang out with my chickens a lot. So I collect eggs whenever I happen to see them. Each hen lays a bit later each day as it takes minimum 25 hrs to make a new egg, so I may find them quite late or very early.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I check roughly twice a day... once in the morning when I bring out the feed, and then again in afternoon when it's "chicken time" and we let them out for a bit of foraging.

    If I'm in there at other times, I usually take a glance to see if there's eggs, but might not pick them up. On hot days or very cold days I try to pick them up as often as I can.
    TwoShepherds, aart and igorsMistress like this.
  10. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    My Golden Comets (had 5 in the beginning) would lay between 6 and 9am daily.
    Around 10 days the pullets would take a break.
    I have two Golden Comets left and at 40 months old one still gives me 6/7 eggs a week before 9 am. She took a 3 months break last winter for molt.
    My Barred Rocks are on a more natural 25 hour laying cycle. I can hear them singing any hour of the day.
    I check for eggs at 5 am when I open the coop and turn on the lights. I think I found two at 5 am since January. I check again around 9 am when I give them their treat of Scratch Grains scattered in their pen. I check again around 1 pm and again an hour before sunset when I let them out to Free range. I usually find eggs at 9, 1, and an hour before sunset.
    My Barred Rocks coop has external nest boxes.
    Even checking multiple times daily last winter, I still found frozen eggs when temps stay below freezing all day. 20190121_094847.jpg .
    Eggs were small last winter for my new laying pullets. GC

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