When do your hens lay?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Caat, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Caat

    Caat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I don't know about any one else out there but... my hens rarely ever have eggs laid for me by 8:30am. Infact they lay as late as 8-9 pm! not that I really care when they lay but I had read a number of things online where te authors reported hens "being done" laying by mid morning... I kinda feel like inviting those ppl over to keep watch over my girls... lol they will have to be very very patient... yes I do have a light on in the coop, but it's usually out by 9:00-10:00pm ( in the summer it's light here till 11pm or so)
  2. Kadjain

    Kadjain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens lay on a 26 hour schedule, so every day it is a little later. I have to collect eggs all thought the day.
    My laying ducks however always have their eggs waiting for me in the morning.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    They will gradually get later in the day until they skip a day, then they will lay in the morning again. Every once in a while there's a girl laying at dusk or before dawn, but not very often.

    It takes roughly 25 hours for a hen to make an egg.
  4. romadfox

    romadfox Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2011
    Ridgeway, SC
    It's all over the clock just as the others have said. I was not aware of the 26 hour clock, but that totally makes sense to me. I have gotten eggs after they go into roost and I do not keep a light in the house. I have also read that chickens lay on the morning, but that is not my experience at all.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Each hen has its own internal clock.

    But, I have found lighting, pre-dawn, say at 5:30 am, year round, helps a great deal to regularize the hens. In June, during the longest days, the light is meaningless because the sun is rising at 5:30 am anyhow, but for the rest of the year, this consistent "wake up call" seems to help. They are up eating and drinking and I'm doing chores anyhow, so I have to see.

    The light snaps off at 9 am, so whatever their "day" is by nature, is what they get. In June, the sunset isn't until well after 10 pm. In December, the sun will set before 5 pm.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't agree with the 25 or 26 hour clock delay in laying each day because of what I have seen with mine. I have had some that will gradually get later during the day, but I have also has some that lay at the same time every day. One very clear specific example. My only green egg layer always laid at the crack of dawn. If she did not lay an egg first thing in the morning, she did not lay that day. She would lay maybe everyday for two weeks, then skip a day.

    It takes about 25 hours for an egg to make it from start to finish through the hen's internal egg laying system. Hormones tell the hen when to release the yolk to start that 25 hour journey. What triggers those hormones to tell the hen to start the yolk? I don't know. I suspect it is different things, not just one thing, and that it is somewhat different with different hens.

    I think one key component is daylight. Hens do not need to lay an egg while on the roost. If the morning sun is a component in triggering gthose hormones, that would account for most hens laying in the morning. Most, but not all, and not necessarily always. It is quite possible something in the hen's internal laying factory helps trigger the hormones. Maybe when the shell gland is finishing its job it sends a message to the hormones? Maybe it has something to do with when the hen actually lays the egg. Maybe it is a combination, so if the egg laying factory sends the message but the daylight is not right, the hen delays until the next morning. I really don't know everything that is involved. Diet is one component. From my reading, a hen fed too much protein can (not always each and every day each and every time, but CAN) release a yolk early or maybe two at a time.

    I do know that not all hens delay an extra hour or two each day. I know that most days, most of mine lay in the morning. And I know that two different hens can be different.
  7. Caat

    Caat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I know this may sound silly but I love the surprise of an egg when i go to the coop! Never quite sure howmany I'll get or where I'll find them... Hens rock! [​IMG]
  8. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    Piedmont of NC
  9. maggiec1951

    maggiec1951 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2011
    west central florida
    I got my first:ya egg yesterday. The behaviors have been there for a while so I'd been expecting it. Checked the boxes about one thirty or so (for about the fifth time) then DH and I had some errands to run and had an early dinner out. Home before 5 and low and behold there was an absolutely perfect egg in the nesting box that had had the butt prints in it. I know that first timers can come at any time sooo...
  10. ShooterG22

    ShooterG22 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2011
    I have 9 hens, 4 different varieties, and have found eggs at all different times. My lights come on at 6am and go off at 8pm (LED rope light so I just leave it on during the day). My hens have been layng for me for almost 3 weeks (since I got them and disrupted their lives). I have had 0-4 eggs by 8am, a couple more in the mid-morning to early afternoon period, and maybe one more late afternoon. Twice, I have had an egg laid after I've closed the door at 7:30pm. Downside to this was that I found them frozen and cracked the next morning. I have no way of knowing whose laying what but the variation leads me to believe that none of my hens lay at the same time each day. It is a lot like Christmas when I go out to look.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by