WHY do they lay so late in the day?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by IggiMom, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    I like to let my chickens free range.

    However, of course they spend the night in the coop, and I let them outside during the day.

    Supposedly, hens are pretty much done with their egg laying at about 10 in the morning, so if you let them out after that they won't be laying their eggs all over the place.

    Well--not my guys. I have been letting them out later and later, and have gotten to 2 in the afternoon, and there they are, sitting on their nests. Quite a few have not yet laid their eggs.[​IMG]

    Am I doing something wrong? [​IMG]

    My husband has been leaving the light on in the coop fairly late at night, mainly to give them a chance to eat after they have been 'cooped up' and fed. Perhaps if we turned the light out earlier, do you think?

    This is very inconvenient, and not nice for the hens, really, because then they don't get to wander about and peck around so much.

    Any thoughts appreciated. At this rate, I'll be letting them out right about time to let them in.

    Of course, they may just be doing it to be irritating. Children do stuff for this reason. Why not hens?

  2. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Not sure but I have noticed that mine tend to go through cycles. I will start with lots of eggs in the morning and over a period of time they all seem to lay later and later--- then they eventually get back to early morning again... can be frustrating when they get late in the day [​IMG]
  3. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    chickens lay eggs aprox every 26 hours. So theoretically if the first one is layed at 7 am the next day it'll be 9 the 11 then 1 ,etc. They do "reset" themselves because they only ovulate in the sun/day light hours. So at some point a hen will not ovulate because it's too late in the day, then they skip a day and start all over again.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  4. kelidei

    kelidei ~*Dances with chickens*~

    Mar 18, 2009
    Northern Illinois
    Quote:Makes sense![​IMG]
  5. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    Mine seem to lay t all different times of day.....arrrgggg.... there are eggs there at 7am when i get out to coop, then more by 10 am , then 1 or two about 2-3 pm. Today one was in the nestbox and layed an egg around 4pm. But it does seem to go in cycles.
  6. IggiMom

    IggiMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    West Virginia
    Well, goodness, I wish mine would all get together and lay at the same time.

    An old book on chickens that I have used for years says that they should be done laying at about 10 in the morning, but apparently my birds did not read it.

    The 26 hour cycle is interesting.

    I am going to try something, though.

    We have to feed them in the evening. This is because that is when they are inside and the darn Guineas have gone to roost. If I feed them while the Guineas are around the Guineas will chase them away from the food, eat all they can, and then keep the chickens away just because. I can't afford to feed them every day until the Guineas go into a coma and let the chickens eat.

    So I feed them in the evening. But then, my plan is to turn the lights off right away, so they have to go to sleep and eat their food in the morning.

    And maybe then, they will feel like laying their eggs after they eat. Guess I'll find out.

  7. missionarywife

    missionarywife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2010
    My hens have started to lay later in the day. This is the first time since I have had chickens,4 yrs, that the chickens lay so late in the day.
  8. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Mine lay anytime from 9 am to about 4:30 pm.... but this morning I got one before 6 am so who knows when she laid that one??
  9. rubyrogue

    rubyrogue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    My leghorns all lay before noon and in two months have not skipped a day. the sex links are usually done before 3 and the others have layed as late as 7pm. My girls are really good about returning to the coop to lay and i dont worry if i let them out to roam.
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I am very lucky in that my freely ranging pullets and hens come back to the coops to lay their eggs. For the most part. After I found a brand new (thank goodness I found it quickly) hidden nest, I set up a large, covered kitty litter box with pine shavings on my back porch. They like to hang around the back porch for a variety of reasons, not just because I might come out that door with treats. [​IMG]

    Anyway, 3 of the 7 currently laying are now using that special nest box. The other four return to the coops to lay their eggs. Since I only gather once a day on week-days - when I get home from work around 6 pm - it doesn't matter when they lay 'em. But I still walk the yard to make sure a new layer hasn't found someplace nifty to lay a first egg.

    I've got four pullets soon to lay and a Cayuga duck who should be laying fairly soon. [​IMG]

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