I probably have a "dumb" question but since I don't know the answer, someone please enlighten me! At what age does a chicken stop laying eggs and will have to be replaced with young ones?
Im not positive, but i beleive it stops laying until it dies. But im not positive.
It depends upon the breed. Most of my hens have layed reliably up until 3-4 years (I have a mixed breed flock). The first year I pretty consistently get 1 egg per day per chicken. After that, the quantity slows down but the size goes up. When they hit 3-4 years they start dropping off in production. I've only had one so far that has quit laying altogether. She lived to be about 7 and had not layed an egg for 2 years.
My rule of thumb is to raise new chicks every other year. That gives me a combination of high volume, and lower volume chickens and also helps keep my numbers steady (I always seem to lose a few each year to various causes).
Thanks for your answers. I'm glad to hear that they lay about four years. I have become very fond of all of them, I have about 27 hens and 3 roosters. A couple of the roosters will have to go. They are really a joy to have on our little farm. So far, we did loose a couple to the neighbor dogs but hopefully this Spring we can come up with a method of keeping dogs out! They have a nice screened porch now to go outside in and since the weather has been so nice they have spent alot of time outside. I do want them to be able to free range outside this summer.
Yes some chickens like arucannas dont lay much over winter,my Rhode islands lay nicely.Read up on the breed you have,Whenever I get a new pet I read up on the pet first,you can learn alot on them.
My hens lay reliably for anywhere from 3-4 years, then it starts tapering off--it doesn't just stop suddenly. I've had some lay for a year or two (or three) more. My Head Hen is an Easter Egger, she's 8 years old and still laying. Hens kept in optimum conditions and health will be better producers for a longer time, I've found.
I have had my older girls--ages 5 through 9 years--come into lay again in Spring when all the chickens get fired up, then they taper off again. :) It's cute to have the dignified old gals get caught up in the excitement.