Laying Chickens

happyhelperFebruary 5, 2012

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?

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JakeBremer

Im not positive, but i beleive it stops laying until it dies. But im not positive.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 10:24AM
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maiaa(z8 OR)

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).

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 10:57AM
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happyhelper

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.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 4:20PM
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bulldinkie(pa)

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.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:07PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

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.

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 10, 2012 at 4:10PM
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