Contents: How Often Do Chickens Lay Eggs?
How Often Do Chickens Lay an Egg?
There is no simple answer to this question because all chickens and conditions are different. But if you’re looking for the simplest of answers, here goes:
It’s only possible for a hen to lay 1 egg in a day. Yet, she won’t lay an egg every single day. If it’s spring or summer and the hen is young, healthy, relaxed, and bred for egg-laying,
she could be expected to lay 1 egg approximately every 26 hours.
Usually, egg-laying slows down in fall and winter, and when they get older.
The More Complete Answer
There are many factors that contribute to how frequently hens lay eggs. It depends on things such as breed, age, season (how much light they’re exposed to), health, and living conditions.
The chickens’ breed really influences the frequency of their laying.
Some breeds of chickens have been created for high egg production. Some chickens are bred for meat and aren’t great layers.
And some chickens are also bred as dual-purpose chickens. This means they’re good for both meat and egg-laying, but they’re typically not the greatest for either purpose.
But no breed is ever going to lay more than 1 egg per day. Chickens need time to produce each egg.
Hens tend to start laying pee-wee (small) eggs when they reach between 18 and 24 weeks old (4 to 5 1/2 months). But they won’t begin producing eggs regularly before they reach around 7 months old.
This means that for the first several months, the hens won’t come anywhere close to an egg a day. Yet, as hens mature and hit their peak egg-laying abilities (generally their first 2 years of laying), they will lay an egg almost every day.
Plus, hens lay best during their first 2 years. Each year after that, their production may decrease slightly or significantly depending on the breed and the individual hen.
Many backyard chickens can produce eggs quite regularly for 3 to 4 years. However, each year the level of egg production is lower than the previous year. So, as the hen ages, she’s less likely to lay an egg on most days.
Chickens love routine and the smallest disturbance to their routine usually hinders egg production.
Stress comes in many forms, such as new flock members, moving locations, predators, overcrowding, aggressive hens, loud noises, too much heat or cold, poor nutrition, and illness.
Nutrition: The biggest contributor to great egg production is feeding hens good-quality feed.
- 0 to 8 Weeks Old (Chicks): Their diet should contain around 18-19% protein. You should feed chick starter (Amazon) or starter grower feed (Amazon).
- 8 to around 18 Weeks Old (Pullets): Their diet should contain around 17-18% protein. You should feed them a high-quality grower feed (Amazon) or starter grower feed (Amazon) until they’re 18 weeks old or they start laying, whichever comes first.
- 18 Weeks or Above (Egg-Layers): Once egg-laying has started, hens require around 16% protein in their feed. You should feed your hens layer feed (Amazon) to help them in their egg-laying.
- Mixed Flock: Feed starter grower feed (Amazon) and oyster shells (Amazon) should be made available, in a separate bowl or feeder. If egg-laying eggs need extra calcium, they will eat the appropriate amount of oyster shells. Do not feed extra calcium to non-laying poultry as it can be detrimental to their health.
Water: Chickens need clean water throughout the day, especially when they’re eating. Without fresh water, egg-laying may drastically decrease or stop.
A hen may require 24 hours to recover if she goes without water for just a day. She might need 2 or 3 weeks to recover if she goes without water for just 36 hours.
She may also experience a molt after being without water for 2 days, followed by a significant period of poor laying (from which she might not recover).
Do Chickens Ever Lay 2 Eggs a Day?
No, chickens cannot lay 2 eggs a day. With egg-laying breeds, their reproductive cycle takes at least 25 to 27 hours.
Another egg begins to develop shortly after a female laid her last egg. This means she will lay a bit later each day until her body skips an egg.
Do Chickens Lay Eggs Every Day Without a Rooster?
Having a rooster does not influence how often a hen will lay an egg.
Chickens bred as good egg-layers will typically lay an egg almost every day regardless of whether or not there is a rooster present.
The only time that a rooster may be necessary is if you want the eggs to be fertilized. If you want to hatch chicks from your eggs, you will need a rooster.
However, if you just want fresh eggs for eating or cooking, you don’t need a rooster in order to get them.
Do Hens Lay Eggs All Year Round?
Once autumn and winter come around, one of the biggest problems faced by backyard chicken owners is when egg production slows down.
Maybe not all of your hens will stop laying (depending on what breeds you’re raising), but the daily yield of fresh eggs could be significantly less.
The production of eggs is greatly affected by the season and the number of daylight hours. In order to lay eggs regularly, most hens need at least 12 hours of daylight, which they usually don’t get naturally in the winter. And they need 14 to 16 hours of light to produce eggs at their full potential.
But why does this happen?
First, in a natural environment, birds lay fewer or no eggs when the length of sunlight starts declining because there’s a shortage of food and water. Another reason hens stop laying eggs in the fall and winter is that chicks are less likely to survive through harsh weather conditions.
For these reasons, it makes sense that egg production would naturally dwindle by fall.
So, if you want your hens to lay eggs all year round, you’ll have to add some lighting to your coop, make sure their hen house is dry, draft-free, and well-ventilated, and you’ll have to feed them more food as chickens burn more calories in the winter in order to stay warm.
To learn more about encouraging hens to lay eggs year-round, check out my post: Do Chickens Lay Eggs in the Winter?
Overview: Do Chickens Lay Eggs Everyday?
The average chicken could possibly lay an egg every 26 hours, but even this process can vary based on the breed of chicken, age, and the time of year.
So, in a nutshell,
it’s possible for chicken breeds to lay eggs almost every day.