How Long Do Rhode Island Reds Lay Eggs? (How Many Egg-Laying Years Does a Rhode Island Red Chickens Have?)

At What Age Do Rhode Island Reds Stop Laying Eggs?

Usually, when they reach a certain age, chickens don’t just stop laying eggs. But they will lay less as they get older.

With my Rhode Island Reds, I find that they typically hit their egg-laying prime during their first 2 years of producing eggs. Then the production decreases by about 10% a year after that. Although egg production tends to decrease every year, they still produce fairly consistently for about 3 to 4 years.

How Long Does It Take a Rhode Island Red To Lay Eggs?

The average Rhode Island Red chicken generally begins laying brown eggs at around 18 to 20 weeks (a little less than 5 months), although some begin at around 16 weeks old.

However, you probably won’t find them laying eggs regularly until they’re about 30 weeks old.

It’s common for these backyard chickens to lay large eggs in their first year. And, in the following years, Rhode Island Reds are known to lay double-yoked eggs at times.

How Often Do Rhode Island Reds Lay Eggs?

Assuming you’re asking about a healthy Rhode Island Red chicken that is approximately 20 weeks old to about 2 years old, you can expect her to lay between 5 and 6 medium to large, brown eggs a week. Some Rhode Island hens will lay more eggs, some less.

The number of eggs a chicken lays can be affected by her age, diet, how much light she gets each day, health, and stress levels.

But, overall, the Rhode Island Reds is an excellent egg-laying breed.

Do Rhode Island Reds Lay Eggs All Year?

Rhode Island Red hens are hardy birds that withstand cold weather and lay eggs almost every day, or at least every 2 days, throughout the year.

However, they do have a molting period in the fall when they will stop laying eggs for a few weeks.

If your layers are in their prime but start to lay fewer eggs all of a sudden, look into these possible reasons:

Diet: The biggest contributor to great egg production is feeding hens a good-quality layer feed (Amazon).

Warning: Chickens Need Grit!

If your chickens eat anything but commercial poultry feed, then you must feed them grit. Grit is essential because it helps them grind up their food and aids in digestion.

There’s poultry grit (Amazon) for chickens that are older than 8 weeks and smaller grit for chicks (Amazon) who are 2 to 8 weeks old.

For more information on this topic, check out my post: Do Chickens Need Oyster Shells and Grit?

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).

Oyster Shells: You might also want to offer your laying hens some crushed oyster shells (Amazon) on the side, in a separate dish. Oyster shells will provide calcium, which is necessary for the formation of strong eggshells. For more information about oyster shells, read my post: Do Chickens Need Oyster Shells and Grit?

Season: Egg-laying is largely dependent on daylight hours, and Rhode Island Reds will slow down when they receive fewer than 12 hours of daylight per day.

Broody Hen: If you have a broody hen, she won’t lay eggs no matter if she has the best diet or enough sunlight.

Stress: 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.

Molting: Every chicken will molt each year and it can take between 6 and 16 weeks to grow back new feathers. Hens might not lay any eggs during this time because molting is very physically demanding.

Overview: How Many Years Will Rhode Island Reds Lay Eggs?

The Rhode Island Red is a popular chicken breed that is known for its egg-laying abilities.

While most chickens will lay eggs for about 2 years, Rhode Island Reds can lay eggs fairly consistently for 3 to 4 years. And, since they live to be 8+ years old, you can expect some egg-laying to continue a bit for years to come.

Rhode Island Reds are a great breed of chicken to have if you are looking for a chicken that will lay eggs year-round.