Contents: How Many Eggs Do Rhode Island Reds Lay?
How Many Eggs Will a Rhode Island Red Lay per Week?
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 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 are excellent egg-layers.
Do Rhode Island Reds Lay Eggs Mostly Every Day of the 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 hens 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.
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.
When Do Rhode Island Reds Start to Lay Eggs?
My Rhode Island Red pullets typically start laying eggs at around 20 weeks (a little less than 5 months), but they don’t lay 4 to 6 eggs a week right away. I find it takes about 30 weeks for them to start laying more regularly.
It’s common for these chickens to lay large eggs in their first year. And, in the following years, they may sometimes lay double-yoked eggs.
How Many Years Do Rhode Island Reds Lay 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.
Conclusion: How Many Eggs Do Rhode Island Reds Lay?
Rhode Island Reds are one of the most popular backyard chickens because they’re prolific egg layers.
The average Rhode Island Red chicken will lay about 250 eggs per year, with some hens laying about 200 eggs and others around 300 eggs per year.
But Rhode Island Red chickens are also known as a dual-purpose breed, which means they were bred for both their meat production and to lay a good amount of eggs.