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Do Chickens Lay Eggs at Night? What to Look for

You may be new to raising chickens and want to know when they typically lay eggs. Most individuals do not know that it is uncommon for chickens to lay eggs at night.

Most of the time, chickens lay eggs during the day. Light from the sun is the trigger for the chicken or hen to start creating an egg. The light activates their pineal gland, which stimulates the formation of the egg. The whole process takes about 26 hours to complete.  

Chickens start to produce their eggs in the morning. It is only possible for a chicken to make one egg per day. Check out this article if you want to know more about whether chickens lay eggs at night.

How Does Light Exposure Influence Egg Laying?

When the hen is exposed to light, the egg begins to form. Most hens lay eggs within six hours of daylight.

A chicken’s egg production depends on light. Hens require about 16 hours of daylight per day to create an egg. During the fall or winter, when light is sparse, they may lay fewer eggs or stop laying eggs altogether.

Chickens are sensitive when it comes to the amount and duration of light they receive. However, even if they do not lay as many eggs in the winter, it still takes about the same amount of time to produce an egg. Hens who cannot tolerate the cold, harsh winter may also stop laying eggs to conserve their energy.

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Can Hens Lay Eggs at Night?  

Hens typically do not lay eggs at night. The light stimulates their reproductive cycle, and they will not lay their eggs late enough in the day for a new cycle to begin. The cycle is launched in the morning.

On average, they will lay eggs within the first six hours of sunlight each day, but they often start laying the egg early in the morning. Most hens are too busy sleeping at night to lay eggs. Light exposure is the most important aspect when it comes to hens laying eggs.

Their little chicken bodies need an average light exposure of about 14 hours each day. If the hen gets up to 16 hours of light exposure, they can potentially lay more eggs. You can schedule your egg collection around the 26th hour, which is how long it takes them to lay eggs.

  • If your hen lays an egg at 6:00 am on a Sunday, they can lay another egg at 8:00 am on Monday.
  • This scenario is an example of how the hen’s reproductive cycle works.
  • Different breeds of chickens have other times they will lay.
  • Chickens that lay brown eggs tend to lay earlier in the day, and chickens that lay white and tinted eggs tend to lay later in the day.

Breeds that are hybrids often lay their eggs consistently around the same time each time they lay. They typically have a schedule that they follow. Producing eggs is a lengthy and involved process. It requires all the necessary components to come together.

Here’s good video about how often chickens lay eggs, with more info below:

What Are Signs Your Chickens Will Lay Eggs?

Chickens can be secretive and clever when it comes to laying their eggs, but you will find that there are some signs your chickens are about to lay eggs. The following are some signs that your chickens are about to lay eggs:

Your Hen’s Combs and Wattles Become Larger

 When hens want to lay eggs, their combs and wattles become larger and red. It could mean they are ready to find a handsome rooster to be their suitor to mate with and get ready to lay some eggs. 

Your Hen Becomes Rather Chatty

When hens are ready to lay eggs, they become very chatty and “cluck cluck cluck” a lot. Who knows? Your eager hen may even be trying to give you a heads-up.  

Your Hen May Be Making a Nest

Your hen may be gathering bedding items and putting together a comfortable nest for her clutch. Their goal is to make their nesting box as secure as possible.

Submissive Squatting Position

Hens go into a specific position when they are ready to lay eggs. It is a reflex behavior that signs they are ready to mate with a rooster and lay eggs.

Increased Appetite

When hens are about to lay eggs, they tend to eat a lot when preparing their bodies for the egg laying. She must go through a significant change, and part of that involves her appetite.

What Age Do Hens Start Laying Eggs?  

Chickens typically begin laying their eggs around six months of age. However, certain breeds may start sooner. An example of a breed of chicken that starts laying eggs early in life is the Cinnamon Queen breed.

Roosters are not necessary for egg production unless you want fertilized eggs and are looking to expand your flock.

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How Many Eggs Do Hens Lay Each Year?

Since chickens lay eggs at the rate of every 26 hours, they will not lay as many eggs per year as you would think.

The typical hen can lay about 250 to 300 eggs per year.

Some examples of chickens who are bred for eggs:

  • Plymouth Barred Rocks
  • Rhode Island Reds
  • Sussex Orpingtons
  • White Leghorns

Egg-laying hens are bred to ovulate more often, which means they produce more eggs. Breeds that are not bred to lay eggs do not take as much time to produce eggs, and they do not ovulate as often.

Not all hens were born to lay eggs. For example, there is a breed of chicken called a Silkie. They were named for their attractive fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk. They are a gentle and friendly chicken breed and are primarily kept as pets. They typically lay less than 100 eggs per year.


Hens usually lay their eggs in the morning when the light influences their reproductive cycle to do so. Some hens lay their eggs as early as 6 am, while other breeds tend to lay their eggs a bit later. However, hens do not lay their eggs at night. Knowing when your chickens lay eggs is essential so you can better care for your flock.

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