As far as farm animals go, chickens are one of the easiest animals to take care of in your backyard. Chickens do not require a large amount of space to produce fresh eggs for you and your family. Whether you intend to sell the eggs or enjoy them yourself you may be curious about just how many to expect from your chickens.
Chickens lay eggs daily as they try to create a clutch (a group of eggs). Chickens will continue to lay eggs when they are collected to build their clutch to around 12 eggs. The eggs may be fertilized or unfertilized which all depends on if there is a rooster present.
In this article, you will learn how many eggs you can expect your chickens to lay each day. You will learn what you should do if your chickens are not laying as many eggs as they should be as well as how a rooster comes into play.
How Many Eggs Can a Chicken Lay Each Day?
Knowing and keeping track of how many eggs your chickens are laying is important. This is important as you do not want to own so many chickens that you are not able to keep up with their eggs.
Chickens should typically lay one egg every day in the right conditions. Some chickens can lay more than one egg a day but that is not as common and comes down to each individual chicken.
Chickens typically do not lay eggs overnight and only produce an egg during the daytime hours. It typically takes a chicken around ten hours to create and lay the egg. The chicken has a natural urge to create a clutch of around a dozen eggs. Every time eggs are collected the chicken will naturally start to produce another egg.
Do Chickens Lay Eggs Without a Rooster In the Pen?
There is a misconception that roosters are required for chickens to lay eggs, but that is not true. Roosters are there to fertilize the egg and create a baby chick as the hen sits on the egg they have laid.
If a rooster is present the eggs will become fertilized which will result in baby chicks eventually. When there is no rooster however the chickens will keep laying to build up their clutch of around a dozen eggs. The eggs no matter how long they are sat on by the hens will never turn into a chick, however.
Roosters can be beneficial as they add a natural order to your group (flock) of chickens. However, the addition of a rooster will not necessarily mean that your chickens will produce more eggs.
Do Some Chickens Lay More Eggs Than Others?
Hens will typically start to lay eggs around seven months old, some chickens will lay more than others. The rate at which a chicken lays an egg comes down to several situations such as breed and the time of year.
Breed of Chicken
The type of chicken you purchase will influence what to expect when it comes to weekly egg counts. White Leghorn chickens tend to be the best producers and can lay around three hundred eggs every year.
If you are not able to get your direct this breed a few other top breeds are:
- Golden Comet
- Rhode Island Red
- Plymouth Rock
Each of these chickens lays more eggs than the other breeds out there. This does not mean that they will lay many eggs every day thus just means they will produce eggs every day. These breeds can produce one or two eggs every day as well as being more productive outside of their peak season.
Here’s a good video about how often chickens lay eggs, with more info below:
Chickens Laying Season
Chickens produce their eggs during the daytime so it makes perfect sense that their peak season will be during the spring and summer months. To extend their season you can add lighting into the coop to stimulate egg production.
It is important to note that chickens go through a process called molting during the shorter winter months which may slow their egg production.
During this time, the chicken will lose some of its feathers which will require a lot of its egg-producing energy to be consumed.
Reasons Why a Chicken Is Not Laying Eggs
When your chicken stops laying eggs, it may be frustrating as many people depend on them for food or to sell. However, there is typically a deeper reason when a chicken abruptly stops laying eggs.
The reasoning behind a chicken not laying eggs can be a wide number of things from stressors to an improper diet.
Almost any issue that you may come across is usually temporary and can be fixed with a slight adjustment or over time.
Environment and Diet Are Important Factors
The environment in which you house your chickens should be safe from predators and essential stress-free. A change in their habitat or diet may cause the chickens to temporarily stop producing eggs.
These can easily be fixed as the chickens will become used to their new environment. There are also many supplements out there to give your chickens the nutrients they need.
Do Chickens Ever Stop Laying Eggs for Good?
Chickens will be the most productive egg-laying during the first two years of their life. After a hen reaches the age of three the rate at which it lays eggs will drop. Over time chickens will not be able to produce eggs as efficiently as in their younger days.
Many people will eventually butcher their hens once they are past their laying years as they will no longer be of use as a layer but can provide a meal.
In the right conditions, your chickens should lay at least one egg every day whether there is a rooster in the pen or not.
As you take off your chickens you will start to notice their habits and who is the better layer as well as which chickens are not. This is important for those needing daily eggs as some chickens are not good laying hens.