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#73154 - 08/05/05 06:02 AM How long do hens lay?
Dee Dee Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 174
Loc: Maryland
I have heard chickens can live up to 15 years, and since I can't bring myself to dispatch any more chickens right now I am wondering how long will they continue to lay eggs? Mine have definitely slowed up, they are coming up on three years old.

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#73155 - 08/05/05 08:27 AM Re: How long do hens lay?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hens usually only lay well their first two years, and slowly stop laying. I'm not sure at exactly what age they're suppose to stop laying, but 3+ is the most likely age. They can live up to 15 years, my friends had a 10 yr old hen, she didn't lay at that age but they kept her as a pet.

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#73156 - 08/05/05 09:19 PM Re: How long do hens lay?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I had a Black Minorca that layed when she was 15 years old. I had her ever since I can remember. My dad brought them home from work. She didn't lay regularly, but she did lay. It was like an egg every month or so. Mine lay VERY well and they are 7 years old. Most people only keep hens until they are about 3 years old, then switch laying flocks, but I'm still getting the same number and same quality that I've always been getting.

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#73157 - 08/06/05 02:50 AM Re: How long do hens lay?
C. Berning Offline
Feather

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 38
Loc: Tennessee
jrsygntbrdr1,

Do you supplement light artificially? I'm trying to decide whether to do that or not. I've read posts on both methods/theories.

Carol

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#73158 - 08/06/05 09:29 PM Re: How long do hens lay?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
No. I let them lay without artificial light. I think it reduces stress in my birds. I just feed them layer pellets and they seem to do fine with that and other grains. You could try either way. There are some good aspects of each method. I don't personally know the method of artificial light, but I'm sure other people who do use it can tell you more about it. We just use natural sunshine! And lots of it!

Mikaela

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#73159 - 08/09/05 06:06 AM Re: How long do hens lay?
Dee Dee Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 174
Loc: Maryland
What kind of hens do you have? As I have a soft heart I need some hens who will keep on laying for as long as possible.

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#73160 - 08/09/05 08:36 PM Re: How long do hens lay?
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
The one that layed for a really long time was a Single-combed black minorca. Her name was Reeses. lol. She was from the feedstore I'm guessing as she wasn't much in the showing department. anyway, the next best layer was a Rhode Island Red named Reddy. She had THE BEST personality. The Minorca just seemed to stay out of the way and not be too interested in me. I will tell you that as the birds get older the eggs get larger, but fewer and farther inbetween. The hens will lay larger eggs, but not as many. Some of my eggs were "double-yolkers" after she hit the 11 year old mark, but still just as tasty. I am just trying Jersey Giants, so I don't know how long they lay. We have gotten Brahma's from a feedstore strain and they are and have been excellent layers since they were around 7 months old. They are now 5 years old. I guess it's a question of genetics. I know that leghorns lay really well their first few years, but I don't know about long-term.

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