At Backyard Poultry, we love to tackle common reader questions, such as why have my chickens stopped laying? and why are my chickens laying soft eggs? With our popular Chickens in a Minute video series, we’ve created quick, informative videos to answer your common queries in an entertaining way. This video answers the question: how old do chickens need to be to lay eggs?
How Old Do Chickens Need to Be to lay Eggs?
Typically, hens will start to lay when they are around five to six months of age and will lay approximately 200 to 300 eggs annually based on the breed type. There is record of a Black Austrolorp laying 364 eggs in 365 days. She was busy! Breeds like Rhode Island Reds, Black Austrolorps, Golden Sex Links and White Leghorns are considered some of the most prolific egg layers.
What Egg Color Will my Chickens Lay?
Rhode Island Reds, Black Austrolorps, and Golden Sex Links all lay brown eggs. White Leghorns lay white eggs. For different chicken egg colors, there are some fascinating breeds to try. Ameraucanas, Araucanas and Cream Legbars all lay blue eggs. For green eggs, you can raise Easter Eggers (which can lay a rainbow of egg colors from bluish, green, pinkish or cream) or Olive Eggers and Favaucanas. Light Sussex, Mottled Java and Faverolles all lay a pinkish-cream egg. Welsummers, Penedesencas, and Maran chickens all lay dark chocolate brown eggs.
How Long Will My Chickens Continue to Lay Eggs?
Peak egg production for backyard chickens generally occurs at two years of age and slowly declines thereafter. To make sure your hens are producing good quality eggs, it’s important to feed them a healthy diet and keep a constant supply of fresh water available. Older hens do need more calcium. A great supplement is to feed your chickens their own shells. Save the used shells, clean and microwave them for a few seconds. When they’re crispy, break them up and mix them with their feed. You can also add more calcium into your flock’s diet by purchasing a commercial feed with added calcium.
These videos are a great reference for both new and experienced chicken owners alike. So feel free to bookmark them and share! And look for more Chickens In A Minute videos in the coming weeks.
Learn how you can have strong eggshells with the new Purina® Oyster Strong™ System.
Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy.