Broiler chickens are named as such because they are born and raised specifically to be turned into food for humans and pets. Broilers are not just one breed but are made up of a variety of different breeds, including the Bresse, Dark Cornish, and Orpington. Chickens breeds that grow quickly and get large are typically chosen as broiler chickens. So, do broiler chickens lay eggs? The short answer is yes — all broiler hens are capable of laying eggs. Here is what else you should know about broiler chickens and laying eggs.

new chicken divider What You Should Know About Broiler Chickens

Broiler chickens raised for human consumption have short lives when they are born into the commercial food industry. Farmers selectively breed broiler chickens to ensure that they will grow extremely fast while putting on enough weight to provide plenty of meat once slaughtered. While chickens (even those deemed as broilers) can live up to 10 to 12 years of age naturally, broiler chickens in the commercial food industry typically live about 47 days in the United States and 42 days in the European Union. Their age of slaughter is usually predetermined by government regulations and standards.

Backyard broiler chickens usually enjoy longer lives, but they are still typically not allowed to live out their full lives before being slaughtered and eaten. Broiler chickens make just as great pets as any chicken breed when kept as pets.

With chicken being one of the most readily available and inexpensive meat sources all over the world, broilers are economically very important. This also means that replenishing a stock of broiler chickens is just as important, as supply must be able to match consumer demands.

Buff Orpington cockerel
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The Egg Laying Habits of Broiler Chickens

All broiler hens can lay eggs, but many of them never do because they do not get a chance to. Breeding broiler chickens are not sold for meat but are raised for egg production. These eggs are hatched in incubators to replenish the stocks of broilers that have been slaughtered.

Broiler chickens can lay eggs, sit on them until they hatch, and then care for their babies until the task is no longer necessary, just like any type of chicken would. The breed of the broiler chicken partially determines how often the chicken will lay eggs throughout the year. For example, the Bresse chicken can lay up over 260 eggs each year, while the Orpington only lays about 175 to 200 eggs a year.

Quality of food and health status are two other factors that can affect a chicken’s ability to lay eggs. So, it is not important whether a chicken is considered “broiler” or not when determining whether they are a good egg layer. Instead, it is important to look at the specific breed of the chicken and learn about that breed’s egg-laying habits.

Bresse Gauloise Chicken
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Can Broiler Chicken Eggs Be Eaten?

Eggs laid by broiler chickens can be eaten just like any eggs laid by any type of chicken. Broilers just need the opportunity to lay their eggs. Depending on the breed of chicken, eggs laid by broiler hens may be white, brown, or blue and can greatly range in size. Fertilized eggs laid by broiler chickens can also hatch, and the baby chicks can be reared like those of any other chickens.

The bottom line is that broiler chickens do lay eggs, just like any other chicken breed. They can be great backyard pets and efficient egg-laying producers on family farms.  When raised for profit, certain broiler breeds make excellent options for smallholders.

new chicken divider Final Thoughts

Like all chickens, breeds raised as broiler chickens have the ability to lay eggs. Individuals raised on farms for meat are often too young to produce eggs; however, the mature adults of their breeds can definitely lay eggs.

Featured Image Credit: Victoria Moloman, Shutterstock