Have you ever wondered how many chickens lay a day? The answer depends on quite a few factors. When a hen reaches between the ages of 18 to 23 weeks, she should start laying eggs. If the conditions are perfect, then hen should lay at least one egg a day. It is possible, however, that your hen could lay two eggs per day at this age.
When the hen is in nature, she’ll lay eggs, then sit on the nest until they hatch. On a farm, however, the eggs will be gathered, so the hen will continue laying.
It is possible that a normal hen during her lifetime will lay over 900 eggs, one per day, in two and a half years. But, of course, there are going to be exceptions to this rule, and it’s according to many factors. In this blog, we’ll go into a few of those factors for you.
The 3 Factors that Affect Egg Laying
Most hens will keep laying until they reach around two to three years old. While age is certainly a factor in laying, there are also other things that can affect the laying abilities of your chickens as well. Molting, lighting, and old age are the most common, however.
1. Poor Nutrition
One cause of a hen not laying can be poor nutrition. If your hen has an imbalance in the food she’s receiving or doesn’t have the proper nutrients, her egg-laying abilities might be compromised. Of course, you know if she isn’t eating enough, it can cause problems with laying, but did you know that even getting too much or not enough salt it can affect her egg-laying as well?
For your bird to lay the correct number of eggs a day or lay at all, she needs the proper food that contains calcium, sodium, vitamins, and minerals.
2. Moldy Food
Another factor that affects the ability of a hen to lay eggs is moldy food. Food that has mold in it releases toxins. Those same toxins can make your hen sick and unable to lay eggs.
Birds that are in the backyard will eat anything as well. If your hen eats things in the yard that isn’t part of her usual feed, it can make her sick, and she’ll stop laying eggs. For example, if your hen eats the seeds of certain plants, it could make her sick, resulting in a halt in egg production.
3. External Parasites
External parasites are also a concern when it comes to chickens and can halt egg production in its tracks on top of making your hens sick. Parasites such as mites, fleas, lice, roundworms, and tapeworms have been known to affect laying.
Egg production can also be halted by the hen being under stress or certain diseases. If you’re not sure what’s causing your hen not to lay, then it’s best to consult your vet for a diagnosis and treatment options.
The 3 Tips for Increasing Egg Production
Now that you know how many eggs chickens should lay a day and some factors that affect their egg-laying ability, we’ll give you a few tips to increase your egg production below.
1. Provide the Basics
You probably already know that you need to provide for your hen’s basic needs. This means making sure they have the right food and plenty of water to keep them active and healthy. In addition, it’s critically important to make sure you have a reliable water source, no matter what season it is or whether it’s hot or cold outside.
2. Clean Your Coops
No hen is going to want to lay eggs in a dirty coop. So keep your coops clean, and avoid overcrowding as well. Your hens will stop laying if they feel they have nowhere to nest and are crowded by too many other chickens.
3. Set Up an Artificial Light Source
Many chicken keepers don’t realize that light plays a part in egg production also. A hen needs, on average, 14 hours of light to achieve maximum egg-laying production, which means they aren’t getting the light they need during the winter months.
However, if you install an artificial light source in your hen house, your hen will be getting the amount of light she needs to lay the correct number of eggs or more a day.
These are just a few of the best tips out there for helping you increase the egg production of your hens. Make sure that you look for the factors listed above to ensure there’s nothing stopping your hens from laying eggs.
- Related Read: 12 Reasons Why Chickens Stop Laying Eggs
So, in answer to the question of how many eggs chickens lay a day, the answer really differs. Of course, most hens lay at least one egg a day, but that depends on the things going on in your hen house, light intensity, and the food you’re feeding them.
If you’re worried about your hens, make sure to talk to your vet, who should be able to give you tips on how to care for your hens, and get the most production out of them as well, while still keeping them healthy.
Featured Image Credit: Spech, Shutterstock