Are Your Chickens Ready to Lay Eggs?

You’ve got your baby chicks all tucked into the brooder – but how long before they start providing you with breakfast? How do you know when they are ready to starting laying? This handy info graphic is here to help you out!

Click the image to be able to zoom in as needed.

19 Replies to “Are Your Chickens Ready to Lay Eggs?”

  1. I am getting new chicks in a week or so. I really like many large brown eggs. Am I wrong to lean toward RIR and Bard Plymouth Rocks? I only have space for 6 hens. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi there,
      It is almost impossible to make a hen set on her eggs. It is determined by hormones and the particular hen’s body chemistry.
      Thanks for the question

  2. One of our hens laid a tiny egg. When we opened it there was NO yolk. Is that a normal thing to observe or something terribly wrong with our girl?

    1. Hi – this can be normal – as sometimes a hen will “mis fire” and lay an unusual egg. This is most typical in young, new layers. Thanks for the question!

  3. More of a question, Allison….do you ever “worm” your chickens? I live in Texas and we have been deluged with rain for 6 weeks. My chicken yard is a real mess what all the wet straw and poop. I try to rake and muck it out and clean the inside roost every 1-2 weeks. The refuse goes into my compost pile. (However, the weather here has been so wet, it’s very hard to keep up with it.)

    I’m wondering if I need to give my hens some sort of verified or something to boost their immune systems to keep them well. Also, should I be giving them anything periodically to guard against coccidiosis?

    You know so much about your hens and I thought maybe you could give me some pointers. Would sure appreciate any advice, preventatives, etc. That you could recommend!

    Marquita in Dallas

    1. Hi Marquita,
      There are poultry wormers on the market that you can use – note the withdrawal warnings for eggs on some of these. Typically you can worm several times a year on a schedule or you can wait to see evidence of worms in the feces before worming. Coccidiosis is typically not a problem for adult hens – however with the wet conditions you’ve had you may want to add a preventative coccidiostat to the water supply. Again – note any withdrawal warnings for eggs. Thanks!

  4. What is the best temp to get the best egg production?
    I have heard not less than 40 degrees, and not less than 50 degrees. I live in Wisconsin

    1. Hi Ruth!
      Actually, it is more day length, rather than temperature that dictates laying. Your hens need a minimum of 15 hours of light (natural or artificial) to produce eggs.

  5. our Americana chickens quit laying are only year and half old have not layed for over two months our other chickens are ok laying daily what do you suggest

    1. Hello Carolyn, Thanks for the question. At that age, it’s likely they went through their first molt, and molting season will often cause egg production to slow down, if not stop completely. Also, the shortened daylight hours of winter can decrease productivity. Keep feeding them a quality layer feed, or even move to a product such as Feather Fixer, which has higher protein & energy levels, to help bring them back to production more quickly.

      You might also consider extra lighting, on timers, in the coop, if you would like – this tricks their body into thinking spring is back and that they don’t need to conserve energy for winter any longer, and they should begin to lay again. Some people prefer not to do this, and rather let nature take its course – in your situation, it is completely up to you!

      Thank you ~ Gina T.

    2. I have added layer enhancer to my chickens water and have experienced wonderful results. You may see results as early as the next day. My chickens are healthier than they have ever been. It has electrolytes and vitamins and it goes a long way cost about eight dollars I purchased mine at Tractor Supply.

  6. Hello, I leave in Mesa, AZ in the city. I have a coop, with 3 nesting boxes.
    I’m fairly new at this, but something I’ve always wanted to do. I have three Rhode Island Reds and for several months now, they have taken cut back to 2-4 eggs a week. Previously, they had been laying on average of 3 eggs per day. I feed them a commercial brand feed for egg laying hens. I dont know what to do. looking for help.

    1. Hello Randy, Thanks for the question. It very likely is simply the lighting at this time of year – with shorter daylight hours, their production naturally goes down. This is an energy conservation mechanism to help them through the winter months. You can let them be, and their production will come back up in the spring, or you can provide supplemental lighting in the coop by putting lights on a timer in there for them to get production back now if you want. You can read more about that here:
      Best of luck! Gina T.

    1. Hello Robert, Thanks for the question. This is OK in limited amounts, and so long as the fish is fresh, and not old, moldy or rotten, and is not salted.
      Thank you ~ Gina T.

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