You’ve got your coop all set up, a fenced in run for the chickens to roam around in and get fresh air and stretch their wings. You even have their nesting boxes all put together and installed inside the coop.
Now bring on the eggs! And don’t worry…the eggs are coming. And there will be lots of them! Depending on how many chickens you have, you might even be looking for creative ways to get rid of all the extra eggs you’ll soon have! (A great problem to have!)
So, how many eggs does a chicken lay in a lifetime, anyway? Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that determine how many you can expect.
How Many Eggs Does a Chicken Lay in a Lifetime
A chicken can lay about 1350 eggs in its lifetime. How did I come up with this number? I’ll explain below.
Fact is, there are many factors that go into determining how many eggs a chicken can lay in its lifetime. For example, the largest factors are the breed of chicken, what kind of feed it’s given and the environment it lives in. And not to mention the estimated lifespan of the specific breed.
It should also be remembered that laying hens are the most productive during the first 3 years or so of its life. After 3 years, the number of eggs a chicken lays start to decrease.
So to give an exact number of how many eggs a chicken will lay in its lifetime is almost impossible to say. But, we can definitely try to break it down by averages and percentages. Let’s give it a try.
Example of an Average Egg Laying Hen’s Lifetime Egg Production
For this example, let’s say that we have a chicken who’s lifespan is 10 years. In my experience, that’s a little longer than normal, but they can definitely live that long, so lets go with it.
Let’s also assume that on average our chicken lays 5 eggs per week.
Next we want to consider how much of an egg production decrease our chicken will have every year. Based off of a University of Florida research study, we have the following percentage of first year laying for each additional year.
Year 1: 100%
Year 2: 85%
Year 3: 68%
Year 4: 60%
Year 5: 50%
Year 6: 45%
Year 7: 35%
Year 8: 30%
Year 9: 25%
Year 10: 20%
Based off of these assumptions and estimations, we can assume that a chicken could lay 1350 eggs over it’s lifetime, which equates to almost 113 dozen eggs.
Keep in mind that this is a huge estimate. For one, this example is assuming a chicken will live for 10 years. In my experience, I’m happy to have chickens that live 6 or more years. I find that predators, disease or other plain old unkown causes will shorten a chickens lifespan.
As a matter of fact, it’s common practice for many chicken owners to sell, give away or butcher laying hens after the second or third year of laying.
What about you? Do you think your chickens live up to the example I gave above?
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