How Many Eggs Do Chickens Lay A Day [Best Tips For Production]

The short answer to how many eggs do chickens lay a day is a little more complicated than you might think. 

The short answer? It takes about 25-26 hrs for a hen to lay an egg. 

But there are several factors that can cause your chickens to lay fewer eggs. Things like age, time of year, and other health concerns. 

Another thing to keep in mind is you won’t see your first egg for what seems like quite some time. Young hens won’t start to lay eggs until the pullets (hens under one year old) are at least 16-24 weeks of age.

Egg counts will start with just a few at first then all of the sudden you will have more eggs than you can handle. 

The first year is the year you will get the most eggs.

What To Expect From Your Hens (Female Chickens)

Like I said before a hen lays an egg once every 25-26hrs. (It is possible for some hens to be faster than that but that is not the norm)

Because of the slighting more than a 24hr time period the eggs will come lighter and later each day.

Once the hen gets to the time of night when she is roosting in the coop and is not exposed to light she may not be triggered to start forming another egg until the next morning. Causing it to seem like she skipped a day.

Another thing to remember is that hens do not all lay at the same time. They are each on their own laying schedule and if you have several different chicken breeds you will find that some lay more than others. 

Your typical backyard flock will ley eggs for 3 to 4 years of age if you keep the artificial light on during the low light moths. The eggs will start to taper off each year and the eggs will get bigger the older the hens get. 

You may get a few double yolk eggs as the hen starts to figure out the whole laying process and some will start to lay eggs with abnormalities like wrinkles or calcium deposits. 

Let’s get into how to keep them laying at maximum egg production so you can have fresh eggs daily for your family.

four hens eating on the ground

Lighting Is Numer One In Egg Production

Just this past week I looked in the coop and saw only one egg. We were getting a solid 4 eggs per week and now all of the sudden just one. 

I thought we might have an egg thief again.

Aaaaand then I remembered. We are more than an hour less than the hens need for daylight to keep laying. 

Hens need 14 hours of daylight at a minimum to keep them laying throughout the year. 

Chickens are called long-season breeders, meaning that they come into production as days become longer. 

When the pullets are ready to start laying, increase the light exposure until they are exposed to about 14 hours of light per day. This exposure should stimulate the flock to come into lay. 

Source: poultry.extension.org

If you are ok with your hens not producing eggs for about half the year then by all means don’t bother with the lighting.

But by the time your finish your first dozen of store-bought eggs you will probably start to wonder why you are feeding them just so they can be mooching off of you for most of the year.

When and How To Add The Lighting

There is no need to leave a light on 24hrs a day. That will be a waste of energy and light bulbs.

What I like to do is do the math from the day that we get the lowest amount of daylight which is about 9hrs of light. Put the lamp on a timer to be on for that extra 5 hours. Then just leave it like that until we finally hit 14hrs again and turn the lamp off.

It just makes it less complicated than having to go out and adjust the light every few weeks to make sure you are still getting eggs.

When putting light into your coop keep in mind that lights can also be potential fire hazards depending on the bulb you use. This is one of the main reasons I do not recommend using a heating lamp bulb. The little corkscrew bulbs are the best choice.

The only time I will use one of those in the coop is when the temperatures get to 20 degrees or less and high wind chill.

Chickens spend more time in the coop in the winter because it, of course, is warmer but that also causes them to get nosy and check things out so if your light is too low or within reach, they will peck at it and possibly knock it down.

Feeding Your Adult Hens

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind. 

Some feed will give you good results with your hens and others will cause egg production drops. There is a local feed store here that has their own mix of layer pellets and some people’s hens do fine. While hour chickens slowed down their laying to almost nothing while using it. 

Another example is when corn is significantly less than layer pellets I can mix half corn half pellets and my hens keep laying whereas my mom who lives 22 minutes south of me can not. Her hens stopped laying when doing that even though she was using the same brand of food. 

So if your hens are not laying well and you don’t see an obvious reason for them to not be laying then try another brand to find the right laying hen’s diet for your flock.

Always feed a complete layer feed pellet or crumble to your birds. They will not do as well or lay as strong of eggs if you feed them something meant for another type of bird.  

Feeding things like scratch grain might be tempting if it is significantly cheaper than layer pellets but you will not be getting as much many eggs because there is a big difference in nutrition. 

If you notice that you have soft shells then your hens probably need calcium. 

If the eggs are super easy to crack then you can start feeding Oystershell to the hens. OR you can start feeding the shells back to the hens as you use the eggs. Just crush them up and sprinkle them on their feed. 

Difference In Chicken Breeds

There are hens that are bred specifically to be good egg layers. They will be the best egg layers but they might seem boring and to the backyard flock owner. 

Then there are dual-purpose breeds. These are breeds that have a stockier body and do well-laying eggs. They will consume more feed but are full-bodied so they can be eaten after the old hens laying years are over.

While the rate of lay of your hens breed is important you want to have some fun with the flock. 

Alright, let’s get into the basic overview of different breeds. 

I am pulling this information from my favorite hatchery’s website. 

Top Breeds Of Chicken

There are a TON of different types of chickens. Some lay white eggs while others lay brown eggs. Some even lay blue eggs. 

If you are having a hard time deciding. Go with what lays the best and has the best temperament THEN the ones that can handle the winter or summer months best. 

Rhode Island Reds 

  • Poultry Show Class: American Class
  • Weights: Hen—–6 1/2 lbs
  • Rooster——8 1/2 lbs
  • Pullet–5 1/2 lbs
  • Cockerel—–7 1/2 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Primary production, Egg Laying & Pet/Secondary meat source
  • Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Average Number Of Eggs: 200-280 eggs per year (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Temperament: Active
  • Gender Accuracy: 80-85%
  • Fertility Percentage: 65-80%
  • Broody: Variable
  • Mating Ratio: 10 Females to 1 Males

** I have not met a nice chicken of this breed ever. So personally I would not recommend them. While they are tough they do not make good pets of you do not what to have to continually be on your guard.**

White Leghorns  

  • Poultry Show Class: Mediterranean Class
  • Weights: Hen—–4 1/2 lbs
  • Rooster——6 lbs
  • Pullet—4 lbs
  • Cockerel—-5 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Egg Laying; Production
  • Egg Shell Color: White
  • Average Number Of Eggs: 220-300 eggs per year (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Large to Extra Large
  • Temperament: Very Active
  • Gender Accuracy: 80-85%
  • Fertility Percentage: 65-80%
  • Broody: Non Setter
  • Mating Ratio: 12 Females to 1 Male

Plymouth Rock

  • Poultry Show Class: American Class
  • Weights: Hen—–7 1/2 lbs       Rooster——9 1/2 lbs
  • Pullet—6 lbs       Cockerel—-8 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Primary production, Egg Laying & Pet/Secondary meat source
  • Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Average Number Of Eggs: 200 – 280 eggs per year (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Temperament: Docile
  • Gender Accuracy: 85-90%
  • Fertility Percentage: 65-80%
  • Broody: Setter
  • Mating Ratio: 10 Females to 1 Male

Easter Eggers

  • Poultry Show Class: Miscellaneous Class
  • Weights: Hen ——-5 1/2 lbs         
  • Rooster—-6 1/2 lb
  • Pullet——4 1/2 lbs       
  • Cockerel—5 1/2 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Egg laying and ornamental; Production
  • Egg Shell Color: GreenBluePinkMulti
  • Average Number Of Eggs: 200-280 eggs per year (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Medium-Large
  • Temperament: Active
  • Gender Accuracy: 80-85%
  • Fertility Percentage: 60-75%
  • Broody: Setter
  • Mating Ratio: 10 Females to 1 Male

I have had this breed and they do quite well for laying eggs. But they can be a bit adventurous and will not stay in their designated area unless there is a cover over the run.

Golden Comets

  • Poultry Show Class: Other Breed Class
  • Weights – Hen—–6-7 lbs       
  • Rooster——8-9 lbs
  • Pullet—-6 lbs      
  • Cockerel—–8 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Egg laying; Production
  • Egg Shell Color – Brown
  • Average Number Of Eggs: – Good, 250-320 eggs per year (*estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Temperament: Active
  • Gender Accuracy: 95-100%
  • Fertility Percentage: 65-80%
  • Broody: Variable
  • Mating Ratio:  10 Females to 1 Male

Barred Rock

  • Poultry Show Class:  American Class
  • Weights: Hen—–7 1/2 lbs       
  • Rooster——9 1/2 lbs
  • Pullet—6 lbs             
  • Cockerel—-8 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Primary production, Egg Laying & Pet/Secondary meat source
  • Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Average Number Of Eggs: 200 – 280 eggs per year (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Temperament: Active
  • Gender Accuracy: 85-90%
  • Fertility Percentage: 65-80%
  • Broody: Setter
  • Mating Ratio: 10 Females to 1 Male

I have had a few of these and they are very likely to go broody and are easy to maintain. They do like to roam though. 

Cold Weather Chickens

If you live in a cooler climate it is a good idea to have backyard chickens that lay well in the winter months.

Buff Orpingtons

  • Poultry Show Class: English Class
  • Weights: Hen—–8 lbs        
  • Rooster——10 lbs
  • Pullet—7 lbs        
  • Cockerel—-8 1/2 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Primary production, Egg Laying & Pet/Secondary meat source
  • Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Average Number Of Eggs: 200-280 eggs per year (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Medium
  • Temperament: Docile
  • Gender Accuracy: 85-90%
  • Fertility Percentage: 65-80%
  • Broody: Setter
  • Mating Ratio: 9 Females to 1 Male

Buckeye Chicken

  • Poultry Show Class: American
  • Weights: Hen—–6 1/2 lbs        Rooster——9 lbs
  • Pullet—5 1/2 lbs        Cockerel—-8 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Primary production, Egg Laying & Pet/Secondary meat source; Exhibition
  • Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Average Number Of Eggs: 180-260 eggs per year (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Temperament: Active Yet Gentle
  • Gender Accuracy: 80-85%
  • Fertility Percentage: 60-75%
  • Broody: Variable
  • Mating Ratio: 9 Females to 1 Male

Columbian Wyandotte

  • Poultry Show Class: American
  • Weights: Hen ——-6 1/2 lbs         
  • Rooster—-8 1/2 lb
  • Pullet——-5 1/2 lbs       
  • Cockerel—7 1/2 lbs
  • Purpose and Type: Primary production, Egg Laying & Pet/Secondary meat source
  • Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Egg Production: 180-260 eggs per year. (estimates only, see FAQ)
  • Egg Size: Medium
  • Temperament: Docile
  • Gender Accuracy: 85-90%
  • Fertility Percentage: 60-75%
  • Broody: Setter
  • Mating Ratio: 9 Females to 1 Male
  • Roost Height: 2 to 4 feet

Ideal Conditions And Quick Tips

  • It is best not to wash the eggs until you are ready to use them.
  • You will see a tiny dot on the egg yolk if you have a rooster. There is nothing wrong with the egg.
  • You do not need to have a rooster to get chicken eggs daily.
  • You should have nesting boxes for your hens to lay their eggs in. This will keep eggs from breaking and your hens from laying eggs all over.
  • The best number of hens to have eggs for your family is 2-3 hens over the number of people in your family.
  • Your hen house or chicken cook should be cleaned twice a year to keep healthy hens.

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