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Common Questions About Egg Laying

Common Questions About Egg Laying

 How many eggs will your hen lay?

A hen will naturally lay between 180 and 260 eggs a year with modern egg laying hybrids producing 300 or more. Beyond breed, a hen's age will also greatly affect her ability to produce eggs. While hens won't simply stop laying eggs, but they will lay fewer as they get older!

Should you wash the eggs your hen lays?

The short answer is “No”. Eggs are laid with a natural coating on the shell called the “bloom” or “cuticle”. This coating is the first line of defense in keeping air and bacteria out of the egg. Eggshells are porous, so when you wash them you're removing that natural barrier!

What is the difference between a bantam egg & standard egg?

Egg aficionados like bantams because their eggs contain more yolk and less white. Their eggs will be smaller than the normal eggs you find in grocery store cartons. Depending on the breed, it takes about three to four bantam eggs to equal two large eggs.

How long will hens lay eggs?

Hens may live in backyard flocks for 6-8 years and most flocks will produce eggs for 3-4 years. The level of egg production, egg size, and shell quality decrease each year.

How can I tell what color eggs a hen will lay?

If your chicken has white ear lobes, it will lay white eggs. If your chicken has red earlobes, it will lay brown eggs. Some exceptions are Easter Eggers, Silkies, Ayam Cemanis or any sort of chicken that is completely black. 

What is a broody hen?

“Going broody” is when a hen decides she would like to hatch some of her eggs and sits on them for an extended period of time. She will allow her body temperature to increase & it’s possible she will consume less food & water than she would normally.

Will my hens lay eggs if I don't have a rooster?

Hens will lay eggs with or without a rooster. Without a rooster, your hens' eggs are infertile, so won't develop into chicks. If you do have a rooster, eggs need to be collected daily Also keep them in a cool place before being used so that they won't develop into chicks.

Natural vs. Artificial Incubation

Artificial incubators can only imitate nature. The hatch rate is considerably lower for artificial incubators than for natural incubation. Artificial incubators can often only hatch 60-80% of the eggs, while hens can usually hatch 90-100%!